Edwin Waugh: Poems and Songs II. (3)

Home Up Lancashire Songs Lancashire Life Lancashire Sketches I. Lancashire Sketches II. Rambles in the Lakes The Cotton Famine Poems and Songs I. Besom Ben Tufts of Heather I. Tufts of Heather II. The Chimney Corner The Limping Pilgrim The Barrel Organ Sheet Music Sheet Music Sheet Music Miscellanea Main Index Site Search
 


 

[Previous Page]


LANCASHIRE SONGS.
――――♦―――

 



Lilter.

AIR—“Robin Tamson's Siniddy.”

I.


WHEN Lilter comes to th' end o'th fowd,
    An' touches th' tremblin' string, oh,
He tickles up both young an' owd,
    An' sets their limbs a-swing, oh;
His music mends their scanty fare,
    An' softens every pain, oh;
It soothes the weary heart o' care,
    An' makes it hutchin'-fain, oh!
            Bonny Lilter's here again,
                Here again, here again;
            Bonny Lilter's here again,
                Wi'th merry bit o' timber!


II.


The childer o' come buzzin' out,
    Like humma-bees a-swarmin',
Wi' clappin' hands an' merry shout,
    To Lilter's tuneful charmin'!
He makes 'em marlock up an' down,
    An' sets their een a-blazing';
He makes 'em frolic through the town,
    An' step to th' tune he plays in!
            Bonny Lilter's here again,
                Here again, here again;
            Bonny Lilter's here again,
                Wi'th merry bit o' timber!


III.


At th' sound o'th fiddle's witchin' glee,
    My breeches dance to th' tune, oh;
An' it makes me caper shoulder-hee,
    Wi'th music i' my shoon, oh!
It clears away my care an' frets,
    An' lifts me out o'th gutter;
It brings back happy days, an' sets
    My heart i' merry flutter!
            Lilter, pray tho, come again,
                Come again, come again;
            Lilter, pray tho, come again,
                Wi'th bonny bit o' timber!


IV.


When Lilter played his merry lay,
    At th' end of harvest time, oh,
Lame Robin threw his crutch away,
    His mettle grew so prime, oh!
He cracked his thumbs, an' danced to
        th' sound
    O'th ditty blithe an' free, oh;
He cried, “There's nought on mortal
        ground
    Shall ever conquer me, oh!”
            Lilter, pray tho, come again;
                Come again, come again;
            Lilter, pray tho, come again,
                Wi'th merry bit o' timber!


V.


Good Lilter howd thy hond a bit,
    An' let me dry my een, oh;
Some angel made that meltin' fit,
    It touches me to the keen, oh!
It's surely groves above they hear
    That soft bewitchin' strain in;
There's not a heart below can bear
    Its tender, fond complainin'!
            Bonny Lilter, come again,
                Come again, come again;
            Bonny Lilter, come again,
                Wi'th tuneful bit o' timber!


VI.


Oh, music, it's a lovely thing,
    For man's delight invented;
To ease the heart of sorrowing,
    The God of Heaven sent it!
Then blest is he whose spirit moves
    To sweet celestial glee, oh;
And happy is the heart that loves
    The sound of harmony, oh!
            Oh, Lilter, come again, an' bring
                That tuneful bit o' timber!

 

_________________________

 
Th' Factory Bell.

I.


"COME, Billy, come; dost yer yon bell?
    Thou'll ha' yon mill agate
Afore thou'rt up!   Do stir thisel',
    Or else thou'll be too late:
I know thou'rt tire't, my lad—I know;
    What can a body do?
It's very cowd; but, frost or snow,
    Thou knows thou'll ha' to goo!

An' th' north woint's blowin' keen an'
        shrill;
    It's bin a stormy neet;
Thou'll ha' to run o' th' gate to th' mill;
    It's thick wi' drivin' sleet:
There's not a candle left i'th house;
    Thou'll don thisel' i'th dark;
Come, come, my lad; jump up at once,
    An' hie tho to thi wark!

I can hardly keep up on my feet;
    I'm full o' aches and pains;
An' I's ha' to wesh from morn to neet,
    For very little gains.
It looks hard fortin' for us both,
    But it's what we han to dree;
We mun do as weel's we con, my lad;
    There's nobbut thee an' me!

Come, come; I have thi stockin's here,
    An' thi breeches, an' thi shoon;
Thou'll find thi jacket on yon cheer;
    An' thi dinner's upo' th' oon.
I'll lock yon dur, an' I'll tak' th' keigh;
    I think we's find o' reet;
So manage th' best thou con, my lad,
    Till I come whoam at neet!”

Then not another word wur said;
    But Billy, like a mon,
Geet up out of his little bed,
    An' poo'd his stockin's on;
An' off he went, through sleet and snow,
    With his dinner in a can;
He'd a bit o' oon-cake in his mouth,
    An' he donned him as he ran.

