Edwin Waugh: Lancashire Songs (1)

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AW'VE just mended th' fire wi' a cob;
    Owd Swaddle has brought thi new shoon;
There's some nice bacon collops o'th hob,
    An' a quart o' ale-posset i'th oon;
Aw've brought thi top cwot, doesto know,
    For th' rain's comin' deawn very dree;
An' th' har'stone's as white as new snow;
    Come whoam to thi chiller an' me.

When aw put little Sally to bed,
    Hoo cried 'core her feyther weren't theer;
So aw kiss's th' little thing, an' aw said
    Thae'd bring her a ribbin fro' th' fair;
An' aw gav her her doll, an' some rags,
    An' a nice little white cotton bo';
An' aw kiss'd her again; but hoo said
    At hoo wanted to kiss thee an' o'.

An' Dick, too, aw'd sich wark wi' him,
    Afore aw could get him up stairs;
Thae towd him thae'd bring him a drum,
    He said, when here sayin' his prayers;
Then he look's i' my face, an' he said,
    "Has th' boggarts taen houd o' my dad?"
An' he cried whol his e'en were quite red; ―
    He likes thee some weel, does yon lad!

At th' lung-length aw geet 'em laid still;
    An' aw hearkens folks' feet at went by;
So aw iron't o' my clooas reet weel,
    An' aw hanged 'em o'th maiden to dry;
When aw'd mended thi stockin's an' shirts,
    Aw sit deawn to knit i' my cheer,
An' aw rayley did feel rather hurt―
    Mon, aw'm one-ly when theaw art'nt theer.

"Aw've a drum and a trumpet for Dick;
    Aw've a yard o' blue ribbin for Sal;
Aw've a book full o' babs; an' a stick,
    An' some bacco an' pipes for mysel;
Aw've brought thee some coffee an' tay ―
    Iv thae'll feel i' my pockets, thae'll see;
An' aw've bought tho a new cap to-day,—
    But aw olez bring summate for thee!

"God bless thou, my lass; aw'll go whoam,
    An' aw'll kiss thee an' th' childer o' reawnd;
Thae knows, at wheerever aw roam,
    Aw'm fain to get back to th' owd greawnd
Aw can do wi' a crack o'er a glass;
    Aw can do wi' a bit ov a spree;
But aw've no gradely comfort, my lass,
    Except wi' yon childer and thee."




WHAT ails thee, my son Robin?
    My heart is sore for thee;
Thi cheeks are groin' thinner,
    An' th' leet has laft thi e'en;
Theaw trails abeawt so lonesome,
    An' looks so pale at morn;
God bless thou, lad, aw'm soory
    To see tho so forlorn.

Thi fuutstep's sadly awter't,—
    Aw used to know it weel;
Neaw, arto fairy-strucken;
    Or, arto gradely ill?
Or, hasto bin wi' th' witches
    I'th' cloof, at deep o'th' neet?
Come, tell me, Robin, tell mo,
    For summate is not reet!

"Neaw, mother, dunnot fret yo;
    Aw am not like mysel';
But, 'tis not lung o'th' feeorin'
    That han to do wi'th deil;
There's nought at thus could daunt
    I'th' cloof, by neet nor day; ―
It's yon blue e'en o' Mary's; ―
    They taen my life away.

"Aw deawt aw've done wi comfort
    To th' day that aw mun dee;
For th' place hoo sets her fuut on,
    It's fairy greawnd to me;
But oh, it's useless speighkin',
    Aw connut ston her pride;
An' when a true heart's breighkin
    It's very hard to bide!"

Neaw God be wi' tho, Robin;
    Just let her have her way;
Hoo'll never meet thy marrow,
    For mony a summer day!
Aw're just same wi' thi feyther,
    When first he spoke to me
So, go thi ways, an' whistle;
    An' th' lass'll come to thee!




