France's Songs of the Bards of the Tyne - 1850

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Songs of the Bards of the Tyne
AuthorJoseph Philip Robson (editor)
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish (Geordie dialect)
PublisherP. France & Co.
Publication date
Media typePrint
Pagesapprox. 560 pages

Songs of the Bards of the Tyne is a chapbook style songbook, giving the lyrics of local, now historical songs, with a few bits of other information. It was edited by J. P. Robson and published by P. France & Co. in 1850.[1]


Songs of the Bards of the Tyne (full title – “France's Songs of the Bards of the Tyne; A choice selection of original songs, chiefly in the Newcastle Dialect. With a glossary of 800 words. Edited by J. P. Robson, Published by P France & Co., No 8 Side, Newcastle upon Tyne – 1849) is a Chapbook style book of Geordie folk songs consisting of approximately 270 song lyrics on over 560 pages, published in 1850.

It is, as the title suggests, a collection of songs which would have been popular, or topical, at the date of publication. There is very little in the way of biographies of any of the writers or histories of the events.


page title songwriter tune comments Notes Ref
iv Publisher's Preface
v Editor's comments
8 Index
17 Wonderful Tallygrip – (The) J P Robson Barbara Bell
19 short bio John Balmbra landlord of Wheat Sheaf Inn
20 Wonderful Tallygrip – (The) J P Robson Barbara Bell encore verses
22 Skipper's Wedding – (The) W Stephenson Senior
25 Jemmy Joneson’s Whurry – or Gaol and Kitty T Thompson
27 Canny Newcastle T Thompson Fy, let's off to the bridal
30 Pitman's Courtship – (The) William Mitford author given as W Midford
32 Cappy – or The Pitman's Dog William Mitford author given as W Midford
35 Polly's Nickstick J P Robson X. Y. Z.
39 Pitman's Skellyscope (The) William Mitford Polly Parker, O author given as W Midford
41 Bonny Keel Laddie (The) not given
42 Mayor of Bordeaux (The) – or Mally 's Mistake William Mitford Fy, let's off to the bridal author given as W Midford
44 Collier's Rant (The) not given
45 New Keel Row (The) – new version T Thompson
45 (Weel May) The Keel Row – original version Traditional
47 Glister (The) W Armstrong
49 Callerforney – A dialogue J P Robson Alley Croaker
51 Gutta Percha J P Robson The Campbells Are Coming
54 Kittlin' Legacy (The) – or the Clawa in the Will J P Robson Barbara Bell this song marked "Copyright"
54 comment on The story of the legacy
56 There's a Grand Time Comin' J P Robson according to Ross in "The Songs of the Tyne c1846" author may be R P Sutherland
57 Harry Clasper J P Robson Famous Auld Cappy
59 Pitman's luck at the races (The) W Mitford according to Farne archives to the tune of 'Cameronians Rant' also indexed as X. Y. Z.
59 comment on the pitman's hobby
62 Newcastle Spaw Emery Rory O' More
62 short bio about the spring
64 Fishwives lament (The) – on their removal from the Sandhill to the New Fish Market on 2 Jan 1827 R Emery Sleeping Maggie
