Songs & Lyrics (5)

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Jim Gradely waur a daicent chap
    As ever stepped i' shoon,
An' mony a sooary thowt aw've hed
    Sin he flit up Aboon.
It's bod abeawt a three week sin'
    Th' owd lad cocked up his tooas;
He left mo two-o'-thre' books he hed,
    An' one good suit o' clooas;
An' as he gripped mi rough reet hond
    At th' finish of his reel,
He said, "Good neet, God bless tha, lad;
    We've mated gradely weel?"

He'd no relations left i' th' waurld,
    An' no owd mate but me;
So thad wer why he coom to th' teawn
    I' mi snug cot to dee.
Aw'd known him five an' sixty year,
    Come next Owd Kesmas Day;
An' one bi one eawr skoomates true
    Hed long sin' slipped away.
So yo' con fancy heaw touched up
    This partin' med mo feel
When th' owd brid said, "God bless tha, lad;
    We've mated gradely weel!"

Id geet to be his nickname here—
    Thad good, owd-fashioned word;
For eawt id coom whene'er his heart
    Wi' love or pleasure stirred
He hed no idle compliments
    For nayther rich nor poor;
But when he kept a heawse hissel'
    No neighbour shunned his door.
To fotch some lonely crayther in
    To share his humble meal,
An' camp or smook i' th' chimbley nook
    Th' owd fella liked full weel.

When he wer young he felt love's dart,
    As oft aw've heeard him tell:
An' th' lass that charmed his honest heart
    Wer quite a village belle.
But weel hoo knew that he wer true—
    Though simple, straight, an' plain—
So off hoo seet one Sunda' neet
    Wi' Jimmy deawn the lane,
They walked together side bi side,
    An' when they coom to th' steel,
He clipt the winsome lass an said,
    "Aw like tha gradely weel!"

The two wer wed, an' luck they hed
    For mony a merry year;
But one sad day hoo passed away,
    An' left poor "Gradely" here.
Then one bi one his cronies went,
    Till o wer gone but me;
Yet he wer cheery up to t' last,
    An' quite content to dee.
An' though aw grieved to loyse mi mate,
    Aw couldn't help but feel
That Him that coed Jim up aboon
    Would like him gradely weel.




Said Billy to Betty, "Tha's getten drest up,
        Wheerever are ta beawn?"
Said Betty, "Aw'm off for a two-o'-thre' things
        That aw want frae up i' th' teawn.
Thi tay's o ready—it's just fresh brewed—
        There's a bit o' tooasted cheese;
Tha'rt tired, aw con see; but as for me,
        Aw con do wi' a walk i' th' breeze.

"Is there owt as tha wants for thisel', mi lad?"
        "Well," Billy said, "reight enough,
Though t' Government's gooin' economy mad,
        Aw could do wi' a penn'o'th o' snuff.
But th' pappers is preychin' economy too,
        They'd tighten us up to an inch;
It's mony a day sin' aw'd gradely pay,
        Will t' times affooard a pinch?"

Said Bet, wi' a laugh—hoo wer fond of her chaff,
        Though her heart were kind an' tender
"Just keawr thee i' t' nook, wi' thi papper an' book,
        An' tooast thi tooas o' t' fender;
But, as for thi snuff, it's nasty stuff,
        An' tha knows aw often feel
If tha'd tickle thi nooase wi' a wisp o' straw
        Id would answer just as weel."




Sweet Maggie is a bonny lass,
    Her face is fresh an' breet,
Her voice is like a layrock's song,—
    So gentle an' so sweet!
Her heart's so true; her e'en so blue;
    Her laugh so leet an' gay;
As to an' fro her daily toil
    Hoo blithely trips away.

Hoo's cheery through the summer days,
    When gay the breezes blow;
Hoo's cheery, too, i' th' winter time,
    Though thickly lies the snow.
Wi' murmured song hoo trips along
    To wheer, i' t' factory's gloom,
Her face, like sunshine, breyks the clouds
    Around the noisy loom.

Sweet Maggie is her parents' pride,—
    They know thad heart so true;
There's nod one lad or lass i' th' house
    But loves her dearly too.
An' mony a daicent factory lad
    Would dance iv he could tell
As t' love that lies i' Maggie's eyes
    Wer shinin' for his-sel'.

But not for them that bonny lass,
    Wi' face so fresh an' breet!
Her voice,—so like a layrock's song,—
    Med music yesterneet.
Hoo'll tramp no more, when winter's o'er,
    To t' factory, wet or fine;
For soon i' t' spring, when t' lovebirds sing,
    Sweet Maggie will be mine!




Eawr Jane's bin wed a week or two,
        An' eh! good gracious me!
It seems moor like a month or two,
        Time passes neaw so dree.
Hoo use' to sit i' yon owd nook,
        When winter neets were long;
An' camp an' knit, or read a book,
        Or cheer us wi' a song.

But neaw when bonny Jane is gooan,
        Mi mother an' misel'
Are left i' th' ingle-nook alooan,
        Moor lost than tongue can tell.
It's true we'n little Johnny here;
        But Johnny's grieved an' o;
Poor lad! he shed a bitter tear
        When Janie hed to go.

Eawr little Johnny's th' young'st, yo' see;
        We'd two dee'd eawt o five,
There's only him an' Jane an' me
        That the fayver left alive.
So fine a lad; so true, so smart
        His breet face meks me fain;
But th' warmest nook i' Johnny's heart
        Belongs his mam an' Jane.

He dud look some an' lost, poor lad!
        When Jane fost went away;
He took deawn t' field, an' o'er yon pad,
        To see her, every day.
He's fond o' Janie's husband-Jack;
        But thinks it's rayther strange
That Jane hersel' 'll nod come back
        At week-ends for a change.

He says their house is varra nice;
        But thinks it's ill to' quate;
He's come back jaded once or twice
        Because there's nowt agate.
He said to Jack, "Come eawt an' play
        At marbles, nogs, or owt;
An' if thae'll hev a game a day,
        I'll cleyn thi clogs for newt!"

