The Salamanca Corpus: a collection of Songs (1827)


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Or if he’s drinking jills o’ yell,

Or axing pennies to buy bakky—

If not allow’d where Starkey’s gyen,

Aw’m sure that he’ll be quite unhappy.

Jack Coxon iv a trot went off,

One morning very seun—

Cull Billy said, he’d better stop,

But Deeth cried, Jackey, come!

Oh! few like him could lift their heel,

Or tell what halls were in the county:

Like mony a proud, black coated chiel’,

Jack liv’d upon the parish bounty.

But cheer up, lads, and dinna droop,

Blind Willy’s to the fore,

The blythest iv the motley groop,

And fairly worth the score:

O weel aw like to hear him sing,

‘Bout au’d Sir Mat. an’ Doctor Brummel—

If he but lives to see the King,

There’s nyen o’ Willy’s friends need grummel.

Cull Billy, tee, wor lugs to bliss,

Wiv news ‘bout t’other warld,

Aw move that, when wor Vicar dees,

The place for him be arl’d;

For aw really think, wiv half his wit,

He’d myek a reet good pulpit knocker:

Aw’ll tell ye where the birth wad fit—

He hugs sae close the parish copper.

Another chep, and then aw’s daen,

He bangs the tothers far:

Yor mavies wonderin whe aw mean—

Ye gowks, it’s Tommy C— r!

When lodgin’s scarce, just speak to him,

Yor hapless case he’ll surely pity,

He’ll ‘sist upon yor gannin in’,

To sup wi’ S—tt, an’ see the Kitty.


SIC wonders there happens iv wor canny toon,

Sae wise and sae witty Newcassel hez grown,

That for hummin, an’ hoaxin, an’ tyekin folk in,

We’ll seun learn the Lunneners far better things.

We’ve wonderful Knights, and wondrous Hussars,

Wonderful Noodles, and wonderful Mayors;

For as lang as a keel gans doon river Tyne,

For wisdom an’ valour, O A—y, thou’ll shine.

We’ve R—s and V—s, a time-serving crew;

But, says aw to mysel, gie the deevil his due,

For ov priests an’ excisemen, an’ limbs o’ the law,

There’s ten tiv the dozen ‘ill gan down belaw.

And whe wad hae thowt now that iver awd Nick,

Wiv wor canny toon wad hae gettin sae thick;

That iv Luckley’s awd house he’s set up Hell’s Kitchen,

Where the tyelyers an’ snobs find the yell se bewitchin.

There’s canny Tom Lid—l they’ve myed him a lord

For learning his ploughmen to play wi’ the sword;

But if ony invaders should Britain assail

They’d slip off their skins an’ run to the plough tail.

We’ve a Captain of watchmen, he’s second to nyen,

He dislikes to see folks gannin quietly hyem;

For if ye but mention the nyem o’ Tom C—r,

To the care of Jack S—tt he’ll yor body transfer.


Tune—‘Canny Newcastle’.

NOW lay up your lugs, a’ ye freemen that's pour,

An’ aw’ll rhyme without pension or hire—

Come listen, ye dons that keep cows on the moor,

Though ye couldn’t keep them iv a byre—

An’ a’ ye non-freemen, wherever ye be,

Though dame Fortune hez myed sic objections,

That you’re neither o’ Toon nor o’ Trinity free,

To be brib’d an’ get drunk at elections.

When aw was but little, aw mind varry weel

That Joe C—k was the friend o’ the freemen—

Aw mysel’ heerd him say, his professions to seal,

He wad care very little to dee, man.

Corporation corruptions he sair did expose,

An’ show’d plain whee was rock an’ whee pigeon—

While El—h, the cobbler, in fury arose,

An’ pummell’d Sir M—w’s religion.

Some sly common councilman happen’d to think

That the patriots mebbies had pocket—

So they sent Joe an order for wafers an’ ink,

An’ the custom-house swallow’d the prophet.

Now if ever these worthies should happen to dee,

An’ Awd Nick scamper off wiv his booty,

Just imagine yorsels what reformin’ there’ll be,

If belaw there’s ne printin’ nor duty.

But there’s honest folk yet now, so dinna be flaid,

Though El—h and Joe hez desarted—

For a chep they ca’ Tunbelly’s ta’en up the trade,

An’ bizzy he’s been sin’ he started:

Aboot town-surveyin’ he’s open’d wor eyes,

An’ put Tommy Gee into a pickle—

He’s gi’en to Jack Proctor a birth i’ the skies,

And immortal he’s render’d d Bob Nichol.