GOD bless these poor folk that are strivin'
    By means that are honest an' true,
For something to keep 'em alive in
    This world 'at we're scramblin' through;
As th' life ov a mon's full o' feightin',
    A poor soul that wants to feight fair,
Should never be grudged ov his heytin',
    For th' hardest o'th battle's his share.
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.

This world's kin to trouble; i'th best on't,
    There's mony sad changes come reawnd;
We wandern abeawt to find rest on't,
    An' th' worm yammers for us i'th' greawnd
May he that'll wortch while he's able,
    Be never long hungry nor dry;
An' th' childer 'at sit at his table,—
    God bless' em wi' plenty, say I.
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.

An' he that can feel it a pleasur'
    To leeten misfortin an' pain,—
May his pantry be olez full measur',
    To cut at, and come to again;
May God bless his cup and his cupbort,
    A theawsan for one that he gives;
An' his heart be a bumper o' comfort,
    To th' very last minute he lives!
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.

An' he that scorns ale to his victual,
    Is welcome to let it alone;
There's some can be wise with a little,
    An' some that are foolish wi' noan;
An' some are so quare i' their natur'
    That nought wi' their stomachs agree;
But, he that would liefer drink wayter,
    Shall never be stinted by me.
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.

One likes to see hearty folk wortchin',
    An' weary folk havin' a rest;
One likes to yer poor women singin'
    To th' little things laid o' their breast;
Good cooks are my favourite doctors;
    Good livers my parsons shall be;
An' ony poor craytur 'at's clemmin,
    May come have a meawthful wi' me.
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.

Owd Time,—he's a troublesome codger,—
    Keeps nudgin' us on to decay,
An' whispers, "Yo're nobbut a lodger;
    Get ready for goin' away;
Then let's ha' no skulkin' nor sniv'lin',
    Whatever misfortins befo',
God bless him that fends for his livin',
    An' houds up his yed through it o'!
            Chorus.—As th' life ov a mon.




COME, Mary, link thi arm i' mine,
    An' lilt away wi' me;
An' dry that little drop o' brine,
    Fro' th' corner o' thi e'e;
Th' mornin' dew o'th' heather-bell's
    A bonny gem o' weet;
That tear a different story tells,—
    It pains my heart to see't.

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

No lordly ho' o'th' country-side's
    So welcome to my view,
As th' little cottage where abides
    My sweetheart, kind an' true;
But, there's a nook beside yon spring,
    An' iv thae'll share't wi' me;
Aw'll buy tho th' prattist gowden ring
    That ever theaw did see!

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

My feyther's gan mo forty peawnd,
    I' silver an' i' gowd;
An' a bonny bit o' garden greawnd,
    O'th' mornin' side o'th' fowd;
An' a honsome bible, clen an' new,
    To read for days to come;—
There's leaves for writin' names in, too,
    Like th' owd un at's awhoam.

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

Eawr Jenny's bin a-buyin' in,
    An' every day hoo brings
Knives an' forks, an' pots; or irons
    For smoothin' caps an' things;
My gronny's sent a chist o' drawers,
    Sunday clooas to keep;
An' little Fanny's bought a glass
    For thee an' me to peep.

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

Eawr Tum has sent a bacon-flitch
    Eawr Gem a load o' coals;
Eawr Charlie's bought some pickters, an'
    He's hanged 'em upo' th' woles;
Owd Posy's white-weshed th' cottage
    Eawr Matty's made it sweet;
An Jack's gan mo his Jarman flute,
    To play by th' fire at neet!

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

There's cups an' saucers; porritch-pons,
    An' tables, great an' smo';
There's brushes, mugs, an' ladin-cans;
    An eight days' clock an' o';
There's a cheer for thee, an' one for me,
    An' one i' every nook;
Thi mother's has a cushion on't—
    It's th' nicest cheer i'th' rook.