When Jack refused, poor Johnny seet
        As quate as ony mouse;
Then said, " I'll goo hooam soon to-neet,—
        I dunnod like this house;
Id hes no father an' mother in;
        No childer into t' nook;
It's t' quarest house I've ever sin;
        I think I'll tek mi hook."

When Janie coed at hooam one day
        An' stood at th' door a crack,
He said, "Eh! Jane, mi mam's away—
        But, are ta comin' back?
Sin' thae's bin gooan we've fairly bin
        Moor lonesome than we thowt:
Dorn'd thee be feared o' comin' in,—
        Mi mam 'll nod say nowt."

But, wod capt o', wer one dark day
        A funeral wer on;
An' Johnny said, "I'll go mi way,
        An' see what's up, deawn yon."
He soon coom back ageean, an' said,
        "They're drinkin' rum an' tay;
It's just a party like we hed
        When eawr Jane went away!"

Then let's cheer up!   Though Jane's nod here,
        When winter neets are long,
Eawr little ingle-nook to cheer
        Wi' tale, or book, or song,
We've still yon merry-hearted lad,
        As lively as con be,
To keep eawr hearts frae geddin' sad,
        An' th' time frae geddin' dree.




Come, gradely lads frae Lancashire,
    Let's see wod wae con do
To stop yon morderin' German gang,
    An' see this big job through.
There's ne'er bin sich a war i' th' waurld
    Sin' t' winds begun to blow,
An' every mon should help as con—
    Owd England needs us o.

It's geddin' to'art nine hundred year'
    Sin' Harold lost his throne,
An' Norman Billy's tribe coom o'er
    To mek this land their own.
Sin' thad black day, so far away,
    Eawr faythers never knew
One forran foe his face to show
    Wheer English daisies grew.

Bill couldn't tame owd Lancashire,
    Nor kill th' owd English tongue,
Although he tried his level best
    When t' curfew bells were rung,
Th' owd Saxon speech is livin' yet
    I' th' gradely Lanky toke;
An' th' pluck's alive that never bowed
    To Billy's Norman yoke.

To-day we hev another Bill
    That's dreamt for mony a neet
He'd lick Napoleon into fits
    An' plant his sowdgers' feet
Wheer t' bonny primrose blooms i' t' spring;
    An' wae've to let him know
That Prussian blue 'll never do
    While British cocks con crow.

But hearken, lads!   There's just one thing
    That wae should ponder weel,
We've bin so use' to peace at hooam
    That some con hardly feel
Wod life 'll be for yo' an' me
    An' them we howd so dear
If wae play t' foo' an' let Bill through
    To plant his Prussians here.

We want to let thad thowt sink deep
    I' every mind an' heart,
Then rouse, "like lions after sleep,"
    To bowdly beear eawr part.
Let disputes lie till th' war's gone by,
    Like men o' reight good-will;
An' them that like a gradely strike—
    Just strike at Kaiser Bill!

Neaw, daicent lads an' able dads,
    Let's prove wod wae con do
To face yon morderin' German gang
    An' lick 'em through an' through.
While wae con eyt we'll work or feight
    To lay yon tyrants low,
An' every mon shall help as con—
    Owd England needs us o.




God bless thee, Dick! I'm gradely fain
    To see thy honest face
I' th' Blegburn "Weekly Telegraph,"
    An' in thad honoured place.
Tha's done good deeds—nod just bi t' scoor,
    Bi t' theawsand—brave owd lad!
At work for England, Faith, an' Poor
    Tha's licked thi grand owd Dad.

Of cooarse I knew "Owd Dick" reight weel
    When thae were nau'but young;
When Love's pure joy thae'd yet to feel,
    An' my songs waur unsung.
My own good Dad thae liked as mich
    As I liked thine, owd mon!
My kindly Mother, too; were sich
    As hearts like thine cheer on.

I recollect a bonny lass—
    Hoo charmed thee gradely, too!
An' "Owd Dick," ceawntin' o'er his brass,
    Thowt "Young Dick" just a foo'!
But soon th' owd chap said HE were t' foo'—
    When he'd seen t' lass hissel';
By gum! id waur a jolly do
    When pealed thy weddin' bell!

Them days are gone, but Love lives on;
    To th' owd bond thae's bin true,
An' fun' content i' brass weel spent
    An' th' good as id could do.
Thae wants no drunkards—nowt o' t' sooart!
    Though bottlin' ale an' steawt—
One chap may sup, fro' glass or cup,
    Another may do beawt.

If o would use id like thisel',
    Or leeave id—as they like,
Some streets would look less like—(O, well,
    We'll nod mek th' women skrike,)
Thae knows we've hed eawr arguments
    Full mony a merry time,
Then laughed, shaked hands like honest 'men—
    But hark! yon's midneet's chime.

It's time to clooase.   Once moor, owd mate,
    God bless thee, neet an' day!
Remember me when prayer's agate
    An' thae's thi own to say.
Good neet!   It's welly mornin' mon!
    Id WILL be Sunda' soon;
Let thee an' me keep strivin' on,
    An' try to meet Aboon!



(August 11th, 1919.)

There's a little nook i' th' "Blegburn Times"
        That every reader scans,
For th' weekly "Rhymes i' th' Dialect,"
        Bi dear owd "Jack o' Ann's."
Through peace an' war, through storm an' shine,
        Through merriment an' tears,
Thad corner's ne'er bin empty yet
        For three-an'-thirty years.

It's true that for a two-o'-thre' week
        Jack's bin compelled to rest,
But them as knew his Rhymes of owd
        Hes gi'en us of his best.
We've hed "A Comfortable Smook,"
        We've handled "Johnny's Clogs,"
An' soon we hooap to see dear Jack
        "Throw physic to the dogs."

Come Jack, owd lad, ged eawt o' t' doors,
        An' o'er these bonny dales,
There's just a bit o' Summer left,
        "Owd August never fails."
I want to see thee fill th' gred cheear,
        I' my owd cosy nook,
While I reych deawn fro' t' shelves beside
        Full mony a gradely book.