Now, if ony refuse to the freemen their dues,

They’re far greater fules than aw thowt them—

Let R—y ne mair stand godfather to cows,

Nor his cousin swear on—till he’s bowt them.

Niver mind what the cheps o’ the council may say,

He’ll seun sattle obstropolous Billy—

Ne mair he’ll refuse for a way-leave to pay,

For fear o’ the ditch and Tun belly.

The good that he’s deun scarce a volume wad tell,

But there’s one thing that will be a wonder—

If Tunbelly losses conceit iv his sel’

Till his head the green sod be laid under.

But we a’ ha’e wor likens, what for shouldn’t Tim?

An’ aw’m shure he a mense to wor town is—

So fill up your glasses once mair to the brim,

An’ drink to the Newcastle Junius.


WEEL may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row,

Weel may the keel row,

And better may she speed:

Weel may the keel row, the keel row, the keel row,

Weel may the keel row,

That gets the bairns their breed.
We tyuk wor keel up to the dyke,

Up to the dyke, up to the dyke,

We tyuk wor keel up to the dyke,

And there we gat her load;

Then sail’d away down to Shields,

Down to Shields, down to Shields,

Then sail’d away down to Shields,

And ship’d wor coals abroad.

Singing Weel may the keel row, &c.


Than we row’d away up to the fest,

Up to the fest, up to the fest,

We row’d away up to the fest,

Cheerly every man;

Pat by wor geer and moor’d wor keel,

And moor’d wor keel, and moor’d wor keel,

Pat by wor geer and moor'd wor keel,

Then went and drank wor can.

Singing Weel may the keel row, &c.
Our canny wives, our clean fireside,

Our bonny bairns, their parents’ pride,

Sweet smiles that make life smoothly glide,

We find when we gan hyem:

They’ll work for us when we get au’d,

They’ll keep us frae the winter’s cau’d;

As life declines they’ll us uphaud—

When young we uphaud them.

Weel may the keel row, &c.



THE jailor, for trial, had brought up a thief,

Whose looks seem’d a passport for Botany Bay;

The lawyers, some with and some wanting a brief,

Around the green table were seated so gay:

Grave jurors and witnesses, waiting a call;

Attornies and clients, more angry than wise,

With strangers and town‘s-people throng’d the Guild-Hall,—

All waiting and gaping ta see my Lord ‘Size.
Oft stretch’d were their necks, Oft erected their ears,

Still fancying they heard of the trumpets the sound;

When tidings arriv’d, which dissolved them in tears,

That my lord at the dead-house was then lying drown’d!

Straight left téte a téte were the jailor and thief;

The horror-struck crowd to the dead-house quick hies;

Ev’n the lawyers, forgetful of fee and of brief,

Set off helter-skelter to view my Lord ‘Size.

And now the Sandhill with the sad tidings rings,

And the tubs of the taties are left to take care;

Fish-women desert their crabs, lobsters, and lings,

And each to the dead-house now runs like a hare.

The glassmen, some naked, some clad, heard the news,

And off they ran smoaking, like hot mutton pies;

Whilst Castle-garth Tailors, like wild Kangaroos,

Came tail-on-end jumping to see my Lord ‘Size.

The dead-house they reach’d, where his Lordship they found,

Pale, strech’d on a plank, like themselves out of breath;

The Coroner, and Jury were seated around,

Most gravely enquiring the cause of his death.

No haste did they seem in, their task to complete,

Aware that from hurry mistakes often rise;

Or wishful, perhaps, of prolonging the treat

Of thus sitting in judgment upon my Lord ‘Size.

Now the Mansion-house Butler thus gravely depos’d:—

‘My Lord on the terrace seem’d studying his charge;

‘And when (as I thought) he had got it compos’d.

‘He went down the stairs and examin’d the barge.

‘First the stem he survey’d, then inspected the stern,

‘Then handled the tiller, and look’d mighty wise;

‘But he made a false step when about to return,

‘And souse in the river straight tumbled Lord ‘Size

Now his narrative ended—the Butler retir’d,

Whilst Betty Watt, mutt’ring (half drunk thro’ her teeth,

Declar’d, ‘in her breest greet consarn it inspir’d,

That my Lord should sae cullishly come by his deeth.’

Next a keel man was call’d on, Bold Airchy his name,

Who the book as he kiss’d shew’d the whites of his eyes;

Then he cut an odd caper, attention to claim,

And this evidence gave them respecting Lord ‘Size.

