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Byker Hill: background info anyone?

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BYKER HILL


Related threads:
Question about Byker Hill (52)
Elsie Marley & Byker Hill revisited (2) (closed)
Help What is Bumble? (Byker Hill) (33)
Lyr Add: Byker Hill (9) (closed)
Lyr Add: Biker Bill & Walter Shaw (9)


Rosebrook 09 Nov 97 - 11:07 AM
Susan of DT 09 Nov 97 - 03:24 PM
mandola man 09 Nov 97 - 04:47 PM
Ricky Rackin 09 Nov 97 - 10:10 PM
rosebrook 09 Nov 97 - 10:58 PM
dick greenhaus 10 Nov 97 - 03:02 PM
Bruce O. 10 Nov 97 - 07:38 PM
Ian Currie 11 Nov 97 - 12:32 PM
Bruce O. 11 Nov 97 - 08:55 PM
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LaMarca 13 Nov 97 - 06:41 PM
Abby Sale 30 Nov 00 - 06:38 PM
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Bagpuss 01 Dec 00 - 06:57 AM
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GUEST,Les from Hull at work 01 Dec 00 - 08:14 AM
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Subject: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 09 Nov 97 - 11:07 AM

Is anyone familiar with the song Byker Hill? It's in the DT. Are they talking about places -- Byker Hill and Walker Shore? What are "Collier" lads? I like how the tune goes back & forth between minor and major key...it's also nice to understand what people are singing about...for me this is never easily accomplished....


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 09 Nov 97 - 03:24 PM

collier lads are coal miners. Byker Hill and Walker Shore MAY be mine names.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: mandola man
Date: 09 Nov 97 - 04:47 PM

Not too sure of the exact location, but Byker is either a suburb, or near to, Newcastle on Tyne. Newcastle was once, before local government reorganization, the county town of Northumberland in the the North east of England, in fact the Northern border of Northumberland is the Scottish border.

At one time one of the biggest coal mining areas in Europe, hence the saying "taking coals to Newcastle" meaning doing something totally pointless.

Cannot verify for certain where they were, because they would almost certainly be closed now, but Byker Hill and Walker shore are certanly the names of coal pits. The latter name may be a reference to a pit that extended under the North sea, as do quite a lot of the coal measures in that area.

I have not looked it up in the DT, but I assume Byker Hill is traditional, the only recording I have (by the Barely Works), claims it as such. I have heard it sung by quite a few people, around Manchester and elsewhere in the UK, and never heard anyone identify a writer.

If you are interested, there are loads of references to coal mining in the North East of England in Jez Lowe's songs, although he is from the next county south of Northumberland, County Durham. Small coals (about the hardship of mining in narrow seams) and Gallaways ( about the fate of the pit ponies when the mines were closed) spring to mind. There are of course many levels of interpretation to Jez's songs, these are very glib descriptions.

Hope you find this helpful


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Ricky Rackin
Date: 09 Nov 97 - 10:10 PM

I got to stay on Byker Hill back in '71 with a singer named Ray Tremble. He said all the "hooses doon the ra'" [on his street] were sinking because the mines went right beneath the streets and houses. I also was told it was "Walker's Hall" [not Waukesha- I moved to Newcastle from Milwaukee !!!] RR


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: rosebrook
Date: 09 Nov 97 - 10:58 PM

thanks! I had no idea this song was referring to coal mining...you can always learn something new at the mudcat....


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 10 Nov 97 - 03:02 PM

Jut a note: The song was collected in the 50s by Sandy Paton. And the song referred to in Byker Hill--Elsie Marley--is in the database, too.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 10 Nov 97 - 07:38 PM

The late A. L (Bert) Lloyd sang "Walker Shore and Byker Hill" on a recoding, Prestige-International 13066, but the notes on the jacket aren't very informative, beyond that it was from the mining district of the Northeast. He doesn't seem to have mentioned it in 'Folk Song in England'.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Ian Currie
Date: 11 Nov 97 - 12:32 PM

I think if you ask a Geordie (i.e. from Newcastle and environs) they will tell you that it is Walk Ashore not Walker Shore. It was a coal mine which extended miles below the sea - hence its name.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Nov 97 - 08:55 PM

From a newly acquired bibliography the song is in:

1: Michael Dawney, Doon the Wagon Way: Mining Songs from the North of England, 1973.

2: A. L. Lloyd, Come All Ye Bold Miners: Ballads and Songs of the Coalfields, 1952 and revised ed. 1978 (in both eds).


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Ian Currie
Date: 12 Nov 97 - 04:51 AM

I think if you ask a Geordie (i.e. from Newcastle and environs) they will tell you that it is Walk Ashore not Walker Shore. It was a coal mine which extended miles below the sea - hence its name.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: LaMarca
Date: 13 Nov 97 - 06:41 PM

Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick recorded a wonderful version in which Martin melded "Byker Hill" with a song "My Jinny She Sits Ower Late Up", a collier's lament about his wife's drinking habits. The whole thing is done in 9/8, to a tune I think is called "The Drunken Piper". It's on their old album from the 70's, Byker Hill, and again on Life and Limb. Really fun to sing, if you're into weird time signatures (like me).


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 30 Nov 00 - 06:38 PM

Looking at LaMarca's 13, Nov 97 post above, and reading the Byker Hill notes re "Byker Hill," I concur that Carthy refers the great 9/8 Northumbrian tune as the "Drunken Piper." Couple o' questions there:

Please, however, refer to thread Lyrics to The Drunken Piper which refer to The midi at Contemplator

1. Is Carthy's "Drunken Piper" the same tune as the Gaelic "Drunken Piper?" Don't seem at all similar to me. Sorry, the only working clip I could find of it

2. At Clicky, the first line of "Drunken Piper" is given as "Far am bi mi fhìn is ann a bhios mo dhòchas." Would my USian ear have heard that in Edinburgh as the very popular song sounding like 'Para-he me hee?' I'd swear that that's the tune I often heard.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Snuffy
Date: 30 Nov 00 - 07:12 PM

Between Newcastle and Wallsend the River Tyne loops to the south and back up. Byker and Walker are both on this peninsula, about three miles apart. Walker is on the river and did have a shore before they built all the shipyards (now making oilrigs, I think).

I believe the original Elsie (or Alice) Marley kept an inn some disatnce to the south, in the Durham coalfield.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 30 Nov 00 - 10:11 PM

All I can tell you is that I learned the song from Redd Sullivan, a wild merchant mariner and singer I met at the Troubadour in London, 1958. When I first met Peter Bellamy, who had recorded that version with The Young Tradition, he asked me where I'd gotten it. He said that Bert Lloyd had accused him of singing "an American version" of the song, since it was the one that I had recorded on Elektra in 1959. Lloyd seems to have assumed that I had made up the tune (I'm not that talented!). Anyway, I told Bellamy my source was Sullivan, and he was happy. "Walk Ashore" could well be what Redd Sullivan sang, since I was taking down what I heard and "Walker Shore" or "Walk Ashore" would have sounded the same to my American ear. I don't know Lloyd's 1952 "Come All You Bold Miners" version, so I can't compare them, and my computer skills aren't up to dealing with Abby Sales' contribution above. Sorry!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 06:57 AM

It would seem odd for the lyrics to be walk ashore and for others to mistake it as Walker shore - since Walker is definitely an area of Newcastle. It seems more likely that some Geordies told someone this for a joke and it stuck...

I once heard (many years ago) someone singing a parody of this song - called Byker Wall. The Byker Wall is a very famous piece of 60's architecture in Newcastle that they have been threatening to pull down.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 07:36 AM

My Martin Carthy etc. links are for Byker Hill (songs and recordings) here and elsewhere.

hth, Gaz


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Subject: SB ADD: Byker Hill (parody)
From: GUEST,Les from Hull at work
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 08:14 AM

As I was cycling home from the weekly singy-playey thing we have in Hull (Yorkshire, England), singing to myself, I thought how nice Byker Hill went with a reggae rhythm. Well, I'd had a drink.
So this is the reggae –type parody of Byker Hill that I've been doing for some time (complete with reggae melodeon).