I want to tek tha for a stroll
        Bi bonny Ribbleside,
To show tha through th' owd "Unicorn"
        Wheer Cromwell use' to bide;
Wheer "Walton Corporation" met
        To plot for t' Stuart Kings;
Wheer t' Romans lived i' th' owden times,—
        An' lots of other things.

Then, horry up; ged weel, owd lad,
        An' drop mo just a line
To tell mo when I s' see deawn here
        Thad kindly face o' thine.
There's no friend like an owd friend yet,
        An' when he sings like thee
I'd fain keep th' owd mate through this life
        An' through Eternity!



(A Tale of Owd Turton.)

If there's a two-o'-thre' farmers here that's bin to Turton fair,
Just let 'em hearken while I tell a thing that happened there.
'Twere in th' owd days when th' railway train hed never shown id' face.
An' news would travel slowly to a quiet country place.

One summer neet a gallant steed dashed into th' village street,
An'—wod were then a curious thing—a four-wheeled cab were wi' 't:
A grandly decorated cab, wi' paint an' colours gay,
As fine as folk are preawd on yet, upon their weddin' day.

It stopped at front o' th' little Inn, a gentlemen geet eawt,
An' then o th' noisy gossipers coom creawdin' reawnd abeawt;
Th' young mother wi' her child i' th' arms, th' young fayther wi' his spade,
These young uns, an' some owd uns, stared till th' driver were dismayed.

Some little lads kept dodgin' reawnd an' pluckin' th' hoss's tail,
Th' young lass wi' milk fro' th' dairy grinned fro' underneath her pail.
They stared so hard an' stared so long that th' driver blushed, an' swore
He'd bet they'd never seen a cab i' o their lives afoor.

An' he were reight—for long they talked an' wondered wed id waur
That th' hoss hed browt to th' country side, an' wod sich things were for.
But when they'd talked till some were hooarse, they couldn't find id' name,
So th' chap geet in, an' th' cab seet off as nameless as id came.

Just then id turned a corner, an' a little urchin see 't,
He stared wi' both his e'en ablaze at wod this hoss hed wi' 't;
He took id in fro' top to toe, an' then he "took his hook"
An' ran to fotch his mother eawt i' time to hev a look.

"Just see tha, mam, what's comin' here!" his mother ran to see,
An' th' lad, he pointed eawt this cab; an' said wi' hearty glee,
"So quare a seet were never sin, I'm sure, afoor to-day,
For a leather cart wi' windows in is comin' deawn this way!



(Air: "Teddy O'Neale.")

I've landed once moor i' th' owd country this mornin',
Where I lived i' mi childhood, so careless an' free;
An' I've just bin to look at th' owd cot I were born in—
Id stands under t' shade o' yon giant ooak tree.
They'n med ter'ble changes sin' last I'd a peep in—
Sin' poverty drooave us to th' dark smooky teawn—
They'n blocked up th' owd garrets eawr lads use' to sleep in,
Brunt up o th' hand-looms, an' poo'd th' weyvin' shop deawn.

But th' pooarch where mi granny oft coom wi' her knittin'
Is just like id waur i' them breet summer heawrs,
An' th' owd rustic cheer as mi dad use' to sit in
Stands under th' gred plum tree i' th' midst o' some fleawrs.
There's childer at play, an' there's merry bells ringin'
O'er yon little brook, as rowls gaily to th' sea;
There's little brids hoppin' an' buildin' an' singin',
An' one i' yon bush sings a sweet song to me:—

For id chirps like a lad wi' a heart true an' steady
That's waited an' worked for this warm sunny day,
When i' th' dear native spot he's a bonny hooam ready
For a lass 'at's bin pinin' i' th' teawn far away.
Aye, sweet little brid! thae sings gaily this mornin',
But nod a bit gayer than Jemmy an' me,—
For we're just beawn to live i' th' owd cot I were born in,
An' sing under th' branches, like thy mate an' thee!




Here's good luck to Honest Roger!
    Find his match 'at con;
He's a blunt an' true owd codger—
    Every inch a mon!
Every daicent chap that knows him
    Likes his witty tongue;
Nowt but two-faced rascals coes him—
    When they'n getten stung.

Roger's varra good at speawtin'
    Rich i' common sense,
Though th' owd cooat he knocks abeawt in
    Bod cost eighteenpence.
He believes id little matters
    Wod yo'n getten on,
If yo'r bits o' rags an' tatters
    Clooathe an honest mon.

Wod he says is reet, depend on't—
    "Search this waurld o through,
Truth 'll live to win at th' end on 't,
    Lies 'll never do!
If a chap's a deawnreet straight un,
    Humble though he be—
Says Owd Roger—"He's a reight un,
    Just the mon for me!"

Roger likes, just after dinner,
    Campin' wi' his mates—
Two-o'-thre' weyvers an' a spinner—
    Deawn bi t' factory gates.
Mony a bit o' good debatin',
    Mixed wi' gradely fun,
Passes while they're stannin' waitin'
    Till their bell-heawr's done.

Mony a dispute he's decided,
    Mony a feight he's stopped;
He's their judge, an' when he's tried id
    Oft the case is dropped,
Mony a face hes he med sunny—
    Dried up mony a tear—
Sin' he geet thad bit o' money
    Left to him last year.

That's just th' only thing he's sly in—
    Dooin' good to th' poor;
Lots 'at hev no bed to lie in
    Know his friendly door.
Bless thy heart, owd Honest Roger!
    Heaven wodn'd be
Quite as far off earth, owd codger,
    If we'd moor like thee!


(Air: "Ben Bolt.")

When we were o schoo'-mates together, mi lads,
    Heaw sweet went the merry days then,
We tripped o'er the wild mountain heather, mi lads,
    Or chirped as we strolled through the glen.
We'd voices as clear as a layrock that sings
    So gaily i' th' wekin' aboon
An' sheawted farewell to all troublesome things
    At four on a breet afternoon.

