The Tyne Songster (W & T Fordyce, 1840)

The Tyne Songster
Author W & T Fordyce
Country United Kingdom
Language English (Geordie dialect)
Genre Chapbook
Publisher W & T Fordyce
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages approx. 340 pages

The Tyne Songster is a chapbook style songbook, giving the lyrics of local, now historical songs, with a few bits of other information. It was published by W. & T. Fordyce of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1840.[1]


The Tyne Songster (full title – “The Tyne Songster – A Choice Selection of Songs in the Newcastle Dialect – "No pompous strains, nor labour'd lines are here, But genuine mirth and sportive wit appear; Northumbria's genius, in her simple rhymes; Shall live an emblem to succeeding times – Newcastle: – Printed and sold by W & T Fordyce – 1840) is a chapbook style book of Geordie folk songs consisting of approximately 225 song lyrics on over 300 pages, published in 1840.

The publication

It is, as the title suggests, a collection of songs[2] which would have been popular, or topical, at the date of publication. There is very little in the way of biographies of any of the writers or histories of the events.

The front cover of the book was as thus :-

Newcastle Dialect
"No pompous strains, nor labour'd lines are here,
But genuine mirth and sportive wit appear;
Northumbria's genius, in her simple rhymes;
Shall live an emblem to succeeding times