Byker Hill

If I had another penny
I would have another gill
I would have the piper play
The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

(Chorus)
Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for evermore
Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for evermore

The calypso man and the Lilt man come
They drink rum punch made from rum
Then they dance and they have such fun
With the rhythms of Bob Marley

When Gary Linaker went to Spurs
They gave him a number 9 shirt
Expensive cars he's getting two or three
He say 'Walkers' Crisps done well by me'

Winston Charlton had a pig
He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
All the way to Kingston Town
To the rhythm of Bob Marley

For non-UK 'catters, Gary Linaker is a former football (Real Football, that is) player who used to play for Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) who advertises Walkers' Crisps (a fried thinly sliced potato snack). A potato is … - oh, you probably have them.

Les


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Subject: Lyr Add: BYKER HILL
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 08:46 AM

I found a mental note that there is a bit of interesting background somewhere but you see its the end of the year and the papers are thick upon the office floor...more later. Yes the song relates to mines and shirts.... You can find the midi, notation and that below here Click to Byker We used to sing this song walking along the unused railway line through the hawthorn in bloom from durham to the next little town after a night at the pubs feeding our brain cells. We would return to the dawn and fresh hot kippers at college before falling over to awake just in time for clases on monday....maybe
BYKER HILL 
For Midi Sound click here

If I had another penny
I would have another gill
I would make the piper play
The bonny lass of Byker Hill

Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for ever more (2x)

The pitman and the keelman trim
They drink bumble made from gin
Then to dance they do begin
To the tune of Elsie Marley

When first I went down to the dirt
I had no cowl nor no pitshirt
Now I've gotten two or three
Walker Pit's done well by me

Geordie Charlton, he had a pig
He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
All the way to Walker Shore
To the tune of Elsie Marley -

Verse in version in Bell:

When I cam to Walker wark,
I had ne coat nor ne pit sark
But now aw've getten twe or three,
Walker pit's deun weel for me.


Bell gives tune as:  Off she goes.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 09:24 AM

Sandy: I am deeply saddened to learn you can't click on a Clicky & play the tune or read a thread. Still, I suppose such disabilities must be accepted in these days of Americans-with-Disabilities-Acting. No, your tune is, I believe, the actual traditional one. Carthy used "My Dearie Sits Ower Late Up," (page 155 in Northumbrian Minstrelsy) because he liked it.

When I first heard him do this, before I had the advantage of liner notes, I became irate and threatened to pour boiling lead on him if he didn't explain the rhythm. (Carthy saw this was no idle threat as President Taylor and I were at that very moment melting a lead pipe. It coincidently happens that one MacEwan's beercan-full of lead exactly equals the weight needed to replace a lost one on a grandfather clock [I don't know enough clock history to know if that's an accident or not] and we were making a new weight. It worked, BTW.

I've always hated flamenco both for the sexual frustration of it and also the impossibility to tap your foot to it for more than a few seconds unless you'd studied the stuff for years. I was less likely to put up with Brit folk song that just never did that kind of thing with a rhythm to people. Oh maybe an off-rhythm bar now and again but never throughout a whole song.

He happily said that's why he used the tune. The liner notes go into this but most don't catch it and, in fact, the signature is usually just given as 9/8. Bruce & Stokoe just do that. But it's really 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, 1-2-3. Now I could foottap and was happy again and allowed the new lead weight to cool. (Remembering, of course, to insert a loop of wire clothes hanger in the top fitst.)

No, I'm really just trying to find out why he also calls it "Drunken Piper." It's hard to believe there's more than one drunken piper.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 09:27 AM

Yup, Byker Hill and Walker Shore (NOT walk ashore; that's from Grey Funnel Line . . ) were two mines.

Carthy took a different tune for his version of this, AND interspersed some words from a second song (possibly the "right" song for the tune . .)

I saw a lengthy discussion of this somewhere; if it wasn't here then I guess you need a deja-news search of uk.music.folk or rec.music.folk.

Byker is now a housing estate; Byker Grove is a successfull Children's Drama Series on UK TV (and pretty good it is) - unfortunately the producers lacked the initiative to use either of the Byker Hill tunes as the basis for theit theme tune . .

Personally, the Carthy/Swarb recording of this would sit well up my "Top ten best folk tracks ever".

G.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 09:46 AM

Has anyone heard the Barely Works version of Byker Hill? The guitars in it do give it a bit of a reggae rhythm (as Les suggested). They also use tuba in it! Its an interesting arrangement, but ends up being a tiny bit too heavy and plodding in my opinion.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 12:00 PM

The verses Carthy interpolates are from "My Dearie Sits Ower Late Up", though a little modified.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 12:17 PM

Having lived for much of my childhood in Walker, I can definitely confirm the geography.

The Walker Shore was the section of the river where Swan Hunters Walker Yard stood (the Griffin yard I think? they built destroyers there). From the gates of this yard a fairly major road (Wellbeck Road) ran up to the top of Byker Hill where it joined on to Byker Bank.(where the Byker Wall is now) The entrance to Byker Pit was just where the two roads merged and there used to be a cinema/music hall there called the Blacks Regal, Also up there was the Dainties Toffee Factory and a Ringtons Tea depot from which the tea was sold on horse-drawn vans. My mother and I used to travel on the Number 37 trolleybus by this route into New Bridge Street whenever we went into Newcastle city. This was back in the early 1950's

Minstrel


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 01:17 PM

Interesting coincidence - I've sung an arrangement of Elsie Marley (mentioned in Byker Hill) sung with My Laddie Sits Ower Late Up (modified to 6/8 when singing both songs at the same time).

I tell you what - you barely had time to catch your breath when singing that one.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 03:04 PM

Ooh ta Bagpuss! Perhaps that's where the idea came from. Although I definately wasn't thinking about the Barely Works at the time. After a Friday night out I can sing, I can cycle, but I can't think.

I should say, it's the original tune that was in what I laughingly call 'my mind.' I can see how 'Off she goes' would work - it seems to work with plenty of stuff from nursery rhymes up.

I've always loved the Drunken Piper version of Carth and Swarbrick, although I've always thought of it as alternate bars of 4/4 and 5/4, which I suppose is 9/8 but not as we know it, Jim. By the way, Martin reckons that unaccompanied English folk singing should be in time signature of 1/1. And he should know, i mean he's got a medal for it an' all.

And the idea of singing anything to 'the tune of Elsie Marley', even the original words is a feat of vocal gymnastics to be applauded.

Les


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: nutty
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 03:17 PM

Some years ago at a memorial concert for Peter Bellamy and Keith Marsden at Whiby Festival, I heard Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson do a wonderful parody on this song called Biker Bill and Walter Shaw
Yes it's really true - Carthy did sing a parody and I still have it on tape to prove it.
I believe the parody was written by Chris Sugden( Sid Kipper)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 01 Dec 00 - 04:19 PM

Only one traditional version is listed in Steve Roud's folk song index, Roud# 3488. It's "Walker Pit and Byker Shore", with music, in Dawney's 'Doon the Waggon Way', which I don't have. It was collected from Jack Elliot of Birtley. I have one LP of Jack Elliot's songs and tunes, but it's not on that.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 02 Dec 00 - 09:03 AM

*#1 PEASANT* : That's a good tune but that's the traditional, Sandy Paton 4/4 tune, not the Carthy 9/8 one.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Dec 00 - 10:41 AM

Speaking of Walker Shore -- can anyone give me a definition of "shore" in this context? Apparently it doesn't always mean seashore. I recall in a pseudo-Victorian but well researched novel that I read, called "The Quincunx," that the sewers of London were referred to as shores. Is this related to the verb, to shore up (brace, support)?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Snuffy
Date: 02 Dec 00 - 11:44 AM

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives shore1 (sea-shore etc) as coming from Middle Low German and/or Middle Dutch schöre, perhaps from the same base as 'shear'.

Shore2 (a prop or stay) also comes from Middle Low German and/or Middle Dutch schöre - a prop. But it's not clear whether these are the same or two different words.