65 April Gowk (The) R Gilchrist Jenny choak'd the bairn
67 Steam Soup (or Cuckoo Jack's Petition) Emery X. Y. Z.
69 Pitman's Ramble (The) Emery The Kebbuckstane Wedding
71 Swalwell Hopping J Selkirk Paddy's Wedding
74 Mally's Voyage to Callerforney J P Robson Hydrophoby
77 Pitman's Happy Times – (The) J P Robson In the days when we went Gypsying
79 Keelmen of the Tyne (The) J P Robson The Orange and the Blue
81 Militia (The) J P Robson The Campbells are Coming
83 Newcastle Improvements J P Robson Oh! 'Tis Love
85 Oh, Come, My lovely Maid J P Robson The Swiss Toy Girl
86 Little Pee-dee (The) not given Pitman's Courtship (The)
87 Skipper's Visit to the Polytechnic Emery X. Y. Z.
90 Sandgate Pant – or Jane Jemieson's Ghost Emery I'd be a butterfly
92 Blind Willy's Death Nunn Jemmy Joneson's Whurry
93 Skipper's Dream (The) T Moor
95 Floatin' Gunstan – (The) Armstrong About a "Floating Grindstone" Fr-Tune3
96 Newcassel Worthies (The) Armstrong We've aye been provided for actually spelt "Newcastle" in this book
99 Days and Deeds of Shakspere J P Robson The Old English Gentleman
102 Pitman's Candidate (The) J P Robson Jeanette and Jeannot title actually given as "Pitman" in this book
103 Song of the Old Tyne Bridge J P Robson The Old Kirk-Yard
105 Maw Wonderful Wife J P Robson Barbara Bell
107 Noodle – (The) J B Gilroy Jeanette and Jeannot
109 Use and abuse (The) – or the Pitman and the preacher J P Robson Canny Newcassel
110 Thumping Luck W Watson Gang Nae Mair to Yon Town
112 Pigeons' Milk – or A Shy at the Quacks J P Robson Calder Fair this song marked "Copyright"
115 Luckey's Dream not given Calder Fair actually spelt "Lukey's Dream" in this book A-N1
117 Cobbler O' Morpeth (The) (Cholera Morbus) McLellan Bow Wow refers to Cholera
119 Nancy Wilkinson H Robson Duncan Davison
120 Newcassel Props (The) W Oliver The Bold Dragoon
122 Baggy Nanny – or The Pitman's Frolic R Emery The Kebbuckstane Wedding
124 Coal trade (The) not given The Keel Row B S6
127 Hamlick, Prince of Denton – Part First J P Robson Merrily Dance the Quaker's Wife
129 Canny Aud Sheels J P Robson Sprig of Shillalah
132 By the Waves of the Ocean J P Robson The last rose of summer
132 comment on J P Robson from "Wild Blossoms of Poesy"
133 Palestine Knight J P Robson Dunois the young and brave
134 Keelmen's Reasons for Attending Church (The) not given Jemmy Joneson's Whurry
135 St. Nicholas' Church R Nunn Auld Lang Syne
137 Sandgate Lass on the Ropery Bank (The) R Nunn The Skipper's Wedding
139 Half Drowned Skipper (The) not given Chapter of Donkeys
141 Newcastle Noodles (The) James Morrison Canny Newcassel author given in index as "J Morrison" A-M2
142 Billy Oliver's Ramble (between Benwell and Newcastle) not given
144 Sandhill Monkey (The) William Stephenson (junior) Drops of Brandy Author given as W Stephenson A-S4
146 Hamlick, Prince of Denton – Part Second J P Robson
149 Hamlick, Prince of Denton – Part Third J P Robson
150 Skipper's Almanac (The) J P Robson X. Y. Z.
153 Devil (The) – or The Nanny Goat not given Weel Bred Cappy shield songster
155 Beggars' Wedding – (The) William Stephenson (junior) Ballinafad A-S4
155 comment on slight amendments by the editor (J P Robson)
157 Betty Beesley and her Wooden Man J P Robson The Bold Dragoon this song marked "Copyright"
160 Pitman's return from Calleyforney (The) Emery Old Dan Tucker
161 Parody on the Soldier's Tear W Greig The Soldier's Tear
162 Lass of Wincomblee (The) not given Nae Luck About The House
164 Mechanic's Procession (The) (or A Trip To South Shields) Emery The Bold Dragoon