Some folk can lie till th' clock strikes
        eight;
    Some folk may sleep till ten,
Then rub their e'en, an' yawn a bit,
    An' turn 'em o'er again;
Some folk can ring a bell i' bed,
    Till th' sarvant brings some tay;
But, weet or dry, a factory lad
    Mun jump at break o' day!

 

_________________________

 
Cradle Song.

I.


TH' child cries i'th cradle;
    Th' cake bruns o'th stone;*
Th' cow moos i'th milkin' gap,
    At th' end o'th loan.


II.


The cat purs o'th hearthstone;
    Th' clock ticks i'th nook;
Th' kettle sings o'th hob; an'
    Th' pon hangs o'th hook.


III.


Th' woint roars i'th chimbley;
    Brings down the soot;
Mam knits, an' sings, an'
    Rocks with her fuut.


IV.


Nan's off a-churnin';
    Dick's gone to th' barn;
Lap little Billy up,
    To keep him warm.


V.


Round Billy's curly yed,
    Good fairies play;
Tentin' his little bed,
    Till break o' day.


VI.


One day brings sunshine;
    Th' next day brings rain;
No day brings Billy's dad
    Back here again.


VII.


Sleep, little darlin', sleep;
    God watch o'er thee!
Thou'rt o' that's left i'th world,
    To comfort me!


* The “bak-stone,” or baking-stone.
The rack-and-hook, in the chimney.

 

_________________________

 
Owd Robin o' Quifter's.

AIR—“Come send round the wine.”

I.


OWD Robin o' Quifter's wur shaky an' thin;
    He lived by his sel' up at th' Wyndy Bonk Steele;
He'd cramp in his fist, an' he're raither leet-gi'n,
    Though threescore an' seven, an' never quite weel:
His white thatch geet scant; an' as time fleeted by,
    He'd mony a chance of a daicent owd lass;
But cranky owd Robin wur greedy an' sly—
    He wanted to catch one wi' plenty o' brass.


II.


Says Robin one day, as he rubbed his owd pate,
    “I'm weary o' lyin' in bed by mysel':
It's time to be pikein' a bit of a mate;
    Though where I'm to find her it's hard for to tell:
I'd better buck up, an' be tootin' about,
    Afore I get down into th' winter o' life;
There's a spark in me yet, an' afore it goes out,
    I'll don my best duds an' look round for a wife.


III.


“If hoo's winsome and bonny, a penniless lass
    May tickle a young lover's fanciful e'e;
But a good-lookin' owd un, wi' plenty o' brass,
    Would do very weel for the likin's o' me:
But whether hoo's youngish or whether hoo's owd,
    Wi' bonny love-locks, or with yure gettin' grey,
If hoo's ought in her pocket, I'll try to have howd—
    I'll ha' one o' some mak', let 't leet as it may!”


IV.


His owd crony Tummas, that keawer't at th' hob-end,
    Cried, “What ails yon wench up at th' Whittaker Fowd?
Hoo's just meet the woman for thee, my owd friend,
    For hoo's very weel off, an' hoo's forty year owd:
Hoo's a house of her own, an' a nice bit o' lond;
    Hoo's a honsome, an' clivver, an' mettlesome lass;
An' hoo'll jump at thee yet; thou looks weel when thour't
        donned;
    Hoo's seventeen stone weight,—thou'll ha' lots for thi
        brass!”


V.


Says Robin to Tummas, “Thou's hit it, bi th' mass!
    I'll goo an' see Matty, at th' Whittaker Fowd;
It's just as thou says; hoo's a farrantly lass,
    An' her faither has laft her a poke-full o' gowd!”
Then he trimmed hisse!' up.   T'wur a winterly day
    When th' owd craiter started to crapple up the broo;
An' he stopt mony a time to tak' woint upo' th' way;
    But he londed at last, with a great deal ado.


VI.


“Lord bless us o', Robin; what's brought yo up here?
    This weather's enough for to gi one their deeoth!
Come nearer to th' fire, mon, and tak' yon arm-cheer;
    Yo'n come'd a rough road, an' yo're quite out o' breath.
Our lasses are weshin', an' I'm up to th' neck;
    An' which gate to turn me I hardly can tell;
But th' wark mun be done, or else o' goes to wreck:
    Here's th' papper to read while yo're restin' yorsel'.


VII.


“Eh, Matty, lass; th' papper's o' no use to me!
    There's al'ays a some'at one's temper to vex;
But th' truth on it is, that, wi' thinkin' o' thee,
    I've come'd off fro' whoam an' forgotten mi specks;
But I'm fain to sit down; an' I think we's ha' rain,
    Or some mak o' down-fo', before set o' sun;
For i'th' smo' o' mi back I've a terrible pain;
    I know very weel there's a change comin' on.”