Are as below :-

page title songwriter tune comments Notes Ref

vContents (pages "v" to "x")
5Canny NewcasselT Thompson
7Quayside Shaver (The)Wm Stephenson
9Jenny Hoolet (The) (or Lizzie Mudie's GhostArmstrongusually called "The Jenny Howlet"
10Glister (The)Armstrong
11Eagle Steam Packet (The)Wm Midford
12Jemmy Joneson's WhurryT Thompson
14Skipper's Wedding (The)W Stephenson
16Amphitrite (The)R Gilchrist
17My Lord 'SizeJohn Shield
19Cappy (or The Pitman's Dog)Wm Midford
21Pitman's Courtship (The)Wm Midford
23Baboon (The)Armstrong
23Billy Oliver's Ramble (Between Benwell and Newcastle)
25Parody on Billy Oliver's Ramble (A)
26X. Y. Z. At Newcastle Races, 1814 (or Pitmen's Luck)Wm Midford
28Newcastle Fair (or The Pitman Drinking Jackey)
30Little Pee Dee (The)
31Tyne Cossacks (The)Wm Midford
33Pitman's Revenge (The) (Against Buonaparte)Shield – attributed erroneouslyActually written by George Cameron
35Bob Cranky's 'Size SundayJohn Selkirk
37Bob Cranky's 'Leum'nation NeetJohn Shield
39Pitman's Skellyscope (The)Wm Midford
40Bonny Keel Laddie (The)
41Maw Canny Hinny
42Bob Cranky's AccountW Midford
45Bob Cranky's AdieuJohn Shield
46Mayor of Bourdeaux (The) ( or Mally's Mistake)Wm Midford
48Swalwell HoppingSelkirk
50Winlaton HoppingJohn Leonardactually spelt in the index "John Lennard"
52Sandgate Girl's' Lamentation (The)
53Collier's Rant (The)
54(Weel May) The Keel Row
55New Keel Row (The)T Thompson
56Sandhill monkey (The)
58Skipper's Dream (The)T Moor
59Skipper's Account of the Orange-Men's Procession (The)
60Politicians (The)
62Till The Tide Came InH Robson
62Sandgate Lassie's Lament (The)R Emery
63Hydrophobie (or The Skipper and Quaker)R Emery
64Keelman and the Grindstone (The)Armstrong
65Newcastle Wonders (or Hackney Coach Customers)R Emery
66Quayside Ditty (for February 1816)
69Shields Soliloquy (A)
70Green Wive's Lamentation (The)
71Petition (A) (From the Women of the Vegetable Market to the Mayor of Newcastle)
71Fish-Wives' Complaint (The) (on Their Removal from Sandhill to the New Fish Market on 2 January 1826)R Emery
72Sunderland Jammy's Lamentation (December 1831)
73Cobbler O' Morpeth (The) (Cholera Morbus)John McLellanBow WowFr-Tune1
75Canny SheelsJohn Morrison
76Permanent YeastJohn Morrison
77Pitman's Ramble (The) (or Newcastle Finery)
79Coaly Tyne
81Newcassel RacesW Watson
82Quack Doctors (The)
84Peggy's LegH. R.
85Bonny Keel Laddie
85Tyne (The)John Gibson
86Nanny of the TyneGibson
87Bonny Gyetsiders (The)J ShieldBob Cranky
89Water of Tyne (The)
89Newcastle Signs (The)Cecil PittSung at the Theatre-Royal, Newcastle by Mr Scriven, 4 June 1806
91Wonderful Gutter (The)Wm Midford
92Local Militia-Man (The)Wm MidfordMadam Fag's Gala
94Masquerade at Newcastle Theatre (or The Pitman Turned Critic)Wm Midford
96Nancy WilkinsonH Robson
97Green's BalloonBarbara Bell
99Newgate Street Petition (The) (To Mr Mayor)
101Burdon's Address To His Cavalry (A Parody)Jas Morrison
102Collier's Keek at the Nation (The)R Gilchrist
104Blind Willie SingingR Gilchrist
105Bold Archy & Blind Willie's Lament (On The Death of Captain Starkey)R Gilchrist
107Voyage To Lunnin (A)R Gilchrist
110Newcassel Props (The)Oliver
111Newcassel Wonders
112Tim TunbellyOliverCanny Newcassel
114Keel Row (The)T Thompson
115Barber's News (The) (or Shields in an Uproar)J Shield
119Bonassus (The)OliverJemmy Joneson's Whurry
120Shield's Chain Bridge (Humorously Described by a Pitman)Olivernote archaic spelling of Humorously
122Colliers' Pay Week (The)Henry Robson
128Tyne (The)Henry RobsonWritten in 1807
129Spring (The)Henry RobsonWritten early in May 1809
129Parson MalthusH RobsonRanting Roaring WillieWritten in 1826 (not in index)
131Peter WaggyHenry RobsonWritten in 1826
132Bessy of Blyth (A Virtuous Woman is More Precious Than Rubies)H RobsonWritten in 1826
132Kelvin Grove – The Lassie's AnswerHenry RobsonWritten in 1827
133Peter Watson (To Mr) – (Who lays powerful bats on the knaves with fire-shovel hats on)Henry RobsonWritten in 1824
133a mention ofPeter WatsonOpposed the claims of the Government Clergy for the Easter Dues or "Clerical Tax"
135Newcastle Subscription Mill (The)H RobsonNewcastle Ale1814
136Lizzie LibertyHenry RobsonTibby Fowler i' the Glen
137New Fish Marret (The)William MidfordScot's Come O'er The BorderFish Market
138New Year's Carol (A) (For the Fishwives of Newcastle)M RossChevy Chase
139Jesmond MillPhill "Primrose" Hodgsonalso "Phill" and "Primrose"
140Tommy ThompsonRobert Gilchrista tribute to T.T.
140Farewell to the TyneRobert Gilchrist