And shore3 is a sewer:
Shore, sb.3 1598. [orig in common shore, perh. an application of this phr. (SHORE sb.1) in the sense 'no-man's-land at the water-side, where filth was deposited for the tide to wash away'. Not a var. of SEWER sb.1 (common sewer is later).] = SEWER sb.1
Olde receptacles, or common-shores of filthe. SHAKS

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,George Henderson - Nenagh Singers Circle
Date: 02 Dec 00 - 01:42 PM

The Wandering Minstrel is correct. And the 37 trolley used to right out the West Road. I travelled on it many times.

Byker pit was one of the wettest pits in the North East. As a result miners were paid about 50% more than their compatriots in other pits. They had difficulty in getting workers even so but those that did work there were very happy with their lot.

There was a circular gravity rail track with inter connected wagons. The weight of full wagons pushed empty ones around. The coal was shipped on these down the hill to the Walker Shore where it was loaded onto coasters which transported the coal by sea to London.

As far as I am aware the Byker Pit gravity railway was the only one in existence but I could be wrong on that point.

Geordie Charltons pig is referred to in other publications (not sure which) but as a result, the verse is probably based on fact.

The only pit still operating in the North East is Ellington Colliery and it stretches some 10 miles out under the North Sea.

Hope this is of interest.

George Henderson.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Llanfair
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 04:37 AM

I heard Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick do this live in the '60s, in Manchester, and can remember being blown away by it. I have since sung it myself, and found that, to do it justice, you have to be able to absorb oxygen through the skin!!!!!
Cheers, Bron.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 08:54 AM

Snuffy: Thanks for the info. It explains why the London sewers were called shores, because they were below tide level, and relied on the tides to wash them out. However, it doesn't explain how Walker Shore got its name. Was it named after a seashore, a prop, or a sewer? Also, am I correct in thinking only the mine was called Walker Shore while the surrounding town or neighborhood was simply Walker? Which got its name first?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Chris Nixon
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 05:11 PM

Notes on tunes - "The Drunken Piper" is probably better known as Dorrington Lads, and has an even more fiendish 'B' part - as far as I know it's a Northumberland small pipes tune, and it takes a bit of playing... Elsie Marley is in fact two related tunes - one, again, a jig for pipes, and the other a song concerning said Elsie Marley, a lady of negotiable virtue who frequented the quays of Newcastle. KYBTTS Chris


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Fred/Forsh
Date: 03 Dec 00 - 09:23 PM

well, that prety much sums it up! Please note the correct pronounciation, in Dialect, of "Walker"..Waahkah, or warkah, with "ar" as in Bar. Yes, I am a Geordie, still living here, too!


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,laura
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 08:38 AM

as far as i know, byker hill is about miners in the newcastle area. byker hill and walker shore are both place names near newcastle or duhram.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Noreen
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 08:39 AM

Chris- Keep yer boots tied tight, son?

KYFSGH

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 10:58 AM

Jim Dixon.

There was no pit in Walker as far as I am aware. The pit was in Byker and the shore relates to a shore line along the river Tyne at Walker.

Gulleys or drains are also known as shores throughout Ireland. I do not know why.

I do not know the origins of the area name of Walker but it goes back a very long time. There is an district call Wallsend a bit further down the Tyne which dates back to Roman times and was where the great North Wall ended. It was built by Hadrian and parts a still visible today. Worth a visit.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKER PITS (Lloyd)
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 12:08 PM

Since Lloyd has been cited but not quoted, here's the version from "Come All Ye Bold Miners."

Walker Pits

If I had another penny,
I would have another gill;
I would make the piper play
The Bonny Lads o' Byker Hill.

Byker Hill and Walker Shore,
Collier lads for evermore!
Byker Hill and Walker Shore,
Collier lads for evermore!

When I came to Walker wark
I had ne coat nor ne pit sark;
But now I've gotten two or three;
Walker Pit's done well for me.

Byker Hill and Walker Shore,
Collier lads for evermore!
Byker Hill and Walker Shore,
Collier lads for evermore!


Walker Pits. First printed in John Bell's Rhymes of the Northern Bards...[etc.] (1812). Directed to be sung to the tune of: Up She Goes.

(His notes are a bit skimpy, I'm afraid.)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 12:12 PM

(Oops, missed some line breaks, sorry - I'm too old for this techie stuff).

Also note that the tune is given as Up She Goes, not Off She Goes, which is a well-known Irish/New England single jig.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 12:32 PM

Re: London sewers and shores . . there is a "shore" as in beach along the Thames in central London at low tide; in places this was certainly used for bathing in the first half of the 20th century. I'd guess the banks of the Tyne in Newcastle would be the same; they'd certainly be tidal at Walker/Byker.

G.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 12:59 PM

It's getting dangerous. No one has posted the 9/8 tune, and I'm tempted to try to do a MIDI, since I can't find it anywhere on the net, and I sort of know it. (It's that 'sort of' bit that has me worried.)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Abby Sale
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 01:29 PM

Jeri: The best I found was at the link I gave above. I did look around some, too. There's a few given as "Windows Media Player" at CDWorld & CDNow but I get the error that they're lying and no such file exists. I could scan & e- you the two tunes given in N. Minstrelsey if you like.

Anglo: Good for giving that. I'm pretty sure that's a 2223 one.

Has anyone who has the Gaelic tried the Gaelic text I asked about?

I also have a vague recollection of Lloyd singing "Walker Hill and Byker Shore" but maybe not.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,John Leeder
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 02:13 PM

More re "shore":

By coincidence I recently edited a legal title on Waters and Watercourses, and came across the idea that, in the English common law, the term "shore" refers only to tidal waters, while in North America the term was expanded to include freshwater lakes as well. (My Oxford Concise English Dictionary only partly bears this out: "Law. the land between ordinary higgh- and low-water marks.")

Is this a legalistic idea which isn't reflected in common speench in England (and is the river tidal at Walker Shore)? If not, what would a lakeshore be called in England?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Anglo
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 02:15 PM

Abby:
I also have a vague recollection of Lloyd singing "Walker Hill and Byker Shore" but maybe not.

Spot on, Abby. It's on the Fellside compilation "Classic A.L. Lloyd" accompanied by Alf Edwards. Peter Bellamy apparently supplied the recording, and remarked on the inversion of the names.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 02:35 PM

John Leeder

Yes the river is tidal at Walker

Anglo

There is no hill in Walker but try walking up Byker Hill!!!


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,John Leeder
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 03:02 PM

There's a third tune for this that hasn't been mentioned so far (unless my skim back through the thread was overly superficial). I have it on an LP of The High Level Ranters, "Northumberland Forever". It's a bouncy, jolly tune which the group give a big, full sound. Quite different from both the Young Tradition and the Carthy melodies (and I seem to recall having the latter tune on an LP by A.L. Lloyd, to corroborate whoever mentioned it earlier).


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 03:41 PM

Off She Goes goes "bum-ty, bum-ty, bum titty bum."

The 9/8 tune I'm thinking of, the lyrics sort of fit:
BYker hill AND walker SHORE me boys COLLier lads FORever MORE me boys...
Hard to explain. There's a BUM-titty, BUM-titty thing goin' on. But I don't even know if we're talking about the same tune, but I'm interested.

If you want to scan and send, clicky here to e-mail. I could send a .wav or RealAudio (smaller) of me valiantly trying to sing the one I'm talking about.


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Subject: Tune Add: BYKER HILL
From: Jeri
Date: 04 Dec 00 - 05:07 PM

For anyone wot's got ABC, or wants to try it anyway. It's pretty simple, and you can probably figure this one out without having a program. 'z' is a rest, and the baby 'c' means it goes up:

T:Byker Hill
M:9/8
L:1/8
Q:1/4=80
K:C
z3G GEG GEG|
cGE GEG GEG|
FDG GEG GEG|
cGE FDD DEG F3||


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 10:11 AM

The album of Byker Hill is available on CD and should be in everyone's collection, so there should be no need for ABCs or any other transcriptions . .

(I'm talking the Carthy/Swarbrick one here, and it really IS that good; it would certainly be in our top 10 all time best albums. And we had to replace it after our son took the original CD copy off to University with him . . )

G


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Anglo
Date: 05 Dec 00 - 11:40 AM

Yes George, and all my recordings should be in everyone's collection too :-)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 06:24 PM

Abby sent me My Dearie Sits Up Ower Late (lyrics and dots), and Dorrington Lads (dots) Both tunes are very similar, and close to what I wrote above. Sort of, almost. Anyway, I can do a midi.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 07 Dec 00 - 07:44 PM

The one with that song on it that I made for Elektra in my wayward youth should NOT be in ANYONE'S collection. Believe me!