VIII.


Then, hour after hour, he sat coughin i'th nook,
    An' his bleary owd e'en followed Matty about;
An' hoo now an' then dropt him a comical look,
    Or a bit of a joke, as hoo went in an' out.
At last he said, “Matty, thou'rt full o' thi wark;
    I could like to look at tho, my lass, now an then;
But I'd better be gooin' afore it gets dark;
    An' when mun I come up an' see tho again?”


IX.


“Eh, Robin,” said Matty, “be guided by me,
    An' bother no more about trailin' so far;
It's a greight way to come for an owd chap like thee,
    An' it's but a lost gate, for it brings tho no nar:
It's o' very weel for a man to get wed
    To a suitable mate, if he'll tak' her i' time;
But it's raither too late when he's nearly hauve deeod,
    An' his frosty pow glitters wi' winterly rime.


X.


“A chap that lies gruntin' o' day on a couch,
    With a broken-down carcase, fro' pain never free,
Th' weather-glass in his back, an' his e'en in his pouch'
    Mun try someb'dy else, for he'll not do for me:
Go an' say thi prayers, Robin; thou needs no moore wife
    Than a pig needs a pouch, or a duck an umbrell;
Look out for a nurse for thi last bit o' life,
    And wind up thi days in a bed bi thisel!”

 

_________________________

 
Noather Cobs nor Sleck.*

I.


GOOD mornin', folk!   What's o' this din?
    Hello; it's th' weshin' day!
I couldn't help but just look in,
    As I coom by this way:
Nanny; how are yo comin' on?
    I see yo're up to th' neck:”
“Nay; I can hardly tell you, John;
    I'm noather cobs nor sleck.”


II.


“But come an' tak' this corner cheer,
    Till I can get my breath;
An', pray yo, shut that window, theer;
    It's givin' me mi deeoth:
I doubt I'm welly done, owd lad;
    This is a weary pleck:
An' then our childer drives one mad—
    They're noather cobs nor sleck.


III.


“An' we'n some nasty neighbours, too;
    They're noan o'th sort for me—
A tattlin', two-faced, borrowin' crew;
    This doorstep's never free:
If I'd my will wi' sich like folk,
    They'd very soon ha'th seck;
An' I cannot bide to yer their talk—
    It's noather cobs nor sleck.”


IV.


“I'll tell tho what it is, owd lass—
    Thou's let ill o' thi feet;
Or else thou'rt badly hipped, bi th' mass;
    For nought i'th world seems reet:
But what, thou's nought again yor Jem;
    He's noan i'th dirty peck?”
“Eh, pray tho, John, don't mention him—
    He's noather cobs nor sleck.”


V.


“Nanny,” said he, “if I wur thee
    I'd go straight off to bed;
For, if I've ony sense i' me,
    Thou'rt noan reet i' thi yed!”
Then, gatherin' up his limbs, he said,
    As he geet howd o'th sneck,
“Good day!   I've had enough o' this—
    It's noather cobs nor sleck.”


* Noather Cobs nor Slack.—Neither large coal nor small coal.

 

_________________________

 
Dinner-Time.

I.

[The wife comes running into the house.


HEIGH, Mary; run for the fryin'-pon;
    An' reitch that bit o' steak;
I see thi faither comin', yon;
    Be sharp; for goodness sake!
He's as hungry as a hunter;
    An' there'll be a bonny din
If he finds o' out o' flunter,
    An' nought cooked, when he comes in!


II.


“Lord, bless my life; why, th' fire's gone out!
    Whatever mun I do?
Here, bring a match, an' a greasy clout,
    An' a bit o' chip or two:
An' look for th' ballis; doesto yer?
    They're upo' th' couch, I think;
Or else they're hanged a-back o'th dur;
    Or else they're under th' sink.


III.


“An' tak' thoose dish-clouts off that cheer;
    An' shift yon dirty shoon;
An' th' breakfast things are stonnin' theer;
    Put 'em a-top o'th oon;
Be sharp; an' sweep this floor a bit:
    I connot turn my back
To speighk to folk, but o' goes wrang,
    An' th' house runs quite to wrack.


IV.


“These chips are damp: oh, Lord o' me!
    I'm sure they'n never brun:
There's no poor soul's warse luck than me
    That's livin' under th' sun!
Now then; what keeps tho stonnin' theer;
    Hangin' thy dirty thumbs?
Do stir thy shanks; an' wipe that cheer;
    It's no use; here he comes!”


V.

[The husband comes in from work.


“By th' mass; this is a bonny hole,
    As ony i' this town!
No fire; no signs o' nought to height (eat);
    Nowheer to sit one down!
I have to run whoam for a meal,
    When th' bell rings at noontide,
An' I find th' house like a dog-kennel:
    Owd lass, it's bad to bide!