166 Valentine's Day not given Newcastle Fair according to Farne Archives J P Robson
168 Bear Club (The) R Gilchrist
170 Lovesick Collier Lass (The) J P Robson All round my hat
172 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 1 The Departure J P Robson
173 Newcastle Races W Watson
175 Donocht Head George Pickering Ye Banks and Braes Author given as "R Pickering"
175 comment on Donocht Head
176 Galvanic Rings J P Robson Bow Wow
179 Collier's Keek at the Nation (The) R Gilchrist F-G2
180 Fishwives' Carol (The) M Ross Nae luck aboot the house
182 Lovely Mary Gilchrist Sleeping Maggie originally "Lovely Delia"
182 comment on slight amendments by the editor (J P Robson)
183 Newcastle Theatre in an Uproar not given
186 Pitman's Dream (The) – or A description of the North Pole Emery Newcastle Fair in 2 parts
188 Pitman's Dream (The) – or His description of the Kitchen Emery Merrily Dance the Quaker
190 Baboon (The) Armstrong
192 Skipper's Mistake (The) Armstrong The Chapter of Accidents
194 Sandgate Lass's Lament (The) H Robson The Bonny Pit Laddie
195 Coaly Tyne not given Auld Lang Syne
196 New Fish Market (The) William Mitford Scots come o'er the Border author given as W Midford
198 Local Militia-Man (The) William Mitford Madam Fag's Gala author given as W Midford
200 Wreckenton Hiring not given
203 Victory (The) – or The Captain Done Over not given Oh! The golden days of Good Queen Bess
205 Bob Cranky's Adieu J Shield
207 Oysterwife's Petition (The) – (on The Removal of the Oyster-Tub From The Quay) Emery The Bold Dragoon
207 short bio the Oyster-Tub
209 Jenny Lind – or the Pitman in Love J P Robson Polly Parker, O described as improved
210 Irish Lawyer (The) J P Robson The Mistletoe bough
212 Bob Stacker's Secret – or how to prove your friends J P Robson Canny Newcassel this song marked "Copyright"
214 Changes on the Tyne (The) not given Mitford Galloway
218 Hail, Hail, Jenny Lind J P Robson I'm afloat
219 Geordy's Disaster not given The Baboon
222 Battle on the Shields Railway (Between A Town Councillor and an Architect and the Pollis) not given Cappy's the Dog
227 Sandgate Wife's Nurse's Song Robert Nunn A Sailor's Wife has nought to dee according to Farne Archives Henry Robson A-N1
228 Euphy's Coronation T Marshall Arthur McBride
231 More Innovations Robert Gilchrist The Bold Dragoon
231 short bio Robert Gilchrist
233 Cliffs of Virginia (The) not given Drops of Brandy Shields Songster
235 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 2 Maid of my Bossom J P Robson The Beggar Girl
236 Nanny Jackson's letter to Lord Morpeth J P Robson Canny Newcassel
238 Newcastle Improvements R.Charlton Canny Newcassel Author actually given erroneously as "T" Charlton in this book
240 Barber's News (The) (or Shields in an Uproar) J Shield Miss Bailey's Ghost Fr-Tune 2
245 Quayside Shaver (The) W Stephenson Senior
248 Eagle Steam Packet (The) William Mitford author given as W Midford
250 Tyne Cossacks (The) W Mitford The Bold Dragoon
253 Mally and the Prophet Emery Barbara Bell
253 short bio The prophet
255 When We were at the Skeul J P Robson Nae luck aboot the house
258 Pitman Pilgrim (The) – or A keek at the Roman Wall J P Robson The Kebbuckstane Wedding this song marked "Copyright"
261 comment on errors in the description of the wall
262 Skipper's Account of the Orangemen's Procession (The)
264 Hydrophobia – or the Skipper&Quaker Emery title condensed
266 Canny Sheels John Morrison author given in index as "John Morris"
269 Famed Filly Fair – or A peep in Pilgrim Street on a Sunday Neet not given