Sandy (much older, but only a little wiser)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,ritchie
Date: 08 Dec 00 - 07:46 AM

Nice one conrad, very clivoor, There's a great video on Amber Films by Sylvia K called Byker, which is about the demolition of the area before they built the 'Wall' some of the characters are 'spiffing'.Also Listen to Bob Fox and Stu Luckley for some great 'Geordie songs'with brilliant arrangements.On Bob Fox's new cd he does a good version of 'big river' with nice little tunes at the end.And finally ,one of Walkers favourite sons, Eric Burdon of the Animals used to sing, 'I'm gonna send you back to Walker, that's where you belong.....' Ha, so now this is a blues thread as well.

aal the best Ritchie.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 08 Dec 00 - 07:54 AM

Yes, Sandy - despite Anglo's comments there are many recordings like that in OUR collection, too . . Though I suspect yours is several cuts above most of them . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Sapper_RE
Date: 08 Dec 00 - 08:40 AM

To Mandola Man Newcastle was never the county town of Newcastle. That has always been Alnwick, seat of the Earls (now Dukes) of Northumberland. Newcastle was, before the Local Government reoganisation in '74, a County Borough, a self contained county.

When I sing Byker Hill by the way, I do it more as a chant, the way I first heard it way back in the early '70s.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 08 Dec 00 - 11:38 AM

George Henderson,

Thanks for the corroboration. Ah the heady days of the 37 trolley! There is in fact part of a gravity feed railway still in existence under the city. I say part because it was unfortunately transected by the new metro lines in two places.(Haymarket and Greys Monument) This ran from Spital Tongues down to the staithes below the Milk Market and was underground the whole way. During WWII it was used as a bomb shelter and a number of blast walls were built across the tunnel. There was an access point in the grounds of the Hancock Museum from which one could walk the upper reaches although it was bricked off at the colliery end. Further details can be got from the Newcastle Societiy of Antiqities

Minstrel


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Subject: LYR ADD: Byker Hill (Martin Carthy Version)
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:10 AM

BYKER HILL
Arrangement by Martin Carthy

If I had another penny
I would have another gill
And I would make the piper play
The bonny lass of Byker Hill

Chorus
Byker Hill and Walker Shore, me lads
Collier lads for ever more, me boys

Byker Hill and Walker Shore, me lads
Collier lads for ever more

Me Ginny she sits ower late up
Me Ginny she sits ower late up
Me Ginny she sits ower late up
Between the pint pot and the cup

It's down the pits we'll go me marrers
It's down the pits we'll go me marrers
Well try our wills and use our skill
To cut them ridges down below

Chorus

Me Ginny she is never near
Me Ginny she is never near
And when I call out, Where's me supper?
She orders up another pint of beer

When first I come into the dirt
I had no trousers nor pitshirt
And now I've getting two or three
Walker Pit done well by me

Chorus

Hey Ginny come home to your little baby
Hey Ginny come home to your little baby
Hey Ginny come home to your little baby
With a pint of beer all under your arm

The poor coal cutter gets two shillings
The deputy get half a crown
And the overman gets five and sixpence
That's just for riding up and down

Chorus

Geordie Johnson had a pig
And he hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
All the way to Byker Hill
He danced the Elsie Marley

Lyrics from Garry Gillard's Waterson's page. (Click on "Martin")


Corrections by Malcolm Douglas (see message below) incorporated. --JoeClone


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Subject: TUNE: Dorrington Lads
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:35 AM

Abby Sale sent me scanned pages from Northumbrian Minstrelsy way back in December, and I did the MIDIs from them.
My Dearie Sits Up Ower Late has a tune that's similar to Dorrington Lads, a small pipe tune. The tune Martin Carthy used sounds to me like the tune (just the A part) of Dorrington Lads. I think he combined Byker Hill and My Dearie Sits Up Ower Late and set them to Dorrington Lads. For your consideration, I'm posting the A part of Dorrington Lads (which I think is THE tune, and the full version below it. I'll post the tune to My Dearie in a separate message. Warning: The ABC's look FUBAR.

Please feel free to comment. Did I get this right?


MIDI file: DORRIN~A.MID

Timebase: 120

Name: Dorrington Lads (A Part)
Text: Traditional
TimeSig: 9/8 12 8
Key: G
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0480 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0004 0 69 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Dorrington Lads
M:9/8
Q:1/4=100
K:G
e539/60d/60|-d31/30G14/15B21/20d14/15G7/12A7/15B7/15G7/12g14/15d21/20B14/15d/30|
-d61/60G14/15B21/20d21/20B7/15c7/15d7/15B7/12c14/15A21/20e14/15d/20|
-dG21/20B14/15d21/20B7/15c7/15d7/12B7/15g14/15d21/20B|
-B/20c119/60A14/15A21/20A7/15B7/15c7/12d7/15c21/20A14/15e61/60|
-e/30d14/15G21/20B14/15d21/20G7/15A7/12B7/15G7/15g21/20d14/15B31/30|
-B/60d14/15G21/20B21/20d14/15B7/15c7/12d7/15B7/15c21/20A14/15e21/20|
d21/20G14/15B21/20d14/15B7/12c7/15d7/15B7/15g21/20d21/20B14/15c/60|
-c59/30A21/20A14/15A7/12B7/15c7/15d7/12c14/15A21/20||


And the full version:

MIDI file: DORRING.MID

Timebase: 120

Name: Dorrington Lads
Text: Traditional
TimeSig: 9/8 12 8
Key: G
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
0480 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 67 100 0030 0 67 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 67 100 0060 0 67 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0004 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0120 0 74 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 72 100 0120 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0030 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0030 0 78 000 0000 1 79 100 0030 0 79 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 71 100 0060 0 71 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0060 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0060 0 78 000 0000 1 74 100 0060 0 74 000 0000 1 79 100 0060 0 79 000 0000 1 78 100 0030 0 78 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 78 100 0030 0 78 000 0000 1 79 100 0030 0 79 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0030 0 69 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 71 100 0030 0 71 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000 0000 1 72 100 0030 0 72 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 76 100 0030 0 76 000 0000 1 74 100 0030 0 74 000 0000 1 72 100 0060 0 72 000 0000 1 69 100 0060 0 69 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Dorrington Lads
M:9/8
Q:1/4=100
K:G
e539/60d/60|-d31/30G14/15B21/20d14/15G7/12A7/15B7/15G7/12g14/15d21/20B14/15d/30|
-d61/60G14/15B21/20d21/20B7/15c7/15d7/15B7/12c14/15A21/20e14/15d/20|
-dG21/20B14/15d21/20B7/15c7/15d7/12B7/15g14/15d21/20B|
-B/20c119/60A14/15A21/20A7/15B7/15c7/12d7/15c21/20A14/15e61/60|
-e/30d14/15G21/20B14/15d21/20G7/15A7/12B7/15G7/15g21/20d14/15B31/30|
-B/60d14/15G21/20B21/20d14/15B7/15c7/12d7/15B7/15c21/20A14/15e21/20|
d21/20G14/15B21/20d14/15B7/12c7/15d7/15B7/15g21/20d21/20B14/15c/60|
-c59/30A21/20A14/15A7/12B7/15c7/15d7/12c14/15A21/20e14/15d/30|
-d39/20g21/20f21/20e14/15g21/20f14/15d21/20g14/15f/20|
-fe21/20g14/15f21/20d14/15f21/20e14/15c7/12d7/15e7/15c8/15|
-c/20d119/60g14/15f21/20e14/15g21/20f21/20d14/15f61/60|
-f/30c119/60A14/15A21/20c7/15d7/12e7/15c7/15c21/20A14/15e31/30|
-e/60d14/15B21/20g21/20f14/15d21/20g14/15f7/12e7/15d7/15f7/15g7/12e7/15|
d21/20B14/15g21/20f14/15d21/20f14/15e21/20c7/15d7/12e7/15c7/15d/60|
-d31/30A14/15g21/20f14/15d21/20g21/20f7/15e7/15d7/15f7/12g7/15e7/15c/30|
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Subject: TUNE: My Dearie Sits Up Ower Late
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:42 AM