VI.


“Thou's nought to do, fro' morn to neet,
    But keep things clean an' straight,
An' see that th' bits o' cloas are reet,
    An' cook one's bit o' meight;
But thou's never done it yet, owd lass:
    How is it?   Conto tell?
Thou mends noan, noather; an', by th' mass,
    I doubt thou never will!


VII.


“It's quite enough to have to slave
    Fro' soon i'th day to dark;
An' nip, an' scrat, an' try to save,
    An' no thanks for one's wark:
No wonder that hard-wortchin' folk
    Should feel inclined to roam
For comfort to an alehouse nook,
    When they han noan at whoam.


VIII.


“I'm fast: I don't know what to say;
    An' I don't know what to do;
An' when I'm tired, at th' end o'th day,
    I don't know where to goo:
It makes me weary o' my life
    To live i' sich a den:
Here, gi's a bit o' cheese an' loaf;
    An' I'll be off again!”

 

_________________________

 
Howd Thi Tung!

I.


Married Daughter:

HERE, mother, tak this choilt a bit,
    While I go look for Jem;
An' if I find out where he's sit,
    I'll make it warm for him!
He'll oather have to mend his ways,
    Or else I'll let him see
That he shall not have a quiet hour
    By neet nor day, wi' me!


II.


Mother:

Eh, Matty, lass, do howd thi tung,
    An' keep thi temper still;
I connot bide to yer sich talk,
    It makes me down-reet ill!
Thou worrits th' lad to that degree
    Wi' thi tormentin' clack,
I wonder that he doesn't flee,
    An' never ventur back.


III.


Daughter:

Well, let him goo, an' welcome too,
    If he can mend his shop;
I wouldn't stir th' length o' my shoe
    To get him for to stop!
But while he's here there's one thing clear,
    An' that he'll quickly see,—
There's never mon that steps a-floor
    Shall ever conquer me!


IV.


So reitch my bonnet down fro' th' hook,
    An' I'll be off to th' town;
An' when I find his drinkin'-nook,
    That's where I'll plant me down:
An' if he likes to stop a while,
    Well, I'll just stop as lung;
But while I'm there I'll let him yer
    A sample o' mi tung!


V.


Mother:

My lass, that tung 'll toll thy knell:
    Do mind what thou'rt about:
Thou'rt breedin' trouble for thysel',
    An' that thou'll soon find out:
Thou'rt nearly eight-an'-twenty now;
    It's time to ha' some wit;
Do keep thi tung between thi teeth,
    An' bridle it a bit!


VI.


When th' lad comes whoam, at th' edge o'
        dark,
    Do let him have a rest;
A mon that's weary with his wark
    Should find his own nook th' best:
An' don't go camplin' up an' down,
    Like a wanderin' parish bell;
For while thou makes a foo o' Jem,
    Thou'rt ruinin thisel'!


VII.


Daughter:

Ay, there yo are; I'm wrong again;
    I knew yo'd howd with him;
I think I've quite enough to do
    To feight a chap like Jem!
An' my mother, too!   Eh, dear o' me!
    That's a nice come off, by th' mon!
Why, th' biggest foos i'th world han sense
    To stick up for their own!


VIII.


Mother:

Stick up, be hanged!   Lord bless my life
    I want a thing that's reet;
An' it grieves my heart to see a wife
    That darkens her own leet!
Thou sulks and looks as feaw as sin;
    An' thou snaps and snarls about:
Sich wark may drive the devil in,
    But it'll never bring him out!


IX.


Thou knows I've had my troubles, lass,
    An' I've been sorely tried;
I've gone through many a bitter pass,
    An' had to grin an' bide;
But if I'd said one hauve as much
    As thou's said here to-neet,
Thi faither would ha' turn't me out;
    An' he'd ha' sarv't me reet!


X.


Now, Matty, thou'rt my own, thou knows:
    I wouldn't tell tho wrong;
There's nought i'th world more dang'rous
        than
    A sharp unruly tung:
Thou talks a deal o' foolish talk,—
    Just as it comes i'th yed;
An' there's mony a thing—when it's too late—
    Thou'll wish thou'd never said!


XI.


Daughter:

Here, mother, gi' me howd o'th choilt;
    I'll sit me down a bit;
I feel as if I're goin' to have
    Another cryin' fit:
There's nought but trouble i' this world,
    As far as I can see:
I sometimes think he doesn't care
    For this poor thing an' me!


XII.


Mother:

Thou foolish wench, come dry thi e'en,
    An' put thi house i' trim;
An' make thi fireside sweet an' clean,
    Both for thisel' and Jem:
An' then, my lass, I'll tell tho what,
    I wish thou'd ponder well,—
There's nob'dy short o' trouble
    That makes trouble for theirsel'!