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

My mother's gan me th' four-post bed,
    Wi' curtains toot an' o';
An' pillows, sheets, an' bowsters, too,
    As white as driven snow;
It isn't stuffed wi' fither-deawn;
    But th' flocks are clen an' new;
Hoo says there's daycent folk o'th' teawn
    That's made a warse un do.

            So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.

Aw peeped into my cot last neet;
    It made me hutchin' fain;
A bonny fire were winkin' breet
    I' every window-pane;
Aw marlocked upo' th' white hearth-stone,
    An' drummed o'th' kettle lid,
An' sung, "My neest is snug an' sweet,
    Aw'll go and fotch my brid!"

        So, Mary, link thi arm i' mine.




YOUNG Chirrup wur a mettled cowt:
    His heart an' limbs wur true;
At foot race, or at wrostlin'-beawt,
    Or aught he buckled to;
At wark or play, reet gallantly
    He laid into his game:
An' he're very fond o' singing-brids ―
    That's heaw he geet his name.

He're straight as ony pickin'-rod,
    An' limber as a snig:
He're th' heartist cock o' th' village clod,
    At every country rig:
His shinin' e'en wur clear an' blue;
    His face wur frank an' bowd;
An' th' yure abeawt his monly broo
    Wur crispt i' curls o' gowd.

Young Chirrup donned his clinker't shoon,
    An' startin' off to th' fair,
He swore by th' leet o'th' harvest moon,
    He'd have a marlock there;
He poo'd a sprig fro th' hawthorn-tree,
    That blossomed by the way;—
"Iv ony men says wrang to me,
    Aw'll tan his hide to-day!"

Full sorely mony a lass would sigh,
    That chanced to wander near,
An' peep into his e'en to spy
    Iv love were lurkin' theer;
So fair an' free he stept o'th' green,
    An' trollin' eawt a song,
Wi' leetsome heart, an' twinklin' e'en,
    Went chirrupin' along.

Young Chirrup woo'd a village maid,―
    An' hoo wur th' flower ov o', ―
Wi' kisses kind, i'th' woodlan' shade,
    An' whispers soft an' low;
I' Matty's ear twur th' sweetest chime
    That ever mortal sung;
An' Matty's heart beat pleasant time
    To th' music of his tung.

Oh, th' kindest mates, this world within,
    Mun sometimes meet wi' pain;
But, if this pair could life begin,
    They'd buckle to again;
For, though he're hearty, blunt, an' tough,
    An' Matty sweet an' mild;
For three-score year, through smooth
            an' rough,
    Hoo led him like a child.




THE dule's i' this bonnet o' mine;
    My ribbins'll never be reet;
Here, Mally, aw'd like to be fine,
    For Jamie'll be comin' to neet;
He met me i'th' lone tother day,—
    Aware gooin' for wayter to th' well,—
An' he begged that aw'd wed him i' May; ―
    Bi'th mass, iv he'll let me, aw will!

When he took my two honds into his,
    Good Lord, heaw they trembled between;
An' aw durstn't look up in his face,
    Becose on him seein' my e'en;
My cheek went as red as a rose; ―
    There's never a mortal can tell
Heaw happy aw felt; for, thea knows,
    One couldn't ha' axed him theirsel'.

But th' tale wur at th' end o' my tung,—
    To let it eawt wouldn't be reet,—
For aw thought to seem forrud wur wrung,
    So aw towd him awed tell him to-neet;
But, Mally, thae knows very weel, ―
    Though it isn't a thing one should own, ―
Iv aw'd th' pikein' o'th world to mysel',
    Aw'd oather ha' Jamie or noan.

Neaw, Mally, aw've towd tho my mind;
    What wouldto do iv 'twur thee?
"Awed tak him just while he're inclined,
    An' a farrantly bargain he'd be
For Jamie's as gradely a lad
    As ever stept eawt into th' sun;—
Go, jump at thy chance, an' get wed,
    An' may th' best o'th job when it's done!"