MIDI file: MDEARIE.MID

Timebase: 120

Name: untitled
Text: Jeri Corlew
TimeSig: 9/8 12 8
Key: G
Tempo: 100 (600000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
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End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the latest version of MIDItext and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: bobby's girl
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 06:45 PM

The best version I ever heard of Byker Hill was performed by Seven Champions Molly Dancers. their music was provided by a single girl singer with a beautiful voice singing the song unaccompanied while they danced their brilliant steps to it. For those who have never seen Molly dancing and Champs in particular, the dances all have a very regular single step style, danced in hobnail boots, which picked up the rhythm of the tune perfectly. Champs are (or were, as I haven't seen them for several years)the best exponents of the Molly style, and the song fitted their style perfectly


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Graham Pirt
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 09:02 PM

Fascinating discussion that I've just caught up with. All the correct facts are spread throughout the threads! So take your pick. However, in defence of Elsie (Alice) Marley, she didn't frequent the newcastle Quays but was wife of the landlord of The Barley Mow Inn at Pictree near Chester-le-Street in County Durham, hence the reference to the Lambton lads. (Lord Lambton). She had a sad end "...being in a fever, got out of her house, went into a field where ther was an old pit full of water which she fell into and drowned." - August 5 1768 (Sykes Local Records)

Also, strangely Wallsend is not where Hadrian's Wall ended but where it started! Wallstart just doesn't sound right!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WALKER HILL AND BYKER SHORE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 10:00 PM

It may well have been Bert Lloyd who originally combined Byker Hill and My Dearie Sits Ower Late Up; in his notes to Come All You Bold Miners (revised edition, 1978), he comments:

"Other melodies [than Off She Goes] have been attached to these words of recent years, including the tune of the American camp-meeting hymn Where are the Hebrew Children (see The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, New Haven, Conn., 1835, p.266) and a version of the north-eastern dance tune My Dearie (laddie, lassie) sits ower late up."

These vague statements, when he makes them, often turn out to refer to himself.  The American tune I'm not familiar with; could it be the one Sandy got from Redd Sullivan?  It might explain  this anecdote  earlier in the thread.

A recording of Lloyd singing Byker Hill (date unknown; from Peter Bellamy's collection) appears on Classic A.L. Lloyd (Fellside Records FECD98, 1994).  Martin Carthy stated in his notes to Byker Hill ( , borrowed from Garry Gillard's transcription):

"The words are an amalgam of a version I learned years ago while playing with the Thameside Four, and the version sung by A.L. Lloyd." Of the transcription Jeri quotes from Garry, Lloyd sang forms of verses 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, beginning with the chorus, as follows:

WALKER HILL AND BYKER SHORE

(As recorded by A.L. Lloyd; source unspecified.)

Chorus:

Oh Walker Hill and Byker Shore, me boys
Collier lads for ever more, me boys
Walker Hill and Byker Shore, me boys
Collier lads for ever more.


My lassie she sits ower late up,
My hinney she sits ower late up,
My Ginny she sits out ower late up,
Betwixt the pint pot and the cup.

And down the pits we'll go me laddies
And down the pits we'll go me marrers;
We'll try our will and use our skill
To cut them ridges down below.

Chorus

My lassie she is never near,
My hinney she is never near;
And when I call out, "Where's me supper?"
She orders up another pint of beer.

Hey Ginny come home to your little baby,
Hey hinney come home to your little baby,
Hey Ginny come home to your little baby,
With a pint of beer all under your arm.

Chorus

The poor coal cutter gets two shillings,
The deputy gets half a crown
And the overman gets five and sixpence,
Lads, just for riding up and down.

Chorus

It looks as if Bert was behind the mutation, then, as is so often the case when things get confusing.  Incidentally, I rather think that  Garry's transcription (as quoted by Jeri above)   needs to omit out in lines 1, 2 and 3 of verse 2;  carter in verse 7 should be cutter.

For the sake of completeness, here is the text of My Dearie Sits Ower Late Up, given in Northumbrian Minstrelsy (Bruce and Stokoe, 1882; reprinted Llanerch Press, 1998):

MY DEARIE SHE SITS OWER LATE UP; OR, MY BONNIE BAY MARE AND I

My dearie sits ower late up,
My hinney sits ower late up,
My laddy sits ower late up,
Betwixt the pint pot and the cup.

Hey! Johnnie, come hame to your bairn,
Hey! Johnnie, come hame to your bairn,
Hey! Johnnie, come hame to your bairn,
Wiv a rye loaf under your airm.

He addles three ha'pence a week,
That's nobbut a farthing a day,
He sits with his pipe in his cheek,
And he fuddles his money away.

My laddy is never the near,
My hinney is never the near,
And when I cry out "lad cum hame,"
He calls oot again for mair beer.

The editors commented:

"This nursery song is thoroughly local, and dates from about the beginning of the last century.  There is such an insignificant difference between the above tune and Dorrington Lads, that they are usually taken to be the same air.  As it is, however, better to err in repitition than in omission, we have included both, premising that we have been unable to settle the question of priority of date."

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jul 01 - 11:22 PM

Thanks Malcolm. Do you know what a "marrer" is? (Third verse.)

I hope someone who knows Lloyd or Carthy's version comments on the tunes. The two sound quite different to me, and I believe Dorrington lads is the one Carthy sings.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: IanC
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 05:02 AM

Bobby's girl

I agree. I've heard her once or twice at Straw Bear, and she's brilliant.

Cheers!
Ian

PS Has anyone mentioned the "Young Generation" version?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 05:12 AM

Malcom . . Doesn't Carthy acknowledge Bert Lloyd as his source on the sleeve notes to "Byker Hill"?? This is from memory (unreliable at the best of times) but I believe Lloyd certainly gets a mention somewhere on that album.

George


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 06:26 AM

He does indeed, as I pointed out.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 06:51 AM

Sorry, Malcolm, I mis-read you las time round!

G.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 11:14 AM

A marrer or marra is a companion or close friend. In mining days it was usually your nearest workmate as recalled in the opening line of "Colliers Rant"

"As me and me Marra was gannin te wark..."


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: English Jon
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 01:00 PM

Specifically, a marrer was the chap you worked with on a coal trolley. If you were going uphill, and your marrer (at the top end of the trolley) let go, then you were in deep shit, or more accurately, deep coal. Such accidents were not uncommon, and often fatal, so a marrer became a term for one who can be trusted implicitly.

anyone else come across:

Geordie Johnson had a pig and it was double jointed (way haual away, well haul away joe) He took it to the blacksmith's shop To get it's trotters pointed: (way haul away, well haul away joe)

I'm pretty certain A.L.Lloyd was carthy's source for Ma Ginny/Byker Hill.

Anyone who hasn't got that carthy album really should get it, also life and limb which has the most fabulously overblown guitar intro to the song, Starting on the VI of II!!! very clever, especially at the recapitulation.

EJ


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: JeZeBeL
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 03:27 PM

Wow, this takes me back to where I spent the last year and a half.

I know all the facts are spread true through here but, yes it's a mining song, but one thing that always puzzles me is that Walker doesn't have a shore which is quite strange, unless it is refering to the shores of the tyne...hmmm, interesting thought. Byker Hill is what is now known as Byker Bank I think and it lays at the side of Byker Wall, a big ugly strange wall of houses that was way ahead of it's time when it was built in the sixties.

Funnily enough there is a great pub called THE CUMBERLAND ARMS on Byker Hill which has a fantastic traditional music night on a Wednesday and any other night of the week people care to go with instruments. The landlord and Landlady are great and if you were to go in they could tell you the whole story of the song. They'll even show you the words they have framed on the side of the bar. I used to have to borrow them when we sang it in the session till I learnt all the words!!

Good luck.

Emma xxx


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 05:53 PM

IanC - "Young Generation?" I've heard the Young Tradition version, and the NexTradition one with Heather Wood singing harmony. They sound similar except for the different voices, and I like both a lot.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Joe_F
Date: 02 Jul 01 - 06:15 PM

I have even heard tell of a simple lad who thought that Tawney was _alluding_ to this song -- you know, "dance on down that Walker Shore".