‘Aw was settin the keel, wi’ Dick Stavers and Matt,

An’ the Mansion-hoose Stairs we were just alangside,

‘When we a’ three see’d somethin, but didn’t ken what,

‘That was splashing and labbering aboot i’ the tide.’

‘ It’s a fluiker!‘ ki Dick; ‘No,’ ki Matt, ‘it’s owre big

‘It luik’d mair likea skyat when aw furst see’d it rise:

‘Kiv aw—for aw’d getten a gliff o’ the wig—

‘Ods marcy! wye, marrows, becrike, it’s Lord ‘Size!’

‘Sae aw huik'd him an’ haul’d him suin into the keel,

‘An’ o’top o’ the huddock aw rowl’d him aboot:

‘An’ his belly aw rubb’d, an’ aw skelp’d his back weel,

‘But the waiter he’d drucken it wadn’t run oot.

‘Sae aw brought him ashore here, an’ doctors, in vain,

‘First this way, then that, to recover him tries; ‘

‘For ye see there he’s lying as deed as a stane,—

‘An’ that’s a’ aw can tell ye aboot my Lord ‘Size!’

Now the Jury for close consultation retir’d:

Some ‘Death accidental were willing to find;

Some ‘God’s visitation’ most eager requir’d,

And some were for ‘Fell in the river’ inclin’d:

But ere on their verdict they all were agreed,

My Lord gave a groan, and wide open’d his eyes;

Then the coach and the trumpeters came with great speed,

And back to the Mansion-house carried Lord ‘Size.




By the Same;

GREAT was the consternation, amazement, and dismay, sir,

Which, both in North and South Shields, prevail’d the other day, sir;

Quite panic struck the natives were, when told by the Barber,

That a terrible Sea Monster had got into the harbour.

“Have you heard the news, sir ?” What news; pray, Master Barber?

“Oh a terrible Sea Monster has got into the harbour!”

Now each honest man in Shields—I mean both North and South, sir,

Delighting in occasions to expand their eyes and mouth,


And fond of seeing marv’lous sights, ne’er staid to get his beard off;

But ran to view the Monster, its arrival when he heard of.

Oh! who could think of shaving when inform’d by the Barber,

That a terrible Sea Monster had got into the harbour.

Each wife pursu’d her husband, and every child its mother,

Lads and lasses, helter skelter, scamper’d after one another;

Shopkeepers and mechanics too, forsook their daily labours,

And ran to gape and stare among their gaping staring neighbours.

All crowded to the river side, when told by the Barber,

That a terrible Sea Monster had got into the harbour.

It happens very frequently that Barber's news is fiction, sir,

But the wondrous news this morning was truth, no contradiction, sir;

A something sure enough was there, among the billows flouncing,

Now sinking in the deep profound’ now on the surface bouncing.

True as Gazette or Gospel were the tidings of the Barber,

That a terrible Sea Monster had got into the harbour.

Some thought it was a Shark, sir; a Porpus some conceiv’d it;

Some said it was a Grampus, and some a Whale belive’d it;

Some swore it was a Sea Horse, then own’d themselves mistaken,

For, now they’d got a nearer view—‘twas certainly a Kraken.

Each sported his opinion, from the Parson to the Barber,

Of the terrible Sea Monster they’d gotten in the harbour.

“Belay, belay!” a sailor cried, “What that, this thing a Kraken!

‘Tis no more like one, split my jib! than it is a flitch of bacon!

I’ve often seen a hundred such, all sporting in the Nile, sir,

And you may trust a sailor's word, it is a Crocodile, sir.

“Each straight to Jack knocks under, from the Parson to the Barber,

And all agreed a Crocodile had got into the harbour.

Yet greatly Jack’s discovery his auditors did shock, sir,

For they dreaded that the Salmon would be eat up by the Croc, sir:


When presently the Crocodile, their consternation crowning,

Rais’d its head above the waves, and cried,“Help! O Lord, I’m drowning!”

Heavens! how their hair, sir, stood on end, from the Parson to the Barber,

To find a speaking Crocodile had got into the harbor.

This dreadful exclamation appall’d both young and old, sir,

In the very stoutest hearts, indeed, it made the blood run cold, sir;

Ev’n Jack, the hero of the Nile, it caus’d to quake and tremble,

Until an old wife, sighing, cried, “Alas! ‘tis Stephen Kemble!”

Heav’ns! how they all astonish’d were, from the Parson to the Barber,

To find that Stephen Kemble was the Monster in the harbour.

