Geordie Songs

The following are songs that come from the North East region of Tyneside in England.

I have copied them from a little book which belonged to my grandfather, published by Lingfords Baking Powder* to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the High Level (rail/road) bridge.The "High Level" crosses the river Tyne on the southern approach to Newcastle. The bridge was of controversial design in its day, and the Lingfords book immortalises the words of the driver of the first train to cross from Newcastle. Opening the throttle of the steam locomotive he said to his fireman -

"Weel Geordie mun - here's to heaven or Geeatsheed!"

* Lingfords of Bishop Auckland appear to have disappeared in the early 1970s.

I hope these songs will be of use to ex-patriot Geordies the world over who remember them, but like the National Anthem may not know more than one verse. I will put up as many of the tunes as possible in MIDI format (marked 'M'), but I don't even know some of the tunes myself. If you need help, please Email me, and I will attempt to help with recordings etc.

The Geordie Tongue

If you have stumbled on this page and are not familiar
with the Geordie dialect I should prepare you with a
word of explanation. The local dialect of Tyneside
owes a lot to Scandinavia - many words (as in
Cumbria to the west) came with the Norse men
and are still used in everyday Scandinavian languages
- especially Norway. True Geordies are reputed to be
able to make themselves understood to Norwegians by
speaking their broad dialect. Other words share
common usage with the Scots to the north - although
they may also come from Norse - I am not a linguist!
The songs are written down here in transliteration of
one of the most charming dialects of the British Isles,
and I have copied the Lingford version exactly, or
occasionally I have put in commonly used alternative lines.

Read, sing and enjoy!

Coaly Tyne (This page below)

The Keel Row (M)

The Water of Tyne (M)

Blow the Wind Southerly (M)

Dance ti' Thy Daddy (M)

The Neibors Doon Belaa

Cum, Geordy, Haud the Bairn

Hi, Canny Man, Hoy A Ha'penny Oot

The Lambton Worm (M)

Bobby Shaftoe (M)

The High Level an' the Aud Bridge

Billy Boy (M)

Blaydon Races (M)

Oh! Heh Ye Seen Wor Jimmie?

Cushie Butterfield

The Cliffs of Old Tynemouth

 


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1. COALY TYNE

Written during the time of Queen Caroline 1820 (see last verse)

 

Tyne river, running rough or smooth,

Makes bread for me and mine;

Of all the rivers north or south,

There's none like coaly Tyne.

Chorus

So here's to coaly Tyne my lads,

Success to coaly Tyne;

Of all the rivers north or south,

There's none like coaly Tyne.

 

Long has Tyne's swelling bosom borne,

Great riches from the mine,

All by her hardy sons uptorn,

The wealth of coaly Tyne.

 

Our keelmen brave, with laden keels,

Go sailing down in line,

And with them load the fleet at Shields,

that sails from coaly Tyne.

 

When Bonaparte the world did sway,

Dutch, Spanish did combine;

By sea and land proud bent their way,

The sons of coaly Tyne.

 

The sons of Tyne, in seas of blood;

Trafalgar's fight did join,

When led by dauntless Collingwood,

The hero of the Tyne.

 

With courage bold, and hearts so true,

Form'd in the British line;

With Wellington at Waterloo,

Hard fought the sons of Tyne.

 

Let us unit with all our might,

Protect Queen Caroline;

For her we'll fight, both day and night,

The sons of Coaly Tyne.

Author Unknown ......Morrison's Collections 1827