272 Permanent Yeast John Morrison author given in index as "J Morrison"
272 comment on Yeast
273 Masquerade at Newcastle Theatre (or The Pitman Turned Critic) William Mitford author given as W Midford
276 She Wore an Old Straw Bonnet J P Robson She wore a Wreath of Roses
278 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 3 Banks of Tyne J P Robson Roy's Wife
279 Height of my Ambitions (The) J P Robson Nancy Dawson
281 Come Up to the Scratch – (or The Pitman Haggish'd) Robert Emery Calder Fair
284 Sir Tommy Made An Odd Fellow Gilchrist Canny Newcassel
286 Blind Willy's Flight R Emery Betsy Baker
287 New Markets (The) Oliver Canny Newcassel alternative title "Newcastle Improvements"
289 Natural Philosopher (The) (or The Downfall of Learned Humbugs) not given Canny Newcassel
290 Mary Drue T Houston My Johnny's Grey Breeks
292 Billy Purvis's Bundle – or A Corker for the Geordies J P Robson King of the Cannibal Islands this song marked "Copyright"
296 Billy's Grand Show J P Robson Barbara Bell
298 Geordie's Letter Frae Callerforney T Kennedy Hydrophobie
301 Pitman's Description of "La Perouse" (The) – performed for many nights at the South Shields Theatre not given Betsy Baker
303 Blind Willy Singing not given Jemmy Joneson's Whurry
305 Pardon Dean Gilchrist The Banks O' Doon
306 Tom Carr and Waller Watson – or Tom and Jerry at Home W Oliver There was a Bold Dragoon
308 Voyage to Lunnen (A) Gilchrist
312 Pitman's Draw (The) J P Robson Barbara Bell
314 Ikeybo – or The Wonder of Guano Geddes Barbara Bell
317 Jesmond Mill Phill "Primrose" Hodgson also "Phil" and "Primrose"
319 Lizzie Liberty H Robson Tibby Fowler I' the Glen
320 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 4 in Childhood We Wander J P Robson The old house at home
321 Tyne (The) – song number 2 Henry Robson In Britain's Blessed Island
322 Loyal Festivities – or Novel Scenes at Newcastle William Mitford Betsy Baker Called "Loyal Fishwives" author as "W Midford" in index
322 comment on George IV
325 Picture of Newcastle (or George the Fourth's Coronation) W Mitford Arthur McBride
325 comment on William Mitford Town Moor public meeting 11 October 1849
329 Bold Archy and Blind Willie's Lament (On the Death of Captain Starkey) not given The Bold Dragoon called "Bold Airchy's Lament"
331 comment on Messrs Green and the balloon Balloon
331 Green's Balloon not given Barbara Bell
334 Nanny of the Tyne J Gibson The Rose of Allendale
335 Softest Flowers (The) J P Robson The Young May Moon
336 Ye Sons of great Apollo J P Robson British Grenadiers
337 Oh Tell me not the other Lands B. Crow Lucy Neal
338 Over the Waves of the Soft Flowing Tyne J P Robson Over the Water to Charlie
339 Pawnshop in a Bleeze (The) – or The Spout without Water J P Robson X. Y. Z. this song marked "Copyright"
342 Owl (The) Emery X. Y. Z.
343 comment on public houses mentioned in "The Owl"
343 Northumberland Free of Newcastle – Composed Extempore, on the Duke of Northumberland being presented with the Freedom of Newcastle R Gilchrist
345 Parson Malthus H Robson Ranting Roaring Willie
347 My Lord 'Size J Shield
351 Tim Tunbelly Oliver Canny Newcassel
353 Shields Chain Bridge – Humorously described by a pitman Oliver note archaic spelling of Humorously F-O1
356 Stars O' Hartlepool (The) Mr W thompson Barbara Bell the index erroneously shows J P Robson as author
358 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 5 – Farewell Fair Fields J P Robson
358 short bio Mr W thompson
359 Auld Wife's Plaint J P Robson The Old Kirk-Yard
360 comment on inclusion of "Auld Wife's Plaint"