We welcomed the grand summer weather, mi lads,
    When t' sun never winked through the day,
An' hearts were as leet as a feather, mi lads,
    When t' lasses were workin' i' th' hay.
When summer were fadin', we knew wheer to find
    The nuts an' the blackberries, too,
An' through the long winter, wi' th' keen frosty wind,
    O'er th' ice or wi' t' footbo' we flew.

Th' owd maister were allus so cheery, mi lads,
    An' though we were careless an' slow,
His brain never seemed to ged weary, mi lads,
    But patiently toiled wi' us o.
He teyched us to strive for wodever were reet,
    As through this quare waurld we tramped on;
He'd a gradely owd heart—may his slumber be sweet
    I' th' wonderful Land wheer he's gone!

He's laid underneath yon owd willow, mi lads,
    Wheer lots of his scholars lie, too;
Wheer poor Limpin' Joe fun' a pillow, mi lads,
    An' Charlie wi' th' e'en breet an' blue.
There's lasses an' lads i' yon little churchyard
    That bloomed like sweet fleawrs for a day;
To' sweet an' to' good for a waurld that were hard,
    They cheered us, an' then slipped away.

But still, what's the use o' repinin', mi lads—
    There's lots o' th' owd mates here to-neet,
An' th' schoo'lasses' faces are shinin', mi lads,
    O'er hooams that eawr childer mek breet.
Then let kindly feelin's be near us to th' end,
    To keep eawr owd hearts i' good tune;
For, if we be true to both stranger an' friend,
    We s' get to be schoo'mates Aboon!




They tell me this wauld's allus changin',
    I' th' country as weel as i' th' teawn,
An' owd Slater said th' last day were comin'
    When his pair o' hand looms were poo'd deawn.
To-day I could welly believe him,—
    For they say, neaw as th' heawses are sowd,
As they're beawn to cut deawn th' garden hedges
    An' poo' deawn th' owd gate i' eawr fowd.
It's t' wo'st news I've heeard for a twelve-month,
    An' it's med mo feel fifty year' owd,
Though it's bod abeawt twelve sin' I were swingin'
    On th' gate deawn at th' end of eawr fowd.

Yo' may think I'm quite silly for frettin'
    O'er sich a quare thing as a gate;
But id carries owd time on id' hinges
    As id swings to an' fro' soon an' late.
I remember mi good-hearted fayther
    Peearkt mo onto id mony a time,
When I waur but a wee merry lassie,
    An' I laughed as he sung an' owd rhyme:
For th' happiest days o' mi childhood,
    When the waurld were ne'er gloomy an' cowd,
Were spent swingin' back'ard an' forrad
    On th' gate deawn at th' end of eawr fowd.

An' then O heaw weel I remember
    Heaw mi heart leapt wi' love pure an' sweet,
When i' t' middle o' bonny September,
    Young Charlie coom cooartin' one neet!
Heaw he towd mo th' owd stooary so tender,
    An' begged mo to help him through life;
Heaw he said for twelve months he'd bin longin'
    To mek mo his own little wife!
I s' ne'er i' this lifetime forget id,—
    Heaw sweetly that love tale were towd,
As we stood when th' owd sun were just settin'
    Bi th' gate deawn at th' end of eawr fowd.

We were wed when o t' spring birds were singin'
    An' t' fleawrs were just buddin' on t' trees,
An' t' bells o' th' owd church, gaily ringin',
    Towd th' stooary to' t' sweet mornin' breeze.
An' then we walked hooam to th' owd cottage,
    An' t' merriment started for t' day;
They were dancin' till welly next mornin',
    T' lads an' lasses were never so gay.
But Charlie an' me into t' moonleet
    Crept eawt—mon an' wife!—an' still vowed
To be cooarters for ever an' ever
    Bi th' gate deawn at th' end of eawr fowd!

Sin' then, as I've said, there's bin changes,—
    Mi fayther went Hooam to his rest,
An' t' best mother soon followed after
    As e'er held a child to her breast.
But I've still Charlie here, an' mi childer—
    Two rooases—a lass an' a lad;
An' I'm sure, tekkin' life otogether;
    We'n nod so mich cause to be sad;
For true love can drive away sorrow
    Far better nor silver an' gowd;
So I'll keep a leet heart for to-morrow,
    Though I'm loysin' th' owd gate i' eawr fowd!



(Air: "Love at Home.")

When the settin' sun shines breet
        O'er the silver tide,
Oft I stray wi' lingerin' feet
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.
While the wavelets whisper near
I can think wi' memory clear
O'er mi youthful days so dear,
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Silvery tide, sweetly glide!
Happy were those youthful days
Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Here I use' to laugh an' play,
        Full o' boyish pride;
Like a dreeam id seems to-day,
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.
Schoo'mates' voices, clear an' strong,
Dear young faces, cherished long,
Use' to mek a merry throng
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Silvery tide, sweetly glide!
Bring me back those merry days,
Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Theer one night the stars did shine
        O'er mi promised bride,
When hoo gave her heart for mine
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.
Two true hearts that Love med one
Grew moor fond as time rowled on,
While sweet childer's faces shone
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Silvery tide, sweetly glide!
Bring me back those lovelit days
Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Some are gone to foreign lands,
        O'er the ocean wide;
Still wi' me one true mate stands
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.
When eawr toyl is done we s' creep
Wheer yo' see yon grey church peep—
Theer together may we sleep,
        Deawn bi t' Ribble side.

Silvery tide, sweetly glide!
Sing for ever o'er my grave,
Deawn bi t' Ribble side.




Theer's Johnny!   He's nowt but a Tenter,
        His clooase are owd an' worn,
But his mam says a blessin' were sent her
        Thad mornin' as he were born.
I'll tell yo', there isn'd so mony
        As doesn'd think weel o' him:
There's a tale often towd abeawt Johnny
        As meks fooak's e'en grow dim.

His mother were left a poor widow,
        An' he were her only child;
He cheered her when sorrow coom o'er her,
        An' his heart leeaped up when hoo smiled.
I know yo'll hev seen 'em together—
        They plodded through t' streets bi theirsel',
An' geet up i o sooarts o weather
        When they heeard th' owd factory bell.

