Henry's Songbook

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Byker Hill

  • Trad

    Byker Hill and Walker Shore, my lads
    Collier lads for ever more, my boys
    Byker Hill and Walker Shore, my lads
    Collier lads for ever more

    If I had another penny I would have another gill and
    I would make the piper play The Bonnie Lass of Byker Hill

    My Ginny she sits ower late up, my Ginny she sits ower late up
    My Ginny she sits ower late up between the pint pot and the cup

    It's down the pits we'll go, my laddies, and down the pits we'll go, my marras
    We'll try our will and use our skill to cut them ridges down below

    My Ginny she is never near, my Ginny she is never near
    And when I call out, Where's my supper, she orders up another pint of beer

    When first I came into the dirt I had no trousers nor pit shirt
    And now I'm gettin' two or three, Walker Pit's done well for me

    Hey Ginny come home to your little baby, hey Ginny come home to your little baby
    Hey Ginny come home to your little baby with a pint of beer all under your arm

    The poor coal cutter gets two shillings, the deputy gets half a crown and
    The overman gets five and sixpence, lads, just for riding up and down

    Geordie Johnson had a pig and he hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
    All the way to Byker Hill he danced the Elsie Marley

    As sung by Martin Carthy

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1967:] The tune sung here is not the one sung traditionally. It is a Northumbrian dance tune. The words are an amalgam of a version I learned years ago while playing with the Thameside Four and the version sung by A. L. Lloyd. (Notes Martin Carthy, 'Byker Hill')

  • [1974:] People who think that 'odd' tempi like 5/4, 9/8 and 7/16 are the invention of modern musicians like Dave Brubeck and Don Ellis, beyond the comprehension of simple folks, should have seen the colliers of Tyneside not only singing but actually dancing in 9/8. (Dallas, Toil 147)

  • [1978:] [Walker Pits] First printed in John Bell's 'Rhymes of Northern Bards' (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1812, facsimile reprint, 1971). Directed to be sung to the tune of Off She Goes (see, for instance, Kerr's 'First Collection of Merry Melodies for the Violin', Glasgow, n.d. Book 1, p. 29 No. 14). Other melodies have been attached to these words of recent years, including the tune of the American camp-meeting hymn, Where Are the Hebrew Children [...], and a version of the north-eastern dance tune My dearie (laddie, lassie) sits ower late up. (Lloyd, Miners 344)

  • [1993:] Social commentary about Geordie working class life cannily welded to 9/8 time by Bert Lloyd - one of his "splicing jobs", as Cyril Tawney describes them - and in a way Carthy and Swarbrick became Lloyd's mouthpiece. A radical conjoining, its rhythmic intensity and sophistication departed so dramatically from versions doing the rounds - as sung by the Thamesiders and the Young Tradition - that it left people gawping. (Ken Hunt, Sing Out 38/1)

  • See also Byker Hill

Quelle: England

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Layout : Henry Kochlin (D-21435 Stelle)

03.04.2003, aktualisiert am 02.04.2010, 27.07.2003