The pig suffered quite a sea change on its trip across the Atlantic:

---- had a little dog,
The which was double-jointed.
He took it to the barbershop
To have its pecker pointed.

-- sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle by children in California, ca. 1945.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: IanC
Date: 03 Jul 01 - 04:41 AM

Jeri

Oops - finger dyslexia! Young Tradition it is.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Q
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 02:54 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 03:42 PM

I've done preliminary harvesting of the versions posted by Jeri and Malcolm. Is the version in the Digital Tradition an accurate transcription of the Sandy Paton recording, even though Sandy may now disavow is as a youthful indiscretion? Should the DT version be dumped as totally incorrect and worthless?
What should be submitted to the DT as "definitive"?
-Joe Offer-
Here is the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index, which isn't very helpful:

Byker Hill

DESCRIPTION: Dance tune with sketchy narrative; singer's wife sits up late drinking. Singer asks her to return home (bringing the beer). He also tells of working in Walker Pit and the poor wages for coal-cutters, singing ironically "Walker Pit's done well by me."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1812 (John Bell, "Rhymes of Northern Bards")
LONG DESCRIPTION: Usually a dance tune (in 2-2-2-3 time!), but with sketchy narrative; singer's wife sits up late drinking, neglecting home and family. Singer pleads with her to return home (but to bring the beer with her). He also tells of working in Walker Pit and the poor wages for coal-cutters, singing ironically "Walker Pit's done well by me," and a verse of "Geordie Charlton he had a pig/He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig"
KEYWORDS: mining work drink wife worker
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
DT, BYKERHIL*
Roud #3488
RECORDINGS:
A. L. Lloyd, "Walker Shore and Byker Hill" (on Lloyd1); "Walker Hill and Byker Shore" (on Lloyd3)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "My Dearie Sits Ower Late Up" (tune)
cf. "Elslie Marley" (tune)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Byker Hill and Walker Shore
File: DTbykerh

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 04:29 PM

The DT set (Sandy Paton, from Redd Sullivan) is the same as that later recorded by the Young Tradition, and is at least as "valid" as the Carthy and Lloyd recorded sets, which are modern collations set to tunes that don't traditionally belong to the song anyway. The Come All Ye Bold Miners text (posted by Anglo earlier) is quoted -so far as I can tell- from Bell's Rhymes of the Northern Bards, and was sung to the popular tune Off She Goes. Conrad wasn't entirely clear about where the text he posted came from. Bruce mentioned the Jack Elliott set in Michael Dawney's Doon the Wagon Way; I've picked up a copy in the meantime, and will look at it further: the tune looks to be yet another one.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Q
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 04:39 PM

In the past, it seems that versions of songs were added to the DT without checking for accuracy, representative lyrics or attribution. This is one of those hindsight complaints. Through the threads, more accurate and complete information has been obtained but has not appeared in the DT. I have thrown out complaints such as Malcolm has done above, which is easy to do, but when it comes to solutions---

The reason why the DT material has not been improved is obvious- it takes time and knowledgeable people to make a decision and make revisions. Who is willing to take the time??
The study threads, compiling the best on particular songs, I felt was a good move. From these, more representative versions could be selected for the DT. But this is going to take more than Joe and one or two helpers to accomplish. There is just too much to check.

In the meantime, unless a whole batch of good samaritans comes forward, perhaps, as has been done- close off threads that aren't needed and combine anything new into the main thread- but even that takes time that few have.

If we recognize that a new thread is duplicative, we should try, (like Malcoln has done above), to point out the pertinent thread and refresh it, leaving a note in the new thread asking people to please use the earlier thread. The redundant thread could then be cut off.

Usually, I have tried to indicate earlier material when answering a question, but it is less time-consuming to answer a question without taking the time to go back over the old threads- as I did here.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 03 - 09:03 PM

If the Digital Tradition of a song is lacking, let's take care of it. Jeff has worked up a new system that makes it easy for the clones and me to mark songs for harvesting. If there are versions of a song posted that are particularly significant, let me know. Maybe we can put them in bold type, or something. Sooner or later, we hope to make the harvested lyrics available for publidc review and comment, before they are entered into the Digital Tradition. That way, maybe the lyrics in the DT will be more accurate and have better documentation.
If you look at song threads in the Forum, I think you can see that we've come a long way since 1996. Wonderful people like Malcom and Masato and Q and Bruce Olson and Stewie and many others have given us some great information.
Now, if somebody has a Sandy Paton Elektra LP they can burn onto a CD for me, I'd be eternally grateful. I am, like, a HUGE Sandy Paton fan.
[grin]
-Joe Offer-

Are we agreed that Jeri's Carthy version is good, and that Malcolm's Lloyd version is a good transcription?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Q
Date: 21 Nov 03 - 12:04 AM

The version by Jeri is the one on the Byker Hill album. A slightly different one was offered by Carthy and Swarbrick in the Life and Limb album- but the only real difference is a new verse in the latter:

The pitman and the keelman trim
To the dance they do begin
They drink bumble made from gin
They dance the Elsie Marley

Other changes:
Byker Hill                                 
Geordie Johnson had a pig
And he hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig   
All the way to Byker Hill            
He danced the Elsie Marley

Life and Limb
-----
All the way to Walker Shore
To the tune of Elsie Marley

*The poor coal carter gets two shillings ---gets a shilling

*Both a carter and a cutter required in coal operation- which is it? The way Carthy sings, it is hard to tell. Cutter at a guess but someone with an ear for Carthy needs to decide.

Jeri (Carthy) and Malcolm (Lloyd) have done the work and their posted versions are both needed. Use the Byker Hill version given by Jeri but with note giving the different verse in the Carthy-Swarbrick version? To the Lloyd version, add a link to "My Dearie Sits ...".


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Michael K
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 08:16 AM

This thread has been going on for SIX years!!!!! Now I believe I have made it TEN!!! How mad.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 08:47 AM

In the notes from the Traditional Ballad Index, and I believe somewhere else above, the line "Walker Pit's done well by me" is characterised as "ironic". I always took this line as straight. How do other people interpret this line? (NB: Lectures on conditions in the coal mines not necessary).


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: johnadams
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 09:51 AM

The phrase 'done well by me' can mean 'has given me advantage' or something like that.

Thus, the miner who came to the pit with no boots and no pit shirt ended up with two or three - hence Walker Pit's done well by (for) me.

J


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 10:46 AM

Yes - but my question is, Is he being ironic (sarcastic), as the Trad. Ballad Index notes state?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: IanC
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:31 AM

No.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:50 AM

A very forthright response!

Others?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:31 AM

The Young Tradition tune is the American Shapenote hymn Hebrew Children

Nick


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 08:59 AM

Now is it
Walker Shore as in strand
Walk Ashore as in gangway
or Walkashaw - at least one colliery near Tamworth bore that name (now closed)

I always took it to be a colliery.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Rosebrook
Date: 30 Oct 07 - 11:27 PM

10 years later ~~ thanks for the answer! :o)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 05:39 AM

In my experience Byker Hill tends to get sung to one of two tunes. I'm not altogether sure of the provenance of either, just that this is the way people sing it on Tyneside. I sing it to both, depending on which of my two zithers I'm using:

Byker Hill - Citera Alpha

Byker Hill - Citera Beta

The first tune is said to be the oldest of the two, close to that sung by the Young Tradition, though I've never heard of the shape note connection mentioned above. The second tune is softer, and may have something to do with George Welsh..


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Santa
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 06:36 AM

I don't see any reason for regarding it as ironic. Two or three shirts doesn't sound particularly "doing well" to us, but it is clearly an improvement to the collier in the song. Not every folksong is a tirade against social injustice, so surely this is a modern misunderstanding. It may be meant ironically by modern singers, but is that a legitimate part of the folk process?

It is certainly Walker Shore as far as I am concerned, being a native north-easterner and having known it before hearing the Carthy/Swarbrick version. Without having a full list at my fingertips, I believe we can rule out any other pit in the area, and the "walk ashore" is surely a joke?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Mr Red
Date: 31 Oct 07 - 08:43 AM

No joke just a question, we don't want any Mondegreens here do we?