Eh, dear, but it's time to be gwon,—
    Aw shouldn't like Jamie to wait;
Aw connut for shame be too soon,
    An' aw wouldn't for th' world be too late;
Aw'd o' ov a tremble to th' heel,—
    Dost think at my bonnet'll do? ―
"Be off, lass,—thae looks very weel;
    He wants noan o'th bonnet, thae foo!"




HERE'S Robin, he looks very gloomy;
    An' Jamie keeps starin' at th' greawnd
An' thinkin' o'th table at's empty,
    An' th' little things yammerin' reawnd;
It's true, that it's dark just afore us,—
    But, keep your hearts eawt o' your shoon,—
Though clouds may be thickenin' o'er us,
    There's lots o' blue sky up aboon!

But, when a mon's honestly willin'
    To wortch, an' it connot be had;
And clemmin' for want ov a shillin',—
    No wonder 'at he should be sad;
It troubles his heart to keep seein',
    His little brids feedin' o'th air;
An' it feels very hard to be deein',
    An' never a mortal to care.

But life's sick a quare bit o' travel,—
    A marlock wi' sun an' wi' shade,—
An' then, on a bowster o' gravel,
    They lay'n us i' bed wi' a spade;
It's no use a peawtin' an' fratchin'—
    As th' whirligig's twirlin' areawnd,
Have at it again, an' keep scratchin'
    As lung as your yed's aboon greawnd.

Iv one could but grope i'th inside on't,
    There's trouble i' every heart;
An' thoose that'n th' biggest o'th pride on't,
    Oft leeten o'th keenest o'th' smart.
Whatever may chance to come to us,
    Let's may th' best we con ov er share,—
For there's mony a fine suit o' clooas
    That covers a terrible care.

There's danger i' every station,—
    I'th' palace as mich as i'th cot;
There's hanker i' every condition,
    An' canker i' every lot;
There's folk that are weary o' livin',
    That never fear't hunger nor coved
An' there's mony a miserly nowmun
    At's deed ov a surfeit o' gowd.

One feels, neaw at times are so nippin',
    A mop's at a troublesome schoo',
That slaves like a horse for a livin',
    An' flings it away like a foo;
But, as pleasur's sometimes a misfortin',
    An' trouble sometimes a good thing,—
Though we livin' o'th' floor same as layrocks,
    We'n go up, like layrocks, to sing!




ONE neet aw crope whoam when my weighvin'
        were o'er,
To brush mo, an' wesh mo, an' fettle my yure;
Then, trailin' abeawt, wi' my heart i' my shoon,
Kept tryin' my hond at a bit ov a tune;
            As Mally sit rockin',
            An' darnin' a stockin',
    An' tentin' her bakin' i'th' oon.

Th' chylt were asleep, an' my clooas were reet;
Th' baggin' were ready, an' o' lookin' sweet;
But aw're mazy, an' nattle, an' fasten't to tell
What the dule it could be that're ailin' mysel';
            An' it made me so naught,
            That, o' someheaw, aw thought,
    "Aw could just like a snap at eawr Mall."

Poor lass, hoo were kinder becose aw were quare;
"Come, Jamie, an' sattle thisel in a cheer;
Thae's looked very yonderly mony a day;
It's grievin' to see heaw thae'rt wearin' away,
            An' trailin' abeawt,
            Like a hen at's i'th meawt;
    Do, pritho, poo up to thi tay!

"Thae wants some new flannels; thae's getten a cowd;
Thae'rt noather so ugly, my lad, nor so owd;
But, thae'rt makin' thisel' into nought but a slave,
Wi' weighvin', an' thinkin', an' tryin' to save
            Get summat to heyt,
            Or thae'll go eawt o' seet, ― 
    For thae'rt wortchin thisel' into th' grave."

Thinks I, "Th' lass's reet, an' aw houd wi' her wit;"
So aw said—for aw wanted to cheer her a bit—
"Owd crayter, aw've noan made my mind up to dee,
A frolic'll just be the physic for me!
            Aw'll see some fresh places,
            An' look at fresh faces—
    An' go have a bit ov a spree!"