 

_________________________

 
The Little Doffer.

I.


A MERRY little doffer lad
    Coom down to Shapper's mill,
To see if he could get a shop;
    He said his name wur “Bill.”


II.


“Bill what, my lad?” th' o'erlooker said;
    “Arto co'de nought beside?”
“Oh, yigh,” said th' lad; “they co'n me
        things—
    Sometimes,—'at's bad to bide!”


III.


“But what's thi faither's name, my lad?
    Thou'll surely tell me that!”
Said th' lad, “Some co'n him ‘Apple Dad,’—
    His gradely name's ‘Owd Hat.’


IV.


“My uncle Joe's co'de ‘Flopper Chops!’
    An' sometimes ‘Owd Betide!’
They co'n him thoose at th' weighvin'-
       shops;
    An' I know nought beside.”


V.


Said th' o'erlooker, “I know owd Joe,—
    He weighvs for Billy Grime;
But, what dun they co' thee, my lad,
    When they co'n at dinner-time?”


VI.


Th' lad grinned, an' said, “They never han
    To co' me then,—no fear!”
Said th' o'erlooker, “How's that, my lad?”
    Said th' lad, “I'm al'ays theer!”


VII.


“My lad, thou looks a lively cowt;
    Keen as a cross-cut saw;
Short yure, sharp teeth, a twinklin e'e,
    An' a little hungry maw!


VIII.


“But, wheer hasto bin wortchin at?
    What's brought tho down our way?”
Said th' lad, “I wortched for Tommy Platt;
    He's gan me th' bag, to-day.”


IX.


“Thou's brought thi character, I guess?”
    Says th' lad, “yo're wrang, I doubt:”
Says th' o'erlooker to th' lad, “How's this?”
    Says th' lad, “I'm better bowt!”


X.


Said th' o'erlooker, “I never see
    Sich a whelp sin I wur born!
But, I'll try what I can make o' thee:
    Come to thi wark to-morn!”

 

_________________________

 
The Mower's Song.

I.


          TH' layrocks i'th welkin;
An' throstles fro' tree to tree co'in!
          Oh, the bright day;
          Oh, the sweet hay;
An' a snatch of owd song helps the mowin'!


II.


          Mash-tubs an' barrels;
A mon connot al'ays be sober;
          A mon connot sing
          To a bonnier thing
Than a pitcher o' stingin' October!


III.


          Ladles an' galkers;
An' spiggits, an' forcits, an' coolers;
          Foamin' quart pots,
          An' little brown tots;
Delf bottles, an' wooden maut-shoolers!


IV.


          Owd shoon an' stockin's;
An' slippers that's made o' red leather!
          My wife an' me
          Can al'ays agree
To creep on a cowd neet together.


V.


          Blankets an' hippins;
A mon that lives single's a rover!
          A little gowd ring's
          A fanciful thing;
An' a mon that's weel wed lives i' clover!


VI.


          Neet-caps an' bowsters;
An' snug beds for tired folk to creep in!
          We mun feight it out here;
          So we'n lap it up theer;
For the life of a mon ends i' sleepin'!


VII.


          Heigh, jolly mowers;
It's dry wark to keep a scythe swinging';
          Let's whet, lads; an' then
          We'n at it again;
To the tune of the merry lark singin'!

 

_________________________

 
Owd Bumper's Courtship.

I.


OWD Bumper's frame wur seldom reet;
He're short o' breath; he'd failin' seet;
An' he're very shaky on his feet,
    An' cranky in his motions:
But when he drew a fortnit's pay,
He couldn't rest by neet nor day;
For though his yed had long bin grey,
    He'd bits o' youthful notions.


II.


When th' pay-day coom, fro top to toe
He made his sel' a weary show;
With a tulip in his breast an' o,
    To put an extra flash on:
A cauve-skin vest, a coat o' frieze,
Green fustian breeches; an' at th' knees,
Red ribbins flutterin' in the breeze—
    An' owd tup drest lamb-fashion!


III.


An' when he looked i'th seemin'-glass,
He said, “I think I's do, by th' mass!
An' now I'll goo an' see yon lass
    At th' sign o'th Rompin Kitlin'!”
He looked like some'at in a play;
Or someb'dy that had gone astray;
An' every soul i'th fowd made way
    For th' poor owd crazy witlin'.


IV.


Now Mally wur a buxom dame;
A widow, full o' lively game;
An' her temper wur so hard to tame
    That very few could guide her.
Hoo talked so pert, an' looked so bowd,
An' stept so freely through the fowd,
That hoo wur known to yung an' owd
    By th' name o' “Pratty Strider.”


V.