One mornin' a while afoor Christmas
        Poor Johnny were cryin' his fill—
He'd to go to his work beawt his mother,
        For hoo'd bin ta'en suddenly ill.
He left her i' th' care of a neighbour,
        An' went, wi' a heart like lead,
To his weary an' tiresome labour
        To struggle for daily bread.

There waur but thad little hafe-timer,
        For mony a sorrowin' day,
To toyl for thad poor lonely woman
        While tossin' i' th fayver hoo lay.
But Charity browt fooak near her
        As hardly hed known her afoor,
An' neighbours to help her an' cheer her
        Were never away fro' t' door.

An' so hoo were soon eawt o' danger—
        But still hoo kept lingerin' on,
An' couldn't ged much of her strength back
        Though mony a week hed gone.
Poor Johnny!   He knew hoo were pinin'
        For some'at moor daicent to eyt—
If yo' want to hev ill fooak dinin'
        Yo' mun tempt 'em wi' tasty meyt.

Id were geddin' near th' examination,
        An' Johnny were missin' his schoo';
But he knew o' some wonderful prizes,
        An' he med up his mind what to do:
He wodn't say owt to his mother,
        But he'd work like a giant to pass,
An' to win what th' schoo'-maister's rich brother
        Were givin' to th' best lad i' th' class.

I' th' midst of his hunger an' sorrow
        He moythered an' studied away,
An' his prize were a watch o' silver
        Thad examination day!
To' should ha' heeard th' schoo' childer cheerin'
        When they fun' eawt what Johnny hed won,
An' t' maister could scarce ged a hearin'
        To praise him for what he hed done.

Thad neet Johnny stoode in a watch-shop
        Wi' a policeman clooas at his side;
For th' watch-maker thowt he'd bin steylin',
        An' coed him a thief till he cried.
But th' "bobby" soon fun' as he knew him—
        His childer hed towd him th' tale—
So they couldn'd do owt else to him
        Than let the lad finish his sale.

When Johnny geet hooam he wer looaded
        Wi' dozens o' dainty things;
His mother 'd ha' thowt him an angel
        If he hedn'd bin short o' wings!
But when he unravelled his stooary
        The tears coom into her e'en—
Id med her booath happy an' sooary,
        An' as preawd of her lad as a queen.

Her happiness conquered her illness,
        An' Johnny were leet an' gay;
An' SOMEBODY geet to hear on't,
        But waited till Christmas Day,
When the watch, so breet an' bonny,
        Coom back through t' pooastman's hand
Wi' a letter i' praise o' Johnny,
        "The noblest lad in the land."




The winter's comin' on, mi lass,
    The north wind's blowin' cowd;
I'm sure we've cooarted long enough,
    It's time eawr tale were towd.
The brids 'at sung i' yonder tree
    Are flown across the brine,
An' I've a cheery hooam for thee,
    Wheer Love's breet sun can shine.

Tha doesno' want to ged mo lost
    Among yon moorland snow;
Thi laugh belies tha when tha says
    I needn'd come at o.
When t' weather's wild, we corn'd ged eawt
    A-walkin' hafe an heawr,
There's allus some'at rough abeawt—
    A snowstorm or a ' sheawr.

An' when I come an' stop i' th' heawse,
    Yo'r lads mek sich a din
That if I've bod two words to say,
    I connod ged 'em in.
Thi fayther will talk politics,
    An' likes a reawnd wi' me—
He thinks I come a-campin' him
    An' nod a-cooartin' thee.

An' when there's nobry else i' th' place,
    Yo'r Molly ceawrs i' th' nook,
As quate an' wakken as a meawse,
    Wi' th' papper, or a book;
Hoo reads a deeal, an' one would think
    Her common sense would tell
'At cooarters sometimes like an heawr
    To whisper bi' theirsel'.

Thi fayther thinks when fooak geds wed
    They should hev lots o' brass—
A mon should hev his fortune med
    Afooar he claims his lass.
Aye, well! I'm wo'th a field or two,
    A bonny cot an' o;
An' when there's steady hands at th' plough
    Sich things are sure to grow.

The sweetest charm of wedded life
    Is nod i' fortunes grand;
It's only known to th' mon an' wife
    'At's strivin' hand-in-hand.
The lark 'at builds id' own wee nest
    Is merry wi' id' mate,
While mony a soul can find no rest
    Inside a palace gate.

An' neaw I've welly done, mi lass,
    Mi stooary's getten towd;
An' winter's comin' on, mi lass,
    An' t' north wind's blowin' cowd.
Come, show thi bonny een to me,
    Clasp thy two hands i' mine,
An' say tha'll claim wod waits for thee,
    An' mek yon sweet cot thine.




When th' leet fades away at the closin' o' day
    An' toilin' an' scrapin' are done,
It's merry an' sweet wi' mi true mates to meet
    For an heawr or two's Lancashire fun.

They sit reawnd yon fire, an' their tongues never tire
    As they tell o' th' wild marlocks they played
When youth's merry days seet their spirits ablaze,
    An' they'd never known friendship to fade.

O there's o sooarts o' wit! but there's nowt as can hit
    Th' breetest spot i' this grey heyd o' mine
Like a tale towd or sung i 'eawr Lancashire tongue,
    For it raises owd memories so fine.

An' th' breet days of owd, when mi heart were so bowd,
    An' I only knew sorrow bi name,
Seem as fresh an' as clear as the smiles I meet here
    When I come mi owd cronies to claim.

Then I'll tooast yo, mi lads!  May yo'r sons, like their
    Still be merry, straightfor'a'd, an' true;
For a bit o' gay chaff, or a reight hearty laugh,
    Nayther hurts a wise man nor a foo'.

An' as years roll along, may they join in a song
    Otogether, when toilin' is done,
Wi' their hearts just as leet as yo'r own are to-neet
    Through an' heawr or two's Lancashire fun!