If you want jokes - er make that whimsies - is it Byker Hill, or Bike Uphill?

Or Elsie Marlie or Elsie Mollie? I have heard a tune of that name.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Ro
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:35 AM

As a bit of a darker ending it was once suggested to me that the last chorus should be replaced with
There's no Byker Hill, no Walker Shore
The Collier lads they are no more
no Byker Hill, no Walker shore
The collier lads they are no more


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 08 - 05:12 PM

First to those who lived there, thank you much for the information. i love to learn the history behind these songs. Thank god this thread has lasted as long as it has

Second, the other song, am i understanding that it is traditionally sang in the middle of Byker Hill? And tunes that are mention i think i am understanding is what the other song words are sung to?

the version i have is by the Cottars, it follows the original tune which i like better

dlynn


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,cStu
Date: 30 May 08 - 06:32 PM

look what google turned up

Byker Hill - Carthy/Swarbick

beats MIDI hands down ;~)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 May 08 - 07:37 PM

If I'm right in thinking that 'dlynn' meant to ask 'Is "My Dearie Sits Up Ower Late' traditionally sung in the middle of "Byker Hill"?', then the answer is no, it isn't; at least if by 'traditionally' you mean as sung by traditional singers. The combination of the two separate songs is, so far as we can tell (and as discussed earlier in this ten-year-old thread), a novelty of the Revival instigated by Bert Lloyd. If by 'traditionally' you mean 'habitually nowadays' then sometimes, yes; depending on which Revival performer one has learned the song from.

This answer may not make a great deal of sense to people who think that all those who sing traditional songs are traditional singers, or who don't understand why I make a distinction between tradition and revival in discussions of this kind; but I can't help that.

The 'Cottars' sing an arrangement of the Young Tradition set; that isn't the original tune to which the song was sung. Again, that is discussed earlier on here.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: nother parody
From: GUEST,RSF
Date: 10 Aug 08 - 05:42 PM

Just back from Sidmouth where George Frampton sang a great parody of 'Byker Hill' in The Volunteer one lunchtime. It was about football, and the chorus went something like:
'From Main Road to White Hart Lane
From QPR down to Millwall
I've been to every football ground
And been thrown out of nearly all'
Didn't get chance to ask George (he was working hard to manage the session) but does anyone have the words?

RSF


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Good Soldier Schweik
Date: 10 Aug 08 - 07:00 PM

I reckon the other tune and other set of words are better.
Carthys version sounds to me like a vocal exercise,probably very good for getting the voice warmed up,but to me does not sound like a traditional song,it sounds like an art song.whereas the other version has balls.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 10 Aug 08 - 07:27 PM

There is argument about wether the 9/8 was the original tune !
And I am glad Biker Bill got a mention earlier


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Aug 08 - 02:49 AM

Surely it's the pit name, Walker Shaw !!

eric


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 09 - 11:42 AM

Our Geordie had a pig
He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
now he has been put away
by the man from the RSPCA


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,cujimmy
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 04:04 PM

There was a pit at Walker look

http://www.dmm.org.uk/colliery/w046.htm


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 05:11 PM

The Elsie Marley verse actually comes from the song 'Alice Marley' of the late 18thc. In this song it is 'bumbo made from gin'. I'd say this is likely some form of Flip or grog or punch. The following version I got recently in the BL, ref 11621 a 6, 9, song 3. the garland is titled 'The Bold Sea Captain's Garland' No imprint but I'd guess it was one of Marshall's printing either in Gateshead or Newcastle as some of the other garlands in bound with it are Marshall's.

Graham's earlier posting gives the history of Alice.
A New Song made on Alice Marley
1
Alice Marley is grown so fine
She won't get up to serve the swine
but lies in bed till eight or nine
And surely she does take her time.
And do you ken Alice Marley, honey?
The wife who sells the barley, honey,
Won't get up to serve her swine,
And do you ken etc.
2
Alice marley is no neat,
'Tis hard for one to walk the street,
But every lad and lass they meet,
Cries do you etc
3
Alice kkeps wine, gin and ale,
in her house below the dale,
Where every tradesman up and down,
Does call and spend his half a crown.
4
The farmers as they come that way,
they drink with Alice every day,
And callas the fiddler for to play,
The tune of A M, honey.
5
The pitmen and the keelmen trim,
they drink bumbo made of gin,
And for to dance they do begin
The tune of A M,h.
6
The sailors they will call for flip,
as soon as they come from their ship,
And then begin to dance and skip,
To the tune of A M h
7
Those gentlemen that go so fine,
They'll treat her with a bottle of wine,
And freely they'll sit down and dine,
Along with A M h
8
So to conclude these lines I've penn'd,
Hoping there's none, I do offend,
And this my merry joke doth end,
Concerning A M h.

Only thing that doesn't quite fit, is if Alice kept an inn near Chester-le-Street why would sailors go the 5 miles from the Quay when there were plenty of inns on the Quayside? Must have been a good pub!


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:04 AM

The MArtin Carthy/DAve Swarbrick version is much to fast for my recollection.

Dating from 1970, performed by Northern Front at the Londonderry in Sunderland, it was sung almost as a dirge, "By-ker hill and Wa-lker shore", beat, "Collier lads for ever more". Check with Ed Pickford, songwriter and ex-Northern Front for serious miner musical interpretation.

Sunderland born, Byker bred.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Matt Seattle
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 05:50 AM

Just a clarification about the following quoted above:

"This nursery song [My Dearie Sits] is thoroughly local, and dates from about the beginning of the last century. There is such an insignificant difference between the above tune and Dorrington Lads, that they are usually taken to be the same air. As it is, however, better to err in repitition than in omission, we have included both, premising that we have been unable to settle the question of priority of date."

They are NEVER taken to be the same air (in my experience). They are different in character, harmonic structure and melody. They are however both in 9/8 (or 9/4, old style). The earliest appearance of both is in the William Dixon pipe tune manuscript dated 1733-1738 (edited/published as The Master Piper by me in 1995 and 2002). The Dixon book was unknown to the editors of Northumbrian Minstrelsy. My Dearie is called Adam A Bell by Dixon but it's the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 05:57 AM

re the Carthy/Swarbrick 'fast' version ~ they sang Byker Hill to tune of The Drunken Piper rather than to the other tune with which it is more usually associated: no reason why not; just made it a different sort of song, tho.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 06:06 AM

I believe it was Bert Lloyd who set the words to "The Drunken Collier". He sings it on XTRA 5023, "The Best of A.L. Lloyd"


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Matt Seattle
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 06:33 AM

I don't know about Lloyd, but what Swarb plays with M Carthy here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3dJHy7mDck
is the first strain of Dorrington Lads, more or less the Northumbrian Minstrelsy version. The vocal tune is simplified.
The only 'Drunken Piper' tune I know is a totally different 2/4 Scottish march - there may be other 'Drunken Pipers' but they're not Dorrington Lads.

As a very strange coincidence Martin Carthy later recorded the two tunes from the Dixon book I mentioned above on:
Broken Ground
Waterson:Carthy
Topic TSCD509
[Adam A Bell; Dorrington Lads]

No idea whether he made the connection to Byker Hill, I think that medley was Eliza's idea.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM

It's definitely not "The Drunken Piper". I've definitely heard it as drunken something, but I haven't managed to find a recording with tune titles, though I'm sure it was collier. I've got vague memories of Martin saying he'd got that version of Lloyd originally.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 10:27 AM

Martin Carthy said in the Byker Hill sleeve notes:

The tune of Byker Hill sung here is not the one sung traditionally. It is a Northumbrian dance tune in 9/8, unusual in that instead of being divided into three threes as are most other 9/8 tunes, it is divided in three twos and one three and appropriately called The Drunken Piper. The words are an amalgam of a version I learned years ago while playing with the Thameside Four, and the version sung by A.L. Lloyd.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:29 PM

Don't forget that there are variant versions of titles as well as of texts and tunes: my info that it is called The Drunken Piper, as GUEST·Ed confirms above, is Martin's own sleevenote itself. So when Dave MacKenzie authoritatively declares "It is definitely not The Drunken Piper" all he means is that it is not the tune that he happens to know by that title. Frankly, Dave, you should know better than to try to put me down like that.