“Eh dear,” cried Mall, “is that yorsel'?
I'll tell yo what, yo're lookin' well!
I thought it wur, but couldn't tell,—
    Yo're sich a blazin' dandy!
I ne'er see th' like! Lord bless us o!
Are yo boun' a-morris-dancin', Joe?
Or yo're for actin' in a show,
    That yo're donned up so grandly?”


VI.


Th' owd craiter winked his bleary e'e,
An' said, “I've come a-seein' thee,
My lass!” said Mall, “Good Lord o' me,
    This is a stroke o' fortin'!”
An' there he sat the livelong day,
An' wouldn't let no mortal pay
Till he'd squander't every rap away
    That he'd brought with him a-courtin'!


VII.


His brass wur done, an' he'd had enoo;
But Mally tinkled th' poor owd foo
Till he thought he'd nought i'th world to do
    But come an' hang his hat up:
So he whisper't with a drunken grin,
“Mally, my love, I'm short o' tin;
But bring another gallon in,
    I know thou'll chalk me that up!”


VIII.


“Nay, nay,” cried Mall; “down wi' thi dust!
I never sell my ale o' trust;
If thou'rt spent up, thou'd better just
    Be gooin while it's dayleet:
Thou's lost what little wit thou had;
Another gill would drive tho mad;
So tak thi grey yed whoam, owd lad—
    An' come again o'th' pay-neet!”

 

_________________________

 
Heigh, Lads, Heigh!

I.


OH, I're fidgin' fain to drop my wark
    When gloamin' shades coom softly down;
An' off I went, at th' edge o' dark,
    To th' bonniest lass i' Rachda' town.
I're i' sich a flutter to tak the gate
    That I'd hardly time to tee my shoon;
For my heart beat wild, with love elate,
    An' my tinglin' feet kept time to th' tune.
        Sing heigh, lads, heigh; sing ho, lads, ho;
        What's to betide us who can know?

On wings of bliss, away I flew,
    O'er moor, an' moss, an' posied lea;
I started mony a brid fro th' bough,
    But never a brid as blithe as me:
An' when I coom to th' foamin' bruck,
    Bonk-full o' wayter, spreadin' wide,
I took a sprint, went o'er like woint,
    An' let a yard o' tother side.
        Sing heigh, lads, heigh; sing ho, lads, ho;
        What's to betide us who can know?

At seet o'th gable-end o'th cot
    I rubbed my honds and marlocked round;
An' I trimmed my clooas fro yed to foot,
    For I felt mysel' o' fairy ground:
But when I met wi' fickle Kate,
    Hoo lost no time to let me see
That hoo'd set her cap another gate,
    An' hoo wanted no more truck wi' me.
        Sing heigh, lads, heigh; sing ho, lads, ho;
        What's to betide us who can know?

I hung about a while, an' I
    Coom trailing whoam by th' leet o'th moon;
An' at every step I hove a sigh,
    For my heart had sunk into my shoon:
An' when I'd getten a mile o'th gate
    I sat me down by th' owd draw-well,
An' I felt i' sich a doleful state
    That I'd hauve a mind to drown mysel'.
        Sing heigh, lads, heigh; sing ho, lads, ho;
        What's to betide us who can know?

“What ails yon lad?” my faither said;
    “There's summat has ta'en him sadly down;
For he sits i'th nook, an' he hangs his yed;
    An' I doubt he's lost his gate to th' town.
Come, Robin; don't tak' thy luck so ill;
    Keep up thy heart, and caper round;
For if one love winnot another will,
    An' there's plenty o' lasses left o'th ground!”
        Sing heigh, lads, heigh; sing ho, lads, ho;
        What's to betide us who can know?

 

 

_________________________

 
Jamie Raddle's Dog.

I.


OH, Jamie Raddle lost his dog
    I'th thrang o' Turton fair,
While he wur dancin' in his clogs
    To win a bran new pair;
But when he found poor Laddie gone,
    He swore by th' leet o'th moon,
He'd find the chap that stoole his dog,
    An let him feel his shoon.


II.


“My dog, my dog!   Through good an' ill,
    An mony a journey dree,
Through swelterin' sun an' wintry chill,
    Poor Laddie's gone wi' me!
I'll seek the mon, fro' morn to neet,
    That's taen my dog away;
An' if that thief I chance to meet,
    I'll make him rue the day!”


III.


But Jamie's search had no avail,
    His anger was in vain;
He never met wi' top nor tail
    Of his good dog again;
For he chanced to spy a bonny lass,
    That brought him to the floor;
An' he cried, “Yon woman's mine,
        by th' mass!
    I'll look for th' dog no moore.”


IV.


Then off he went, in hungry chase;
    Through country an' through town,
He kept her track, fro' place to place,
    Until he ran her down;
But Nanny didn't run so fast,
    If I may tell yo plain,
For hoo wanted catchin'; so at last,
    Hoo're very soon o'ertaen.


