Geordy Black

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"Geordy Black (or sometimes Geordie)"
Song by Rowland “Rowley” Harrison
Written unknown
Published unknown
Lyricist Rowland “Rowley” Harrison
Language English (Geordie)
Recorded by unknown on MWM records
Performed by unknown on MWM records

'Geordy Black, also known as Geordie Black and I'm going down the hill is a 19th-century Geordie folk song by Rowland "Rowley" Harrison, in a style deriving from music hall.

The song tells the tale of an old miner, reminiscing on his experiences. Harrison would routinely dress as Geordie Black when performing the song on stage.


Maw nyem is Geordy Black, aw'm gettin' varry awd,
Aa've hewed tons o' coals i' maw time;
An' when aw wes yung, aw cud either put or hew,
Oot o' uther lads aw always tyuk the shine.
Aw'm gannin' doon the hill, aw cannet use the pick,
The maister hes pity on aud bones;
Aw'm noo on the bank; aw pass maw time away
Amang the bits o' lads wi' pickin' oot the stones.


Maw nyem is Geordy Black,
In maw time aw've been a crack,
Aw've worked byeth i' the Gyuss an' i' the Betty,
An' the coals upon the Tyne oot o' uthers tyek the shine,
An' we lick them a' for iron doon at Hawks's.

When aw was a bairn, carried on my fethur's back,
He wad tyek me away te the pit;
An' gettin' T the cage, an' gannin' doon belaw,
Twas eneuf te myek a yungster tyek a fit.
Te sit an' keep a door, 'midst darkness an' gloom,
Ay, monny an 'oor be me-sel;
An' hear the awful shots that rummel'd throo the pit,
An' lumps o' roondy coal cum doon pell-mell.


Aa'll bid ye a' gud neet, it's nearly time te lowse;
Aw shure aw've tried te please ye ivery one,
Yung lads that's here the neet, mind de the thing that's reet,
In this world that's the way te get on.
But here's success to trade, byeth on the Wear an' Tees!
Aw dinnet like te see places slack;
For if wor pit lies idle, ne coal cums te day,
It greeves the heart o' poor Geordy Black.

Variant versions[edit]

As this was a very popular song, it appeared in numerous editions. The many versions published show considerable variations in the spelling of the words, including:-

aa, aw and I aad and awd aad, aud and old aaful and awful aa'm and aw'm a'and aal always and aalways bairn and just a lad baith and byeth coal and coals come and cum dinnet and divent> 'em and them eneuf and enough father and fethur> Geordie Black and Geordy Black good and gud greeves and grieves i' and in just a lad and yung ma, maw, me and my monny and mony name and nyem o' and of others and uther lads pass and while roond the pit and throo the pit rummel'd and rummelled tak, yyek and tyuk varry and very warked and worked warld and world youngster and yungster

Specific differences

Verse 3 Line 1 "Aa'll bid ye a' gud neet" is replaced "Noo aa'll say good neet" Verse 3 Line 1 "Aw shure aw've tried te please" is replaced "An' aa've done me best te please" Verse 3 Line 6 "te see places slack" changed to "te see the place se slack"> Verse 3 Line 7 "ne coal cums te day" changed to "ne pay-note comes teneet"


A small book of over 50 pages and size about 5” x 7½” (125mm x 190mm) entitled “Rowland Harrison’s Tyneside Songs” containing local songs composed by Harrison (and with an illustrative sketch of “Geordy Black”, was published around 1871. It includes “Geordie Black” and many other songs.

In modern times, the song also appears on the compact disc “THE Bonnie Gateshead Lass - Gateshead Songs” by Various Artists on MWM Records – (reference MWMCDSP43)

See also[edit]

Geordie dialect words


External links[edit]