What! never knowed Owd Jemmy, lad,
    As use' to live up yon?
Kept hens, an' wooave o' th' owd hand-looms—
    Well, thae'rt a bonny mon!
I'll bet there waurn'd a single soul
    Fro' here to th' end o' th' looan
As dudn'd wish Owd Jemmy weel,
    Or mourn when he were gooan.

I've set on th' seeatbooard mony an heawr
    While he booath wooave an' sung,
Or ceawr'd bi th' fire an' hearkened th' tales
    As he spun off his tongue.
He'd talk o' th' cruel Corn Law times,
    When fleawr were sixpence th' peawnd,
An' t' corn were kept fro' t' starvin' poor,
    Then chucked i' t' sea—unseawnd.

O'er Freedom's feights i' early days
    Full mony a tale he'd tell;
An' oft he said as th' Corn Law Gang
    Hed sprung fro' "him i' hell."
This last is rayther strong; but then
    They'd robbed him of his mam—
Hoo dee'd through want—while he were left
    To work, an' cry, an' clam!

Sometimes he'd hev a noysy lot
    O' rampin', laughin' lads
Set reawnd his fire, while he towd tales
    Abeawt their youthful dads;
What fun they hed, what tricks they played,
    When he were in his prime:
I'm sure he welly med th' lads ill
    Wi' laughin' mony a time.

But mooast of o, Owd Jemmy loved
    A bonny little child;
Id mattered nowt what troubled him,
    If he see' one, he smiled:
He'd welly allus one bi th' hand
    When ramblin' to an' fro';
An' t' youngsters seemed to think as he
    Were th' Grandad to 'em o.

Toward' th' latter end he use' to say
    He'd be content to dee
If he might sit at "Heaven's Door"
    Wi' a child on oather knee.
An' when his life were gooin' deawn,
    Like th' ocean's ebbin' tide,
He couldn'd be contented till
    They browt one to his side.

He passed away i' t' summer time,
    When roses were i' bloom;
An' th' owd sun brooak through t' cleawds
            o' grief
    As hung o'er o i' th' room.
His kindly soul's at rest, I'm sure,
    An' hes bin mony a day;
For sich a good owd heart as his
    Could ne'er go far astray!




I've tramped a good deeal through mi own native land,
I've anchored mi booat on a far foreign strand,
Bin cast among riches, an' poverty, too,
Hed work, an' bin wantin' for some'at to do.
I've slept in a palace, an' lodged in a tent,
An' kept mi e'en oppen wheerever I went.
But of o sooarts o' hooams I could never find one
To compare wi' th' sweet hooam of a Lancashire mon.

I remember quite weel heaw I've oft laid mo deawn
I' mi quare-lookin' bed i' thad Indian teawn
Wheer I sowdjered a while; an' mi efforts to skeeam
A tidy neet's sleep use' to end in a dreeam
Of a little thacked cot in a little green fowd
Wheer I lived when I waur but a dozen year' owd;
An' I sighed, when I wakkened, to find id o gone—
Thad hooam wheer I grew up a Lancashire mon.

There's no place i' th' waurld hawf so snug or so sweet,
When a fella comes back fro' his work of a neet,
As t' breet spot where he meets wi' th' best joys of his life
His wee bonny childer an' hard-workin' wife.
An' if yo' be anxious to learn an' to see
Heaw blithe an' contented a toyler can be,
Yo'll find th' best example 'at ever yo' con
I' th' hooam of a steady young Lancashire mon.

There's a reet hearty welcome whenever yo' co,
For Lancashire feelin' hes full room to flow;
Id isn'd chooaked up wi' so mich empty pride,
An' hypocrisy ne'er comes to poison id' tide;
But clear an' unhindered id rowls on id' way,
An' strangers that's tasted id allus will say
As t' kindliest fooak they could ever leet on
Were sheltered i' th' hooam of a Lancashire mon.

Just co at eawr Tum's: t' kettle hums upo' th' hob,
An' his wife sings a song to their Nellie an' Bob;
For they're o fain to see him ged hooam to his tay
After drivin' four looms o this dark-lookin' day,
Wi' th' chiider it's which can be t' fost on his knee
Their love for their fayther's as sweet as can be;
An' t' young Queen o' that hooam, as hoo looks gaily on,
Knows there's no King on earth like her Lancashire mon.

If yo'll stop till they'n just getten th' childer to bed,
Yo'll hear a rare bit o' Ned Waugh sung or read;
An' theer yo'll sit sighin' an' laughin' bi turns
At th' wisdom an' wit of eawr Lancashire Burns.
An' when yo've shaked hands wi' a ringin' "Good-neet,"
At th' cottage behind yo' fades slowly fro' t' seet,
Yo'll say, "There's a pictur' of Heaven up yon,"
An' be preawd o' thad hooam of a Lancashire mon!




One fine Sunda' mornin', when th' church bells were
To co daicent folk to their prayin' an' singin',
A bunch o' young ruffins hed dogded th' Sunda' schoo',
An' were lookin' abeawt for some mischief to do,
When one little dule said, "Aw'll tell yo wod, lads,
Let's pop o'er this wo—eawt o' t' seet of e'r dads—
An' play on t' cut-bank till o t' service is done;
Aw've a good set o' dominoes—here's off for fun!"

Wi' thad, in a jiffy he beawnced onto th' wo;
His mates followed after, nod one on 'em slow;
An' soon these young gamblers (for that's wod they waur)
Hed th' dominoes eawt, an' were mekkin' a stor
For a gradely good game in a quate little nook,
Wheer nobry fro' t' street would be likely to look,
An' theer they sat playin' bi t' side o' t' canal,
Wi' nod one eyvesdropper their faythers to tell.

They played hofe an heawr i' this snug little spot,
An' then th' game begun to ged noysy an' hot;
For little Bill Dykes, wi' a voyce like a drum,
Bawls eawt to his mate, "Neaw, mi nabs, con ta come?"
"Thae noysy young crackpot," his mate answered "Nowe!
Dost want 'em to hear us i' t' street, thae young foo'?"
"Nod aw, lad!" said Billy, "but aw s' nod be dumb
For t' sake o' fooak hearin'—once moor, Con ta come?"