V.


It wur just a week fro' Michaelmas
    When Jamie took a wife,
But afore it coom to Candlemas
    He're weary of his life.
At harvest-time he quaked wi' fear
    At th' fate he had to dree;
An' when it geet to th' end o'th year
    He're quite content to dee.


VI.


“Oh, parson, parson, yo did wrong
    To tether us so fast;
For now we's snap an' snarl as long
    As ever life may last!
I paid yo four white shillin' when
    Yo teed me to our Nan;
But I'll gi' yo th' price o' my best cow
    To let me loose again!


VII.


“Oh, my good dog; I went astray,
    Like a fither-pated foo!
I wish I'd followed thee that day,
    An' let this craiter goo:
My poor dog's gone, my hopes are flown;
    It's useless to repine;
But I'd raither ha' th' warst whelp i'th town
    Than sich a mate as mine!”

 

_________________________

 
Toothsome Advice.

I.


EH, Nanny; thou'rt o' out o' gear;
    Do, pray tho, go peep into th' glass;
Thou looks dirty, an' deawly, an' queer;
    Whatever's to do witho lass?”
“Bless yo, Mary; if folk nobbut knew
    The trouble I have wi' yon lad!—
He's at th' alehouse again, wi' th' owd crew:
    It's enough to drive ony mon mad!”


II.


“Eh, my wench I'm mich owder than thee,
    An' it grieves me to see tho like this;
So, pray tho, now, hearken to me;
    An' don't go an' tak it amiss:
Thou once wur nice-lookin', an' mild,
    An' tidily donned, too, as well;
But, now, thou'rt quite sluttish an' wild
    About both thi house, an' thisel'.


III.


“It's hard to keep things reet with aught
    That a body can manage to do;
But, a mon's sure to stray when he's nought
    But dirt an' feaw looks to come to:
If thou wants to keep Jamie i'th house,
    Thou mun bait th' trap wi' comfort, my lass;
Or, there's lots o' nooks, canty an' crouse,
    Where he'll creep with his pipe an' his glass.


IV.


“Thou mun keep his whoam pleasant an'
        sweet;
    An everything fit to be seen;
Thou mun keep thi hearth cheerful an' breet;
    Thou mun keep thisel' tidy an' clean;
A good-temper't wife will entice
    To a fireside that's cosy an' trim;
Men liken to see their wives nice;
    An' I'm sure that it's so wi' yor Jem.


V.


“Thou mun have his meals cooked to his
        mind,
    At th' reet time, an' daicently laid;
Tak pains; an' thou'll very soon find
    How nice a plain dish can be made:
Good cookin' keeps likin' alive,
    With a woman that's noan short o' wit;
An' there's never a craiter i'th hive
    But's fond of a toothsome tit bit!'


VI.


“Eh, Mary; I'm nought of a cook,
    But just rough an' ready, yo known;
As for roastin' an' boilin' bi th' book,—
    I'm o' little more use than a stone!”
“Don thi bonnet; an' hie tho wi' me;
    I'll soon put tho reet, if thou'll come;
An' I'll larn tho some cookin', thou'll see,
    That'll help to keep Jamie at whoam!”

 

_________________________

 
Cock Robin.

AIR—“With Wellington we'll go.”

I.


COCK Robin coom o' daicent folk;
    He was the village pride,—
The tightest, sweetest, soundest lad
    That stept the moorlan' side:
Fro top to toe he stood six feet;
    His voice was loud and clear;
But he could whisper low an' sweet
    When a bonny lass was near.


II.


Cock Robin had a witchin' tongue,
    It made folk laugh an' cry;
An' he won the hearts of owd an' young
    Wi'th love-leet in his eye:
An' as he wandered through the fields
    He made the valley ring;
An' th' country lasses pricked their ears
    To yer young Robin sing.


III.


Young Robin was the blithest cowt
    That frolicked on the green;
The king of o' the lads i'th fowd,
    The darlin' of the scene:
With happy heart, in nature's lap,
    He wandered wild and free,
Though mony a sweet lass set her cap
    To catch his twinklin' e'e.


IV.


But there was one dear lass that bore
    From all the world the bell,
An' touched his heart for evermore
    With love's delightful spell:
With modest charms, unknown to guile,
    She made her conquest sweet,
An' brought the roving minstrel down
    To warble at her feet.


V.


Now Robin feels the mystic power
    Of true love here below,
An' Robin owns the richest dower
    That angels can bestow!
He flits no more from bough to bough;
    His soarings wild have ceased;
His songs are all for Mally now,
    An' th' little brids i'th neest!

 

_________________________

 
Ill Life—Ill Luck.

I.