361 Old Burn (The) B. Crow My ain fireside
362 Prentice's Ramble to the Races (The) – or the House of Correction T. Jackson Baggy Nanny
366 Sweet Tyneside T Kennedy Kelvin Grove
367 Sandgate Girl's Lament (The) not given
369 Trip to Warkworth Emery King of the Cannibal Islands
369 comment on the works outing to Warkworth
372 Bob Crank's Leum'nation Neet J Shield
375 Toon of Other Days – A Parody on "The Light of Other Days" R P Sutherland The light of other days
377 Hymn of the Hungarians J P Robson Scots wha hae this song marked "Copyright"
378 comment on anniversary of Battle of Bosworth
379 England, the Anchor of Hope to the World J P Robson Hearts of Oak
381 Lays of the Tyne Exile – No 6 Exile's Return (The) J P Robson The Keel Row (slow)
382 Ale, Ale, All Ale J P Robson The Sea Serpent
385 comment on authorship of Ale, Ale, All Ale
386 Royal Visit (The) W Oliver X. Y. Z.
388 St. Nicholas' Great Bell not given The King of the Cannibals according to Farne Archives J P Robson
390 Dames of England Dr David Ross Lietch
391 Clock Face (The) Oliver The Bold Dragoon
392 Dance To Thy Daddy W Watson The Little Fishy
394 Dutchess And Mayoress (The) not given The Young May Moon Written in September 1819
396 Till the Tide Came In H Robson
396 New Song For Barge-Day 1835 (A) Gilchrist Sung on board of the Steward's Steam-boat
398 Moral to Barge song
399 Brittania's Reproach J P Robson The Death of Nelson
400 Land of Sad Hibernia (The) J P Robson The Old English Gentleman
402 Nice Old Gill (The) J Jackson
402 Comment on the "political" society
405 Pitman's Ghost (The) incognito Sprig of Shelalah
410 Hell's Kitchen not given Miss Bailey's Ghost
412 comment on Hell's Kitchen contributed by Mr R Emery
412 Bonny Geatsiders 1805 (The) J Shield Bob Cranky
415 Sim of Dundee not given Newcastle Races
415 short bio Capt John Sim
416 comment on The waggon-way
416 Song of Improvements Gilchrist Cappy's the Dog sung by the author at a dinner in the New Butcher Market 22 Oct 1835
418 I'm A Snob not given I'm Afloat
419 To Kelvin Grove we'll go – The Lassie's Reply H Robson
420 Water of Tyne (The) not given
421 Home in early Years (My) T F Davidson The Rose of Allendale
422 comment on Editor's praise for author
423 Come Awake!, Oh Arise! J P Robson The Swiss Boy
424 Byron, the first in the song J P Robson While the Lads of the Village
424 comment on The editor's early work
425 Her soft Melting Eye J P Robson Her mouth with a smile
425 Moderate Man (The) T Kennedy Jemmy Joneson's Whurry
428 High Level Bridge (The) J P Robson Drops of Brandy
430 Ether Doctor (The) J P Robson Caller Fair
432 Tell it not in Gath B. Crow Caller Fair
432 Comment on local details
434 Cut at Wor Toon (A) – or Billy Thompson's Smiddy J P Robson Barbara Bell this song marked "Copyright"
438 Newcastle is my native place not given We hae always been provided for
439 Scene at Jesmond Gardens (A) incognito Lukey's Dream
443 Sweet Tibbie Dunbar D ---- The Boys of Kilkenny a proposal
444 Northern Minstrel's Budget (The) H Robson
451 Young Mary, Queen of Hearts! D ---- The Boatie Row
452 Sign of Ducrow (The) not given Gallant Huzzar
454 Lass I Lo'e Sae Dearly (The) T Kennedy
455 Lass that shed a Tear for Me (Thew) W Stephenson Junior The lass that made the bed for me
456 Collier's Farewell (The) J P Robson Fy, let's off to the bridal
458 Newcastle in a Stoure J P Robson Betsy Baker
460 Parody (A) – on the Red, Red Rose not given The Red Red Rose
461 Visit to Billy's Show (A) incognito Tallygrip
462 Gateshead Lass's Lament (The) not given Jessie of Dumblane
464 Ellen W Stephenson Junior Robin Adair
465 Canny Wife (My) D ---- There's nae luck about the house
466 Native Hills (My) J P Robson Mary Blane
467 Contented Player (The) J P Robson John Jones
469 Washing-Day – (The) Thomas Wilson
471 Peter Allen's Death not given John Anderson my Jo !