Straight Crocodilian fears gave place to manly gen’rous strife, sir,

Most willingly each lent a hand to save poor Stephen’s life, sir;

They dragged him gasping to the shore, impatient for his history,

For how he came in that sad plight, to them was quite a mystery.

Tears glisten’d, sir, in every eye, from the Parson to the Barber,

When, swoln to thrice his natural size, they dragg’d him from the harbour.

Now, having roll’d and rubb’d him well an hour upon the beach, sir,

He got upon his legs again, and made a serious speech, sir:

Quoth he, “An ancient proverb says, and true it will be found, sirs,

Those born to prove an airy doom will surely ne’er be drown’d, sirs:

For Fate, sirs, has us all in tow, from the Monarch to the Barber,

Or surely I had breath’d my last this morning in the harbour.

Resolv’d to cross the river, sirs, a sculler did I get into,

May Jonah’s evil-luck be mine, another when I step into!

Just when we reach’d the deepest part, O horror! there it founders,

And down went poor Pillgarlick amongst the crabs and flounders!

But Fate, that keeps us all in tow, from the Monarch to the Barber,

Ordain’d I should not breathe my last this morning in the harbour.

I’ve broke down many a stage coach, and many a chaise and gig, sirs;

Once in passing through a trap-hole, I found myself too big, sirs;

I’ve been circumstanc’d most oddly, whilst contesting a hard race, sirs,

But ne’er was half so frighten’d, as among the Crabs and Plaise, sirs.

O Fate, sirs, keeps us all in tow, from the Monarch to the Barber,

Or certainly I’d breath’d my last this morning in the harbour.

My friends, for your exertions, my heart o’erflows with gratitude,

O may it prove the last time you find me in that latitude


God knows with what mischances dire the future may abound, sirs,

Put I hope and trust I’m one of those not fated to be drown’d, sirs,”

Thus ended his oration, sir, I had it from the Barber;

And drippling, like some River God, he slowly left the harbour.

Ye men of North and South Shields too, God send you all prosperity!

May your commerce ever flourish, your stately ships still crowd the sea:

Unrivall’d in the Coal Trade, till doomsday may you stand, sirs,

And, every hour, fresh wonders your eyes and mouth expand, sirs.

And long may Stephen Kemble live, and never may the Barber

Mistake him for a monster more, deep floundering in the harbour.


By the Same.

WHILST the dread voice of war thro’ the welkin rebellows,

And aspects undaunted our Volunteers show,

Do you think, O my Delia! to join the brave fellows,

My heart beats impatient ? O no, my love, no.

At the dawn of the day, their warm beds still forsaking,

To scamper thro’ bogs, or where prickly whins grow,

When I view them of pastimes so martial partaking,

Do I sicken with envy? O no, my love, no.

Array’d in full splendour, their arms brightly shining,

On guard or on picquet, when proudly they go,

(For the pleasures of permanent duty repining)

Do I sigh to go with them? O no, my love, no.

Or think you that, eager to quell rude disorder,

What time our brave heroes shall face the dread foe,.

I’ve determm’d to serve under Mr. Recorder,

In the tip-staff battalion? O no, my love, no.

What means, my lov’d Delia! that frown now appearing?

Why, why does your brow such severity show?

And wherefore those glances, so cold and uncheering?

Do you think me a pollroon? O no, my love, no.

Though I wear not a red coat, my honour’s untainted—

To Coventry ne’er was I fated to go;

But, whilst with the plan of removal acquainted,

Can I, cruel, desert thee? O no, my love, no.

Soon war from thy home may a fugitive send thee,

Soon give thee of keels and their huddocks to know;

In the voyage to Newburn who’ll succour and tend thee?

Shall the task be another’s? O no, my love, no.

Then wear not, my Delia! an aspect so chilling,

Nor doubt not with ardour heroic I glow;

But love’s dear delights shall I barter for drilling?

That smile methinks answers,—‘O no, my love, no.’


Tune—“Jemmy Joneson’t Whurry.”

LET Wembwell, James, an’ a’ the pack

Iv yelpin’ curs, beef-eaters,

Ne mair about Bonasses crack,

Them queer, outlandish creturs.

Be dumb, ye leeing, yammering hounds,

Nor wi’ yor clavers fash ut,

For seun aw’ll prove wor canny town

Can boast its awn Bonassus.

