Wor Geordie's lost his penka

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"Wor Geordie's lost his penka"
Song
Language English (Geordie)
Written Unknown
Songwriter(s) Traditional

"Wor Geordie's lost his penka" (or … his liggie) is a Geordie folk song, the origins of which are unknown. It has been a favourite with musicians and young children for over a century.[citation needed] 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]