FWIW, I know the tune under both titles, as it appears in an instrumental medley on The Iron Muse under title The Drucken [sic] Collier.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Matt Seattle
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:33 PM

The 2-2-2-3 idea is an innovation. That's fine, no problem, I do it myself elsewhere, but it is another thing to suggest that it is a traditional feature of the tune.

I know that Lloyd misunderstood at least one other pipe tune (Bonny Pit Lad). None of us knows everything. Pipe tunes weren't his forte.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:36 PM

Beat me to it MGM I was going to cite that one and another tune entirely used by The High Level Ranters on their "Northumberland For Ever" album c1969


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:37 PM

My apologies Mike. Nothing personal.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:44 PM

I was responding to Matt and confirming that it was not the tune he mentions. I translated "drucken" into English, and I do have that recording, but when Topic put it on their sampler, they conveniently omit the names of the tunes.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:45 PM

OK Dave ~ no real offence taken.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Matt Seattle
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 12:48 PM

'Drucken' is common for "Drunken'. There's no record of Dorrington Lads ever being called Drunken or Drucken anything within Northumbrian circles. It's only ever called by other slightly different titles, all with Dorrington in them. Really. It's not a commonly played tune (this from 14 years living and playing in Northumberland). I have within easy reach every known version either written in manuscript or published since 1733. Most recorded (audio) versions derive from the Minstrelsy, the version there is a partial misreadng of the one in Robert Bewick's collection, of which I am currently preparing the new edition for the Northumbrian Pipers' Society.

The name of the place, near Wooler, is now written and (mostly) pronounced Doddington. It was formerly pronounced with the heavy Northumbrian burr or uvular 'r' where the 'dd' is. There's a reputable brand of ice cream made there now.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 03:14 PM

The last one from the Village- recording heard on sunday folk I did not like at all just not in the spirit. Sort of high on drugs or maybe a bit gay.
Conrad


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,2581
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 02:43 AM

Personally, the versions I like best are by (1) The Hush (Bob Fox); (2) The Cottars; and (3) Na'bodach.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,measures
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 03:06 PM

gill (gil, likely) is a measure (of liquid)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,cujimmy
Date: 12 Jun 10 - 05:27 PM

I heard the Wilsons sing this last night at the grove folk club in Leeds - best ive ever heard anyone sing this song.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 13 Jun 10 - 05:28 PM

Always loved this song, particularly the Carthy/Swarbrick version. Pretty Grim Morris in Ipswich used to do a dance to it, whic worked really well.

Put off performing it myself by the first line though, the first Mrs B was a Gill, as is the present, not sure I could cope with another;)


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Bill Brown
Date: 22 Oct 10 - 11:46 AM

I'm surprised that nobody has (that I can see) brought this up before, but what is "The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill?" It looks like it is the name of a tune.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 11:38 AM

A 'gill', btw, is a variable measure of liquid. It means quarter-pint in southern England, but a drinker wanting a half-pint in a northern pub would call for a gill ~ which is clearly what is meant in the 2nd line of Byker Hill ~ also seems to be the meaning in the cumulative Barley Mow song [Good Luck to the Barley Mow in the DT], which refers to 'the gill pot', & you would never get a quarter-pint pot in The Barley Mow [or any other pub], but you would certainly get a half-pint one.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: johnadams
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 12:20 PM

Way back when..... (Date: 08 Apr 08 - 11:35 AM )
GUEST,Ro suggested...


As a bit of a darker ending it was once suggested to me that the last chorus should be replaced with:

There's no Byker Hill, no Walker Shore
The Collier lads they are no more
no Byker Hill, no Walker shore
The collier lads they are no more


Pete Coe added the following verse several years ago:

'There's no Byker Hill, no Walker Shore
The Collier lads they are no more
It's been like that since '84
So Farewell Elsie Marley'

We've just recorded it as the opening track on in his new album 'Backbone'.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,guest
Date: 24 May 13 - 06:52 PM

Just learning this song anew. 'The pitman and the keelman trim' has started a debate. Does 'trim' refer to coal trimming or to conditioning through hard work?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 25 May 13 - 06:28 AM

Yes, but has anyone got the chords please.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: ripov
Date: 25 May 13 - 08:32 PM

Keelmen owned the boats that transferred coal from the shore to the merchant ships at anchor in the river. I would guess that "trim" refers to their clean and well dressed appearance compared to the dirty pitman with torn clothes.
As carters would have taken coal from the pit to the shore, carter, rather than cutter, may be the right option for a query earlier in the thread.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,concerened
Date: 25 May 13 - 10:00 PM

Yes, all this is very interesting and you are all very interesting and very lovely clever people and yes, we have all done our research.... but please, please, please, please has any one of you very clever and very interesting people the chords to this great song please?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST,Ebor_Fiddler
Date: 26 May 13 - 05:37 PM

Well known local saying - "You can bike from Byker to Walker, but you've got to walk from Walker to Byker".


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Tootler
Date: 26 May 13 - 05:46 PM

Guest, concerned.

I've only ever heard it unaccompanied, so no chords. I'm sure someone will have some, but really it is best unaccompanied.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 26 May 13 - 06:41 PM

concerened -- not sure which version you want the chords for, the Carthy/Swarbrick to the Drunken Piper/Collier tune (which they did do accompanied), or the Bellamy/YT one [which they sang unaccompd]? But both are fairly simple tunes for which you should be able to find the chords for yourself just by strumming and changing the 3 basic chords, tonic, sub-dominant, dominant, till it sounds right. Not a difficult thing after a bit of practice with pretty well any tune which doesn't modulate minor/major.

Good luck.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 May 13 - 03:25 AM

Taking it you meant the YT version, which I too have always sung unaccompd, I got my guitar out to try an accompt. I found that one minor chord would do for each line, of verse & chorus, without change, as this is one of those tunes that end on the dominant. It came out as

1st line - Amin
2nd line - Dmin
3rd line - Amin
4th line - Emin

Try that.

Hope this helps.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 May 13 - 05:22 PM

Did that work for you, concerened?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: ripov
Date: 27 May 13 - 07:52 PM

If you're playing along with the Carthy CD I make it c# and g#7 and maybe another I cant quite fathom.
But guitarists can probably use those g-clamp things and just play chord I and V7.
The insertion of a bar of 3/4 in a jig (or conversely 6/4 in a 3/2 hornpipe) is common in both folk and classical music, and here the first two beats (ie 2 dotted minims or crotchets) become a triplet (ie 3 minims or 3 crotchets, depending whether you take it as 9/4 or 9/8), the 3rd beat remaining as 3 crotchets or quavers.
Even with some words the tune sounds perfectly sensible in straight 9/8;- Jen-ny come| Back toyourlittle| Ba-a-by
It sounds like a pipe tune, so in the original it would be very difficult to tell where the beats were anyway.


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: Greenm
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 11:16 AM

Unbelievable tha this thread has been going for so long, and so thought I would bring it into 2014......
Back in the mid sixties A dear friend of mine now sadly passed away used to sing this song and we were at a loss to determine what it was about (we established the Duke of York folk club in Eccles after moving from the Cross Keys); however in 1973 I moved to the North East and soon discovered the meaning as I worked out of an office near Byker.
Last night I was at the TyneFolk club in Blaydon to hear the Wilsons and was surprised to hear them sing Byker Hill (to the tune I know and with the words I know). I hadn't heard the song since the sixties and thus my reason for looking it up on MudCat. I can't really add much more to the discussion but couldn't let this opportunity go, to add my three penneth. Incidentally I saw input from Malcolm Douglas in the thread, and wondered if it was the same person I know (i.e. Ex ICL)?


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Subject: RE: Byker Hill: background info anyone?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 14 - 11:23 AM

Back 30+ years ago, there was a band that played the Cedar/Riverside area in Minneapolis that eventually evolved into Boiled in Lead ( BiL ) and recorded a version of this song.

So from what I hear you saying in this thread, it's not a punk tune?


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