Afoor th' other lad could mek answer at o
A gred strappin' Bobby coom beawncin' o'er t' wo,
Sheawtin', "Nowe, lads, but aw con come: stop yo'r wild
Aw'll put every one on yo' in a strait jacket!"
Wi' thad, he gave chase; but he only catched one,
An' thad were poor Billy—the noysiest mon!
O th' others, like hares, darted swift eawt o' t' seet,
An' left him wi' th' dominoes strewn at his feet.

Then t' Bobby marched Billy deawn t' bank varra stately
An' t' lad, for a wonder, went humbly an' quately;
But afoor they reyched th' brig to cross o'er into t' street,
A gred crowd o' folk they begun soon to meet;
For a church were just locin; an' comin' deawn t' broo
Folk could see onto th' bank, an hev quite a good view
O' th' prisoner an' th' pleecemon that walked bi his side,
An' this bothered Billy, for th' lad hed some pride.

"Aw'll tell yo' wod, pleecemon," he said, varra foce,
"Aw wish for a minute yo'd just let mo loce,
Eawr folk 'll be comin' fro' t' church across t' street,
An' mi mother 'll faint if hoo sees mo this seet.
There's th' wo at this side, an' there's watter at th' other
Aw corn'd ged away—so for t' sake o' mi mother,
Let mo walk bi misel' for a minute or two,
An' then they'll nod know 'at there's been owt to do."

Well, th' Bobby looked reawnd, an' agreed wi' his mate
That there waurn'd hofe a chance for to ged eawt o' t' gate;
So he leet th' lad loce 'at he'd howden so fast,
An' they walked bi theirsel's till o t' fooak hed gone past.
The lad toddled on quate enough for a while;
An' th' Bobby were hummin' a tune i' rare style,
When, sudden as gunshot, th' lad med a dash,
An' jumped i' th' canel, wi' a yell an' a splash.

Th' poor Bobby were varra near freetened to deeath;
But afoor he hed time to recover his breeath,
Like leetnin', hofe way across th' wayter Bill swum,
An' then, wi' a grin, sheawted, "Neaw, con ta come?
Wod says ta, own matie?"—"Nowe, dall thi rags!   Nowe!
Thae smart little rascal, thae's tricked mo, bi gow!"
"Aye," th' lad sheawted back, "Aw were just thinkin' sooa—
Thae connod come neaw; but thae sees aw con gooa!"



I've rambled up an' deawn this waurld
    For nine-an'-fifty year';
I've booath hed mony a merry laugh
    An' mony a lonely tear;
I'm one that knows booath friends an' foes,
    There's lots o' things I rue,
But this is still my motto, lads—
    Give every mon is due.

Of cooarse, when I were green an' young,
    Like mony a lad beside,
I use to think this waurld knew o,
    An' bowed befoor id' pride.
But soon I fun' that if a mon
    Were poor as weel as true,
'Twere ten to one, though hard he toiled,
    He'd never ged his due.

Yo' see, there's sich a lot o' fooak
    That's bod one gradely e'e,—
They peep an' smile at th' rich an' fine,
    But th' poor they connod see.
They'll like a mon if he geds on
    An' joins their waurldy crew,
But—just grow owd beawt grabbin' gowd,
    Yo'll never ged yo'r due.

There's some fooak laughs when t' weather's
    But cosses when id rains,
Sich like 'll cooart gred men wi' brass
    But scorn poor men wi' brains.
There's mony a chap gi'es o his life
    To help his neighbours through—
To cheer their hearts i' t' midst o' t' strife—
    Yet never geds his due.

When dark and deadly slander comes
    To cleawd a mon's good name,
There's allus lots o' idle tongues
    To spreyd th' unwelcome fame:
But give to me them kindly souls—
    I wish they waurn'd so few—
That patient bide, watch every side,
    An' give the mon his due.

Oh, mates! i' country-place an' teawn,
    Through t' length an' breadth o' t' land,
There's mony a lonely heart gooas deawn
    Witheawt a helpin' hand.
Then let goodwill be near us still
    When others' fa'uts we view,
For One Aboon 'll render soon
    To every mon his due!




A country life for me, mi lads,
    A country life for me!
O'er breezy hills an' fleaw'ry dales
    I s' ramble till I dee.
I fost see leet wheer t' sky were breet
    An' throstles sung so gay,
An' allus loved th' owd countryside
    When I were miles away.

Eawr Bill, 'at lives i' yonder teawn,
    Thinks th' country varra grand
When t' summer sun shines gaily deawn
    An' breetens o the land:
But when there's snow or cowd winds blow
    I' th' bracin' winter time,
O'er yon owd hill that parts us two
    I connod mek him climb.

He says it's ankle-deep i' slutch
    So wheer yo' set yo'r feet,
An' t' looans are awful after dark
    For want o' gradely leet.
Beawt music halls, theeayters, balls,
    Or owt to pass time on,
He thinks he'd be a gradely foo'
    Afoor a month hed gone.

Well, well!   I corn'd expect as fooak
    Will o think like misel',
But why they dorn'd o'er sich a thing
    Is moor nor I can tell.
When t' rain comes deawn so dree i'th' teawn
    A fella's spirit drops
To ceawr i' th' heawse wi' nowt to see
    But slates an' chimbley tops.

I' th' daytime factory chimblies belch
    Their smook i' mony a street,
There's drunken fooak an' railway trains
    As rowl abeawt o neet.
There's childer thin, that's never seen
    The bonny brids an' trees;
Their faces look so white for want
    O' th' healthy country breeze.

Aye, give to me the country lanes
    Where peace an' quateness dwell,
For theer a sweetness floods mi heart
    As words can never tell!
O'er breezy hills an' fleawry dales
    I'm fain to ramble still,
An' fo asleep i' th' owd churchyard
    At th' foot o' yonder hill.