141Northumberland Free O' NewcastleRobert GilchristOn the Duke of Northumberland being given the freedom of Newcastle
142Dutchess And Mayoress (The)Written in Sept 1819
144Newcastle Assizes (Dutchess verses Mayoress)(or A Struggle For Precedence)
146Coal Trade (The)
148Tom Carr And Waller Watson (or Tom And Jerry at Home)OliverThere Was A Bold Dragoon
150Johhny Sc-tt And Tommy C-rr – A Dialogue
151Tommy C-rr in LimboOliverScots Wha Ha'e
152Kitty Port Admiral at the Bench (The) (or Dogberry in the Suds)The Opera Hat
153Owl (The)R EmeryX. Y. Z.Written Feb 1826
155Lovely DeliaSleeping Maggie
156Pandon DeneThe Banks O' Doon
157Newcastle Hackneys (The)
158Newcastle Hackney CoachesOliverThe Bold Dragoon
159Newcastle ImprovementsR. CharltonCanny Newcassel
160Come Up to the Scratch (or The Pitman Haggish'd)R EmeryCalder Fair
162Piman's Dream (The) (or A Description of the North Pole)R EmeryNewcastle Fair
164Piman's Dream (The) (or His Description of the Kitchen)R EmeryHell's Kitchen
166Famed Filly Fair (or A Peep into Pilgrim Street)
168T—lly's Best Blood (A North Shields Song)Written in 1820
168Newcastle Noodles (The)James Morrison
170British Justice (or Newcastle Privy Court)
172Misfortunes of Roger & His Wife (The)J. B.Calder FairThis could be Joshua L. Bagnall
173Newcastle Theatre in an Uproar
175Farewell ArchyChapter of DonkeysWritten in 1820
176Sir Tommy Made An Odd FellowR Gilchrist
178Wreckenton Hiring
180On Russel The PedestrianRussell the pedestrian
180Short bioGeorge WilsonBlackheath Pedestrian
180Short bioJohn SimpsonCumberland Pedestrian
181On Simpson The Pedestrian's FailureBarbary Bell
182Victory (The) (or The Captain Done Over)O The Golden Days of Good Queen Bess
184Alarm (The) (or Lord Fauconburg's March)Chevy Chase
185a mention ofThe Shields riots of 1793
186Half-Drowned Skippy (The)Chapter of Donkeys
187Newcastle Worthies (The)Wm ArmstrongWe've Aye Been Provided For
189PART IIHumanum Est Errare
189Old Nick's Visit To H---'s KitchenThe King of The Cannibal Islands
191PART IIIOn George the Fourth's Coronation
191Invitation to the Mansion House DinnerArmstrongScot's Wha Ha'e Wi' Wallace Bled(In honour of the Coronation)
191Newcastle Swineherd's Proclamation (The)(not in index)
193Golden Horns (The) (or The General Invitation)
194Loyal Festivities (or Novel Scenes in Newcastle)Sung by the "Swinish Multitude" in full chorus on Thursday 19 July 1821
196Picture of Newcastle (or George the Fourth's Coronation)William MidfordArthur McBride
198Newcastle in an Uproar (or George the Fourth's Coronation)W MidfordCome Under My Plaidie
201Coronation Day at Newcastle
203Coronation Thursday – 19 July 1821W MidfordThe Third Epistle Fron Bob Fudge to his cousin Bob in the country
203a mention ofThe 1st and 2nd Epistles
209PART IVContinuation of general songs
209Bob Fudge's Postscript (to his account of the Great Town Moor Meeting Mon 11 Oct 1819)
210Blind Willy's FlightR EmeryBetsey Baker
211New Markets (The)OliverCanny Newcastle
212Changes on the Tyne (The)Mitford Galloway
216PART VOn The Attempt To Remove The Custom House From Newcastle To Shields in 1816
216Custom House Branch (The)
217Custom House Tree, &c (The)The Quayside Shaver
218Custom House Branch (The)Yo Heave O
221PART VIContinuation of general songs
221Mechanic's Procession (The) (or A Trip To South Shields)R EmeryThe Bold Dragoon
223Gipsy's Song (A)H Robson
224The piper, Sandy Brown (correct title unknown) – Extract fromunknownExtract from a poem appearing in a Kelso newspaper c1795
225Verses Written for the Burns ClubH RobsonHeld at Mr Wallace's "Nags Head", Newcastle Jan 1817
227Parody Written on Hearing A Report That The Newcastle And Northumberland Yeomanry Cavalry Were To Be Disbanded (A)William GreigThe Soldiers Tear
228Thomas Whittell, His Humorous Letter To Good Master Moody, Razor Setter
229Natural Philosopher (The) (or The Downfall of Learned Humbugs)Canny Newcassel
230Gateshead Rads (The)to an old tune
232Election Day (The)W WatsonThere's One Luck About The House
233Mary DrewThe late Thomas Houston
233Short bioThe late Thomas Houston
235Opening of the New Markets
236New Markets (The) (or Newcastle Improvements)Midford
238More InnovationsR Gilchrist
239Humble Petition of the Old House in Shieldfields (The) – To John Clayton EsqR Gilchrist
241Euphy's CoronationThomas MarshallArthur McBride
243Sandgate Wife's Nurse SongNunnA Sailor's Wife Has Nought To Dee
244Bold Jack of the JournalH. R.Newcastle Sept 1836
244Steam Soup (or Cuckoo Jack's Petition)R EmeryX. Y. Z.
246Sandgate Lass on the Ropery Bank (The)NunnThe Skipper's Wedding
