O lads, ye shud only seen us gannin', We pass'd the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin';

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rossleigh Music Highly Recommended Source

Having just reviewed my copy of Singin' Hinnies Book 2 (twenty songs from the North East)
I must say that Derek Hobbs and Rossleigh Music are making a wonderful contribution to the task of safeguarding these treasures from the North East.

It is not enough to publish them but to keep such businesses going- purchase yourself a copy and then do something of great importance- perform the songs whereever you are. These words and melodies do best in the minds and on the tongues of real people. That is how the demand grows.

Contact Rossleigh Music at:
http://www.rossleighmusic.co.uk/ just click
They accept Pay Pal and when they say they will get something right out they do just that and in record time. They are also great with e.mail assistance again timely and efficient and dedicated to the music not just taking them money.

Bring the music of the North East into your home and family!

Blaydon Races Notation and Lyrics

For midi sound file click here


1. Aw went to Blaydon Races, 'twas on the ninth of Joon,
Eiteen hundred an' sixty-two, on a summer's efternoon;
Aw tyuk the 'bus frae Balmbra's, an' she wis heavy laden,
Away we went alang Collingwood Street, that's on the road to Blaydon.

CHORUS: O lads, ye shud only seen us gannin',
We pass'd the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin';
Thor wes lots o' lads an' lasses there, all wi' smiling faces,
Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.

2. We flew past Airmstrang's factory, and up to the "Robin Adair,"
Just gannin doon te the railway bridge, the 'bus wheel flew off there.
The lasses lost their crinolines off, an' the veils that hide their faces,
An' aw got two black eyes an' a broken nose in gan te Blaydon Races.

3. When we gat the wheel put on away we went agyen,
But them that had their noses broke, they cam back ower hyem;
Sum went to the dispensary, an' uthers to Doctor Gibbs,
An' sum sought out the Infirmary to mend their broken ribs.

4. Noo when we gat to Paradise thor wes bonny gam begun;
Thor wes fower-and-twenty on the 'bus, man, hoo they danced an' sung;
They called on me to sing a sang, aw sung them "Paddy Fagan,"
Aw danced a jig an' swung my twig that day aw went to Blaydon.

5. We flew across the Chain Bridge reet into Blaydon toon,
The bellman he was callin' there—they call him Jackey Brown;
Aw saw him talkin' to sum cheps, an' them he was pursuadin'
To gan an' see Geordy Ridley's concert in the Mechanics' Hall at Blaydon.

6. The rain it poor'd aw the day, an' myed the groons quite muddy,
Coffy Johnny had a white hat on—they war shootin' "Whe stole the cuddy."
There wes spice stalls an' munkey shows, an' aud wives selling ciders,
An' a chep wiv a happeny roond aboot shootin' "Now, me boys, for riders."

Ridley. Author's Manuscript, 1862.

About Geordie Ridley Author of the Blaydon Races

Ridley as Johnny Luik-Up

About Geordie Ridley
Source:Allan's Illusteated Edition of Tyneside Songs and Readings...Thomas and Geroge Allan, 1891.

Was a native of Gateshead, in which town he was born on the 1oth of February 1835. At the early age of eight years our future rhymer was sent to Oakwellgate Colliery as a

trapper-boy. After but a brief stay at Oakwellgate, he went to the Goose Pit, or, according to its more familiar name, " The Gyuess." There he remained ten years. He next went to Messrs. Hawks, Crawshay, & Co., as a waggonrider, and remained there about three years; an accident, which nearly terminated fatally, bringing his connection with that firm to an abrupt termination.

While riding, as usual, his train of waggons down the incline (upon which his duties principallylay), by some breakage or mishap, the waggons became unmanageable, and, being no longer under control, rushed at a great speed down the incline. To save himself as much as possible from the danger threatening, George jumped from his stand on the runaway waggons, but, in doing so, he unfortunately got himself severely crushed and injured.

For a long time he lay, incapable of work ; and when at length he began to recover, it was only to find his strength so shattered that anything like regular work he was totally unfitted for. Being thus forced to seek a new means of earning a livelihood, he fell back upon his powers as a singer, more especially of Irish comic and old Tyneside songs (in which he excelled); and thus was forced by accident into the path which afterwards led him to such a widespread popularity in the North. His first professional engagement was at the Grainger Music Hall, where he brought out his first local song, "Joey Jones." This, with the humour with which he invested it, and the local popularity of the subject (Joey Jones having just then won the Northumberland Plate), was a great success. At the Wheat-sheaf Music Hall (now the Oxford), his next engagement, he was equally successful ; and, when engaged at the Tyne Concert Hall (at that time just opened by Mr. Stanley), he produced perhaps his greatest success, "Johnny Luik-Up the Bellman." The subject of this song being so well known, and George, imitating his peculiarities, and dressing in character, his success was unbounded. It is needless to detail his engagements at the various concert halls in the Ridley As "the Bobby Cure." North. Everywhere he was a (The cut which he had on his penny favourite. Cheap editions of Song Books.)

his songs were printed, and had a large sale ; "The Bobby Cure" (said to be a hit at a member of the police force) and "Johnny Luik-Up" being especial favourites, the children singing them as they ran about the streets.

In the midst of this success, after a short public career of about five years, his health began seriously to fail. He had never properly cast off the deadly effects of the accident at Messrs. Hawks', the severe crushing he had received on that occasion undoubtedly being the cause of his illness,
which rapidly began to assume a dangerous appearance. After a brief struggle of little more than three months, he died at his residence in Grahamsley Street, Gateshead,

on Friday, September 9th, 1864, aged 30 years. On the Sunday following, he was buried at St . Edmund's Cemetery, a large number of his friends and admirers following his remains to the grave.

As a song-writer it cannot be said that his productions have the literary merit of the older Tyneside writers; but, considering under what disadvantages he wrote, his premature death, and how little fitted his early life was to foster literary inclinations, his songs are exceedingly good. And it must not be forgotten that they were written for his own purposes as a concert hall singer, and there they did sing. At the present time— eight years after his death— at social meetings and private parties, where his songs are often sung, they never fail to please. As a public singer he was highly gifted; he possessed a fine voice, and, having great powers of mimicry, he swayed his audience at will; and there is little doubt, if he had not fallen at the opening, as it were, of his career, he would have left a still more indelible mark as a Tyneside songwriter.

Sketch from 1872 Edition.

Joe Wilson, whose acrostics on so many of his contemporaries have already appeared, did not forget Ridley. In the following he touches upon Ridley's successes, and regrets his early death.


R eady wes he wi' the " Bobby Cure,"
I n Stanley's Hall, te myek secure
D elight tiv a' the patrons there,
L iked be them a',—but noo, ne mair
E nlivenin strains frae him ye'l l hear,
Y e'll knaw ne mair poor Geordy's cheer.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gary Miller Returns An Important Local Singer Songwrigter

Many will know Gary from the Legendary Whiskey Priests
He is back

Follow his music, concerts and cds at myspace.

Go to gary's myspace page click here

He sings from the heart in the tradition of the region.

Celebrate the 9th of June Blaydon Races Day with Folk Music


To start things off I thought it would be good to draw attention to a great day to use in order to celebrate the folk music of the region.

Blaydon Races Day 9th of June

It celebrates a real song, about a real race day, real people written by Geordie Ridley who was once imself a miner.

Roll out the music, new and old from the region and explore regional foods.

Here is a link to the facebook event I am holding.

Celebrate Blaydon Races Day- the Folklore the Broon and the Toon