There's twopence been gi'en to eawr Johnny
        For cleynin' a new pair of shoon;
Some 'bacco's been bowt for mi gronny
        For airin' yon breeches o' th' oon;
A reet hearty kiss to eawr Lizzie
        For fixin' a collar on reet;
Yo' wonder wod meks o so busy—
        Eawr Dick beawn a-cooartin' to-neet!

For mony a week he's been pinin'
        An' ceawrin' i' th' nook like a foo';
But neaw t' sun's beginnin' o' shinin',
        An' t' sky shows a wee bit o' blue,
His luck has been varra like th' weather,
        But things are at last geddin' breet,—
I've seen him an' Nelly together,
        An' Dick's beawn a-cooartin' to-neet.

He's just hed a dust wi' mi fayther
        O'er nod comin' in afoor ten;
Mi dad tells him straight as he'd rayther
        Nod see bits o' lads actin' men:
"When HE were a lad, there were never
        Sich pride when a lass were to meet":—
My gronny chimes in, "Well, if ever!"—
        What's up wi' thi memory to-neet?"

Mi mother toils on—Heaven bless her!—
        Hoo hesn'd a deeal to say;
Though I WAUR feeard th' news would distress
        When hoo heard id so sudden to-day,
For Dick thinks the waurld of his mother,
        He's kind, an' his temper's so sweet;
Hoo knows 'at hoo'll ne'er see another
        Like him as goes cooartin' to-neet.

But hoo likes the shy look o' good natur'
        As shines i' sweet Nelly's blue e'en;
For t' lass is as daicent a craytur
        As ever coom trippin' o'er t' green.
Her bonny face fills mo wi' pleasure
        Whenever I happen to see 't—
May joy be shared eawt i' full measure
        To them as goes cooartin' to-neet!

Good heavens!   O t' drawers are upended,
        He's left o his rags upo' t' floor;
His stockin's hev o to be mended
        While he's swellin' off eawt o' t' door!
Ne'er mind!   I s' be like to excuse him—
        His heart's med his heyd a bit leet—
An' I know Nelly wi'-nod refuse him
        When Dick goes a-cooartin' to-neet.




I'm just gooin' deawn for a pipe an' a gill,
An' a hofe an heawr's camp wi' Philosopher Bill;
He's the faucest owd chap that I ever did see,
Wi' a reet merry twinkle i' oather blue e'e.
O, them e'en of owd Bill's! they con look a mon through
He can tell in a crack a wise chap fro' a foo':
Id were just through him readin' fooak's thowts wi sich skill
Thad he fost geet that name o' Philosopher Bill.

He's nod to co rich, but he's ne'er discontent,
For his life, like his money, 's bin varra weel spent:
His motto were allus "Tek keer o' yo'r own;
Mek yo'r children do t' same; let yo'r neighbours alone;
Dorn'd lock up yo'r heart when yo' lock yo'r heawse door,
But keep a warm place in 't for t' sufferin' poor;
For wi' givin' some poor mate an owd pair o' shoon
Yo' may find a new pair when yo'r climbin' Aboon!

But the things he cries deawn wi' o t' strength of his lungs
Are envious fooak an' their meddlesome tongues"—
"They're th' seawrdocks o' t' waurld" so he said yesterneet—
"An' they corn'd abide th' appos for tastin' so sweet;
So they tittle an' tattle, an' poo a long face,
If yo' keep yo'rsel' wakken an' lick 'em i' th' race,
An', though yo'd to walk while they rooad in a cart,
They'll whimper an' say "Yo'd to' mich of a start."

If yo're merry an' single, an' howds up yo'r head,
They'll say, "Thad'll hev to be tamed when it's wed";
If yo're wed, wi' good childer—moor precious than gowd!
They'll hint as "there's black sheep i' every fowd";
If a chap an' his mate can keep thick o their life,
They're sure to cry "henpeck" at him or his wife;
An' sooa they keep whinin', wherever yo' torn,
"One hofe o' this waurld doesn'd know as it's born."

"Heaw different," says Bill, "are th' owd mates we've booath
That'll mek booath yo'r luck an' misfortunes their own,
An' 'll allus contrive to be somewheer abeawt
When yo'r lamp o' good fortune hes welly gone eawt.
Oh! they'll feed the dull flame wi' a word o' good cheer,
An' rejoice i' their hearts when id blazes eawt clear;
For they'n pity an' charity strong i' their breast,
An' th' angels keep guard when they lie deawn to rest."

I've hearkened owd Bill till mi e'en were quite dim,
An' I've often thowt angels coom talkin' to him,
For, though sometimes he rages at wrong an' disate,
There's nobry i' th' waurld as he knows how to hate!
May he live to be moor nor a hundred year' owd,
Wi' his cupboard weel packed, an' his hearth never cowd,
An' his daicent owd dame to keep breetenin' still
The last cheery days o' Philosopher Bill.



(Air: " Fill the Bumper Fair.")

Merry mates are we
    Passin' reawnd together
Jovial tales an' free,
    Carin' nowt for th' weather.
Winter winds, we know,
    Reawnd abeawt are sobbin',
Still, i' t' midst o' t' snow
    Chirps a breet red robin.

Every heart that's leet,
    Laughin' meks id leeter;
Every face that's breet,
    Fun 'll mek id breeter.
Tell yo'r merry tales,—
    Wind yo'r gowden bobbin,—
Through owd Winter's gales
    Chirps eawr own Cock Robin.

Theer's a singer true,
    Leet of heart an' limber,—
One owd fiddle, too,
    Built o' gradely timber.
Oft young Robin sings,
    While owd Roger's fingers
Wakken th' witchin' strings
    Wheer sweet music lingers.

If thae'rt feelin' seawr,
    Stor thi stumps, owd codger!—
Come an' spend an heawr
    Campin' wi' owd Roger.
Dunnot be a foo',
    Dunnot pine an' shiver,
Join owd Roger's schoo',
    Laughin' 's good for th' liver.

We'll mek room for thee,
    While we tell together
Merry tales an' free,
    Carin' nowt for th' weather.
Winter winds, we know,
    Reawnd abeawt are sobbin',
Still, i' t' midst o' t' snow
    Chirps a breet red robin.



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