247Old And Curious Song (An) (On The Late Mr R Clayton Being Made An Alderman)Mr James DavisonThe Vicar And Moses
249Short bioMr James Davison
249Newcastle Landlords 1834W Watson
252New Song For Barge-Day 1835 (A)Robert GilchristSung on board of the Steward's Steam-boat
254St. Nicholas' ChurchNunn
256Paganini The Fiddler (or The Pitman's Frolic)R EmeryThe Kebbuckstane Wedding
257Oyster-Wife's Petition (The) (or The Removal of the Oyster-Tub From The Quay)R EmeryThe Bold Dragoon
259Broom Busoms
259Extra verses to the last song Written by Blind WillieBlind Willie
260Thumping LuckW WatsonGang Nae Mair To Yon Town
261Dance To Thy DaddyW WatsonThe Little Fishy
263Friar and the Nun (The)A midnight colloquy of the Nun's Field
264St. Nicholas' Great Bell
265Lukey's DreamCaller Fair
267JockerNunnO? Gin I Had Her
269Corn Market (The) – A LamentThe Bold Dragoon
271Skipper's Account of the Mechanic's Procession (The)R Emery(R Emery of the Nelson Lodge, Newcastle)
272Drucken Bella Roy ODuncan McCallaghan
274Bonny Clock Fyece (The)The Coal-Hole
275Music Hall (The)
277Tyne (The)Joe WilsonBanks and Braes O' Bonny Doon
278Newcastle Old Country Gentleman (The)Old Country Gentleman
278Unnamed song about the TyneThe Keel Row(not in index)
279Walker PitsOff She Goes
280Beggar's WeddingQuayside Shaver
281Do Li ASung in Newcastle about 1792-3-4
281South Shields Song (A)
282North Shields Song (A)
282Commit No Nonsense
283New Nursery rhyme (A)
285Cookson's Alkali
286Pitman's Ramble (The)R EmeryThe Kebbuckstane Wedding
288Worthy Rector (The) (Sung at a Farewell Dinner Given By His Parishioners)
290Battle of Spitaloo
291Battle on the Shields Railway (Between A Town Councillor and an Architect and the Pollis)Cappy's The Dog
294Blind Willie's DeathJemmy Joneson's WhurryDied 26 July 1832
296Geordy's Disaster(not in index)
297Jossy's Nag's HeadA Rampant Lion Is My Sign
299April Gowk (The) (or The Lover's Alarmed)Jenny Choak'd The Bairnreferred to as "A Castle-Garth Ditty"
301Skipper's Mistake (The)ArmstrongA Chapter of Accidents
303Newcastle Beer versus Spaw Water (ot The Pitman And Temperance Society)R EmeryMr Frost
304Pitman's Pay (The) (or A Night's Discharge To Care)Thomas Wilson
316Newcastle Blunderbuss (The) (or Travelling Extraordinary)R EmeryCalder Fair
317Pitman's Visit To Newcastle on Valentine's Day (A)Newcastle Fair
319Skipper in the Mist (The)ArmstrongDerry Down
321Miraculous Well (The) (or Newcastle Spaw Water) R EmeryRory O' More
321a mention ofThe alleged spring in Sandyford Dene
322Skipper's Fright (The)"J. N." – but Index attributes it to "Bailey"Skipper Carr And Marky Dunn
324Sandgate Pant (or Jane Jemieson's Ghost)R EmeryI'd Be A Butterfly
325Birthday of Queen Victoria (The)R Gilchristintended to be sung on Ascension Day 24 May 1838
326Donocht HeadThe late George Pickering of Newcastle
327Herbage Committee (The)R GilchristThe 'Jewel' of a committee
328Bear Club (The)R Gilchrist
329Lass of Wincomblee (The)Nae Luck About The House
330Death of Bold Archy (On The)R Gilchrist
331Blind Willie's EpitaphR Gilchrist
332Acrostic _ on the Death of Blind WillieR Emery
332short bioBlind Willie

John Simpson the pedestrian

John Simpson (lived c.1822) the pedestrian was a Cumbrian competitive walker/athlete.

Simpson was a Cumbrian character who was referenced in the The Tyne Songster published in 1840, in the song "On Russell The Pedestrian". While not written in a Geordie dialect, it has a strong Northern connection. The notes to the song mention that Russell walked 101 miles in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 30 seconds on the 25 and 26 June 1822 on Newcastle Racecourse.[3]

On Whit Monday, and again on the 29 and 30 July 1822, Simpson[4] attempted to walk 96 miles, but failed in both attempts.

Russell the pedestrian

Russell the pedestrian, who (lived c1822) was a Newcastle character who was mentioned on page 180 by W & T Fordyce (publishers) in the The Tyne Songster published in 1840, in the song "On Russell The Pedestrian" written in his honour. It is not written in a Geordie dialect, but has a strong Northern connection.

The song is a tribute to Mr Russell who walked 101 miles in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 30 seconds on the 25 and 26 June 1822 on Newcastle Racecourse.


Fr-Tune1 – according to J. P. Robson's Songs of the Bards of the Tyne (Newcastle: France,[1849]) the tune is "Bow Wow".

See also

Geordie dialect words
W & T Fordyce (publishers)


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