473 Mally's Dream Edward Corvan A parody on the "Wife's Dream" R-C1
475 Banks of the North (The) S E Preston
476 Marsden Rock John Peacock Jockey to the Fair Author actually given erroneously as "T Peacock" in this book
478 Itinerant Confectioner (The) W Stephenson Senior Bob and Joan
480 Merry Lads of Gyetshead not given Sunny Banks of Scotland actually spelt as "Gateshead" in this book
481 Northumbrian's Farewell (The) not given Adieu my native land adieu
483 Homeward Bound J P Robson Black Ey'd Susan A story from the "Chronicle"
484 Canny Newcastle Again T Oliver
485 comment on nature generally
485 Oh, I'll never Forget J P Robson The Bridal Ring
487 Queen's visit to Newcastle 1849 (The) J P Robson Polly's nickstick
488 comment on lack of clergy in church
490 Yon Orb is Sinking Thomas Oliver
491 Young Donald J P Robson On the Banks of Allen Water
492 Shields Races Songster The de'il cam' fiddling through the toon
494 Jenny Lind – or the Pitman in Love J P Robson Mrs Clark described as original
495 Answers from Alice Grey J P Robson
496 Age of Eighty W Stephenson Senior Age of Eighty
497 Stream of a Thousand Fallen Adieu T Oliver
499 Systems of Life (The) J P Robson Merrily Dance the Quaker's Wife
500 Summer hath come again J P Robson Blow the wind Sutherly
502 Night with a Jovial Set (A) J P Robson A life on the Ocean Wave
503 Willy Wier D ---- Lass o' Gowrie
503 comment on Lochmaben
503 Town Clerk's Safety Valve (The) not given
505 Canny Wife's reply to page 465 D. Auld Lang Syne see "My Canny Wife" from page 465
506 Opening of the Markets not given
508 Old Nick's Visit To H---'s Kitchen Emery The King of the Cannibal Isles
510 Charley's Return from the Ocean Valentine I'm oftentimes Drunk, and Seldom Sober
512 Hail, Hail, to the Order J P Robson
513 Smiling Betsy W Stephenson Junior Dainty Davy
514 Wail of the Fallen (The) J P Robson
515 Common Sense not given Maggie Lauder
516 Newcastle on Saturday Night W Stephenson Senior Newcastle Ale
520 Tyne Fair 1813–14 W Mitford In commemoration of the frost
523 Wor new Gaol and Kitty not given Jemmy Joneson's Whurry
524 Skipper's Voyage to the Museum (The) D C Barbara Bell
526 comment on Nichol's shop
529 Fire and Water – or Nervoni disappointed not given Duke Willey and a nobleman
531 Happy Days J P Robson Mary Blane
532 Isabel J P Robson A Rose Tree full in Bearing
533 He Thought on the Maid J P Robson The flower of Dumblane
534 Lover's Tear (The) J P Robson The Soldier's Tear
535 O Far Away not given
536 Staffordshire Ware W Mitford One New Year's Day
537 Bewildered Skipper (The) William Mitford The bewildered Maid author given as W Midford
538 Hangman and the Calf (The) William Mitford The Dey of Algiers author given as W Midford
540 Tyne Heroes W Mitford Canny Newcassel
542 empty
543 Glossary
552 Printed by A S Crow, 32 Sandhill, Newcastle


A-M2 – according to George Allan's Tyneside Songs and Readings of 1891, the writer is James Morrison
A-N1 – according to George Allan's Tyneside Songs and Readings of 1891, the writer is Robert Nunn
A-S4 – according to George Allan's Tyneside Songs and Readings of 1891, the writer is William Stephenson (junior)
Br-S6 – according to Brockie'sThe Shields Garland", the writer is John Stobbs
F-G1 – according to Fordyce's Tyne Songster of 1840, the writer is John Gibson
F-O1 – according to Fordyce's Tyne Songster of 1840, the writer is Oliver
Fr-Tune2 – according to France's Songs of the Bards of the Tyne – 1850, the tune is "Miss Bailey's Ghost"
Fr-Tune3 – according to George Allan's Tyneside Songs and Readings of 1891, the tune is "Derry Down"
R-C1 – according to Ross' Songs of the Tyne of 1846, the writer is Edward Corvan

See also[edit]

Geordie dialect words
P. France & Co.


  1. ^ River, Tyne (1850). France's Songs of the Bards of the Tyne.

External links[edit]