Wor Geordie's lost his penka

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"Wor Geordie's lost his penka"
Song by traditional
Written unknown
Published traditional
Lyricist(s) anonymous
Language English (Geordie)

Wor Geordie's lost his penka (or …his liggie) is a famous Geordie folk song, the origins of which are unknown. It has been a favourite with musicians and young children for over a century. The song appears with different words in many parts of the United Kingdom and in the United States.

Lyrics[edit]

The full version is as follows, though not all verses are found in early editions:

Hey, wor Geordie's lost 'is penka
Wor Geordie's lost 'is penka
Wor Geordie's lost 'is penka
Doon the double raw

And he couldn't find his penka (×3)
(etc.)

Well, it ralled reet doon the koondy

So he's gone ta fetch a claes prop

And he rammed it up the koondy

But the claes prop wad na' fetch it

So he's gone ta fetch a terrier

And he tied it to the claes prop

And he shooved it up the koondy

But the terrier wad na' fetch it

Naa he's gone ta fetch a wee bairn

And he tied it to the claes prop

And he shooved it up the koondy)

But still it wad na' fetch it

So he's gone ta get goon pooda

And he poured it up the koondy

Then he set fire to the pooda

Hey, wor Geordie's foond 'is penka

It was in his trouser pooket
It was in his trouser pooket
It was in his trouser pooket
And he's blon the double raw.

Regional variations[edit]

Several Northern Ireland versions from Belfast have "Wee Willie lost his marley" with either "Down by the Old Mill Road", "…the Springfield Road" or "…the Shankill Road". A Glasgow version is "Wee Johnny's lost his jaurie" with often "Doon the Broomielaw". An alternative set of words is "The school lum [chimney] went on fire".[1] In the Black Country it becomes "Our kid's lost his glarney". Versions sung in the South of England and the USA use the Standard English word "marble".

Glossary[edit]

Geordie dialect words used in the song:

blon = blown (up)
claes prop = clothesline pole

doon = down
double raw = double row of terrace houses with a gutter (or drainage) running down the middle of the path/roadway at the back and between the two
fetch = reach
foond = found

Geordie = boys name dialect for George
goon pooda = gunpowder
koondy = storm drain

na = not
penka or penker, liggie or liggy = marble, most likely not glass but a steel ball bearing obtained from mining equipment
pooket = pocket
ralled = rolled

reet = right

shooved = shoved

ta = to

tarrier = toasting fork (terrier [dog] is a late misunderstanding)

wad = would
wee bairn = small child
wor = our

YouTube recordings[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The school lum went on fire".