AS I coom trailin' whoam fro th' town,
    I co'de at th' sign o'th Saddle,
To weet my whistle, an' keawer me down
    For a crack wi' Jamie Raddle.
Th' owd lad wur talkin' like a book,
    Wi' some neighbour lads to mind him;
So I crept close by, i'th chimbley nook,
    Where I seldom fail to find him.


II.


Said he: Yo known owd Bill at Kay's—
    I never could abide him;
He's bin a wastrel o' his days,
    An' wastrel luck betide him!
He's ta'en a job i' hond at last
    That'll knock him into flinders,
For they say'n he's boun' to buckle fast
    Wi' buxom Mall o' Pinder's.


III.


Mall's fresh an' strong, an' warm an' young,
    An' frisky as a kitlin';
Billy's grey an' owd, an' worn an' cowd,
    An' dwindled to a thwitlin'.
While th' fire o' life burns breet an' strong
    I' bouncin' Mall o' Pinder's,
It's flickered down i' poor owd Bill
    To nought but wanin' cinders.


IV.


He's done a deal o' careless wark,
    An' never tried to mend it;
But he'll ha' to leave this cut i'th dark.
    For want o' leet to end it.
Both warp an' weft are rough an' strong,
    An' off a mangy fleece, oh;
An' he'll be weary of his weighvin' long
    Afore he downs his piece, oh.


V.


He's shaked a free leg in his prime,
    An' kicked at o' afore him;
He's flirted through his summer time,
    Till winter's creepin' o'er him.
He's ta'en no kind mate to his breast
    To make a life-long friend on;
He's run his sands of life to waste,
    An' he's nought left to depend on.


VI.


Ill folk should tak ill fortin' well,
    An' noather pout nor cry on't;
For a mon that makes his bed his sel'
    Should never grudge to lie on't.
Then, lads, tak this last hint fro me—
    As through life's wood yo're wendin',
Don't run by every bonny tree,
    An' tak to th' scrunt at th' endin'!

 

_________________________

 
Moorland Nell.

AIR—“The Cruiskeen Lan.”

I.


        OH, Jenny's lithe an' leet,
        An' Mally's e'en are breet
As dewdrops on a sweet bluebell;
        Nan's worth her weight i' gowd;
        But there's not a lass i'th fowd
Like bonny little Moorlan' Nell, Nell, Nell,
    Like bonny little Moorlan' Nell!
        My love's a little posy,
        Sweet an' shy an' rosy;
    There's never mortal tongue can tell
        How it thrills my heart wi' glee
        To think hoo's fond o' me,
    My winsome little Moorlan' Nell, Nell, Nell,
        My darlin' little Moorlan' Nell!


II.


        Some don't know how to talk,
        Some han to larn to walk,
Yet they never seem to do it well;
        But Nell wur born complete
        In everything that's sweet,
Oh, my bonny little Moorlan' Nell, Nell, Nell,
        My darlin' little Moorlan' Nell!
            Chorus—My love's a little posy,
                             Sweet an' shy an' rosy.


III.


        One sunny summer's day,
        As Dame Natur sat at tay,
Hoo began to unbethink hersel';
        An' hoo said, “I'll try my hond
        At th' nicest lass i'th lond,
An' I'll have her christent Moorlan' Nell, Nell, Nell,
        I'll have her christent Moorlan' Nell!”
            Chorus—My love's a little posy,
                             Sweet an' shy an' rosy.


IV.


        An' when Nelly coom to th' leet,
        Dame Natur's e'en grew breet,
An' hoo clapped her honds and cried, “Well, well!
        Hoo's very sweet an' smo',
        But hoo's boun' to lick 'em o,
My pratty little Moorlan' Nell, Nell, Nell,
        My bonny little Moorlan' Nell!”
            Chorus—My love's a little posy,
                             Sweet an' shy an' rosy.


V.


        Th' owd craiter laughed an' cried,
        For it touched her heart wi' pride;
An' hoo said, “It makes me hutchin'-fain!
        This wench is th' topmost mark
        Of o' my bonny wark,
An' I's never do the like again, again,
        I's never do the like again!”
            Chorus—My love's a little posy,
                             Sweet an' shy an' rosy.



[Next Page]

 


[Home] [Up] [Lancashire Songs] [Lancashire Life] [Lancashire Sketches I.] [Lancashire Sketches II.] [Rambles in the Lakes] [The Cotton Famine] [Poems and Songs I.] [Besom Ben] [Tufts of Heather I.] [Tufts of Heather II.] [The Chimney Corner] [The Limping Pilgrim] [The Barrel Organ] [Sheet Music] [Sheet Music] [Sheet Music] [Miscellanea] [Main Index] [Site Search]

Correspondence should be sent to Webmaster@Gerald-Massey.org.uk