John Kelday Smith
John Kelday Smith (c1834-1889) was a Scottish born bellhanger and songwriter in the middle and late 19th century, many of the songs being in the local Geordie dialect. His most famous song is possibly "Since aw hev been away".
His occupation is given as a bellhanger (the dictionary definition of this old trade being “a person who installs and repairs bells and their attachments”)
He wrote many local songs and articles that appeared in “Charter's comic publication”, “Ward's Almanack” and the “Weekly Chronicle”. He also won a prize for a song about the Gateshead Working Men's Club and for an essay on working men's clubs in general.
A few details of Smith appeared in “The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend”—printed and published for proprietors of the “Newcastle Weekly Chronicle” by Walter Scott, Newcastle upon Tyne—at about the time of his death
These include :-
- Give ower noo – a typical Music Hall comedy song of the time.
- The Tyneside Exibishin, 1887 – A song about Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and a public exhibition that was held in Exhibition park from 11 May until 28 October 1887. The song was first printed in “The Newcastle Weekly Courant” on 30 September 1887.
- Whereivvor Hae They Gyen – to the tune of Tune—"Perhaps she's on the Railway” - A song about the immense changes in the century.
- Since aw hev been away - Another song about the changes to Newcastle which had taken place between 1824 and 1860 when a large proportion of the old city centre was redeveloped. This involved not only the removal of slum areas but also many well-known landmarks. The song first appeared in the Chapbook “Keelmin's comic annewal, for 1871, gi'es ye the best bits o' wit an' wisdim, be the clivvorest cheps aboot Tyneside; awl my'ed oot o' thor awn heeds and 'lustrayted wi' lots iv' curius an' clivvor comic cuts”.
- "Allan's Illustrated Edition of Tyneside songs and readings".
- Allan’s Illustrated Edition of Tyneside songs and readings with lives, portraits and autographs of the writers, and notes on the songs. Revised Edition. Thomas & Gorge Allan, 18 Blackett Street, and 34 Collingwood Street, (Newcastle upon Tyne) – Sold by W. Allan, 80 Grainqer Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, B. Allan, North Shields and Walter Scott. London. 1891.
- ""The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend" – printed and published for proprietors of the "Newcastle Weekly Chronicle" by Walter Scott, Newcastle upon Tyne".
- "Give ower noo".
- "The Tyneside Exibishin, 1887".
- "Whereivvor Hae They Gyen".
- "Since aw hev been away".
- Keelmin's comic annewal, for 1871, gi'es ye the best bits o' wit an' wisdim, be the clivvorest cheps aboot Tyneside; awl my'ed oot o' thor awn heeds and 'lustrayted wi' lots iv' curius an' clivvor comic cuts.