It chanc’d when honest Bell was Mayor,

An’ gat each poor man’s blessin—

When cheps like G—e, an’ Tommy C—r

Gat monny a gratis lesson;

Then Bell refus’d to stand agyen,

Tir’d iv the situation,

An’ ne awd wife wad tyek the chain

Iv a’ wor Corporation.

The folk iv Shields hez lang begrudg’d

The Custom-house beside us;

This was the time, they reetly judg’d.

To come sae fine langside us:

They had a chep, W—t was his nyem,

To poor folk rather scurvy.

They sent him up wor heeds to kyem,

An’ turn us topsy turvy.

He seun began to show his horns,

An’ treat the poor like vassals—

He sent the apple-wives to mourn

A month iv wor awd Cassel.

The timber marchants will ne mare

Wiv ten-a-penny deave us—

They swear iv W—t’s to be wor Mayor,

That i’ the dark they’ll leave us.

The drapers next he gov a gleece,

‘Bout their unruly samples-

Bound ower the clouts to keep the peace,

Wiv strings to the door stanchells.

The tatee-market iv a tift—

(Ye heuxters a’ resent it!

My sarties! but that was a shift,)

To the Parade Ground sent it.

Ye gowks, fra’ Shields ye’ve oft slipt up,

When ye had little ‘casion,

To see wor snobs their capers cut,

Or Geordy’s Coronation;

Now altogether come yence mair,

Wor blissins shall attend ye,

If ye’ll but rid us i’ wor Mayor,

Iv hackneys back we’ll send ye.


Humourously described by a Pitman.

NOW, Geordy, my lad, sit as mute as a tyed,

An’ aw’ll tell ye ‘bout Chain Brig at’s gaun to be myed;

Aw’ll begin at the furst, an’ gan on till aw cum

To the end o’ my story—an’ then aw’ll be deun.

Some folks tell a plain, simple story at times, S

But aw’m nothing like them, aw tell a’ things iv rhymes.

Smash, Geordy, sit quiet—keep in thaw greet toes,

An’ aw’ll gan as straight forrat as waggoners goes.

Wey, ye see, the folks thought, i’gaun ower the water,

‘Stead o’ crossing wi’ boats, ‘at a Brig wad be better;

So the gentlemen gether’d a greet congregation,

The syem as folks de at the heed o’ the nation:

Then they some things brought forrat, an’ some they put back,

So they sattled a Brig sud be built iv a crack.

‘Twasn’t lang efter this, aw gat had iv a paper,

Tell’d the size it should be, just as nice as a taper.

How! says aw to mysell, but they hevent been lang,

Dash! a fellow like me may stite myek up a sang,

Or some such like thing—just to myek a bit fun:

So it’s ne seuner’said than it’s cleverly deun.

Folks thought me a genius when first aw was born—

But what is aw deein?—aw mun tell ye the form

O’ this said Iron Brig ‘at aw’s talking aboot,

When aw pull up me breeches, an’ blaw out me snout.

Huge abutments o’ styen, aw think they are call’d—

When aw com to that word aw was varry near ‘pall’d;

On each side o’ the river yen o’ thor things is myed,

To fit intiv a hole they howk out wiv a spyed.

Fra the tops o’ thor pillars to the edge o’ the banks,

Very strang iron chains, myed o’ wrought iron links,

Hingin’ ower the house-tops o’ byeth sides o’ the river,

Thor chains is continued fra pillar to pillar.

Fra the big’uns is hung some inferior in length,

To the boddom of which a foundation of strength

Is fixt, wrought wi’ iron, an’ cover’d wi’ styen,

Then surmounted wi’ railing—it’s deun, skin and byen.

Now, Geordy, what de ye think of it, my lad?—

Wey, speak—what’s the maiter—or ye tyen varry bad?

Or extonishment is it that’s sew’d up yor mouth?

But aw divent much wonder, so aw’ll tell the real truth.

Aw wonder wor owners disn’t see into it.

An’ myek a Chain Brig for to gan doon wor pit.

A! man, but it’s cliver—it’s use ‘ill be greet;

For to what lad o’ Shields wad the thowt not be sweet,

To cross ower the water without danger or fear,

As aw’ve monny a time deun ‘i gan ower the Wear.

When we cross ower the water i’ boats we’re in danger,

But the hazard is warse tiv a man ‘at’s a stranger.

While this hang’d ugly sailing o’ packets survives,

We’re in very greet danger o’ lossin wor lives.

But it’s ne use to tell the unnumber’d disasters

Which happen to ‘prentices, workmen, and masters,

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