Then, bumpin' an' splashin' her kettle went deawn;
"I'th name o' good Katty, Jem, wheer arto beawn?
An' what sort o' faces dost want—con to tell?
Aw deawt thae'rt for makin' a foo o' thisel',—
            The dule may tent th' o'on,
            Iv aw go witheawt shoon,
    Aw'll see where thae gwos to mysel'!"

Thinks I, "Th' fat's i'th fire,—aw mun make it no wur,—
For there's plenty o' fightin' to do eawt o'th dur;
So, aw'll talk very prettily to her, as heaw,
Or else hoo'll have houd o' my toppin' in neaw;"
            An' bith' leet in her e'en,
            It were fair to be sin
    That hoo're ready to rive me i' teaw.

Iv truth mun be towd, aw began to be fain
To study a bit o' my cwortin' again;
So aw said to her, "Mally, this world's rough enoo!
To fo' eawt wi' thoose one likes best, winnut do,—
            It's a very sore smart,
            An' it sticks long i'th heart,"—
    An', egad, aw said nought but what's true!

Lord, heaw a mon talks when his heart's in his tung!
Aw roos't her, poor lass, an' aw show's hoo wur wrung,
Till hoo took mo bith hond, with a tear in her e'e,
An' said, "Jamie, there's noabry as tender as thee!
            Forgi mo, lad, do:
            For aw'm nobbut a foo,—
    An' bide wi' mo, neaw, till aw dee!"

So, we'n bide one another, whatever may come;
For there's no peace i'th world iv there's no peace
An' neaw, when a random word gies her some pain,
Or makes her a little bit crossish i'th grain,
            Sunshine comes back,
            As soon as aw crack
    O' beginning my cwortin again.




OWD Pinder were a rackless foo,
    An' spent his days i' spreein';
At th' end ov every drinkin'-do,
    He're sure to crack o' deein';
"Go, sell my rags, an' sell my shoon;
    Aw's never live to trail 'em;
My ballis-pipes are eawt o' tune,
    An' th' wynt begins to fail 'em!"

"Eawr Matty's very fresh an' yung;
    'Twould ony mon bewilder;
Hoo'll wed again afore it's lung,
    For th' lass is fond o' childer;
My bit o' brass'll fly,—yo'n see,—
    When th' coffin-lid has screened me;
It gwos again my pluck to dee,
    An' lev her wick beheend me."

"Come, Matty, come, an' cool my yed,
    Aw'm finished, to my thinkin';"
Hoo happed him nicely up, an' said,
    "Thae's brought it on wi' drinkin'!―
"Nay, nay," said he, "my fuddle's done;
    We're partin' t'one fro' t'other;
So, promise me that when aw'm gwon,
    Thea'll never wed another!"

"Th' owd tale," said hoo, an' laft her stoo,
    "It's rayley past believin';
Thee think o'th' world thea'rt goin' to,
    An' leave this world to th' livin';
What use to me can deead folk be?
    Thae's kilt thisel' wi' spreein';
An' iv that's o' thae wants wi' me,
    Get forrud wi' thi deein'!"

He scrat his yed, he rubbed his e'e,
    An' then he donned his breeches;
"Eawr Matty gets as fause," said he,
    "As one o' Pendle witches;
Iv ever aw'm to muster wit,
    It mun be now or never;
Aw think aw'll try to live a bit;
    It wouldn't do to lev her!"




COME, Jamie, let's undo thi shoon,
    An' don summat dry o' thi feet;
Wi' toilin' i'th sheaw'r up an' deawn;
    Aw'm fleyed at thi stockins are weet;
An', here, wi my yung uns i'th neest,
    Aw bin heark'nin' th' patter o'th' rain,
An' longin' for th' wanderin' brid,
    To comfort my spirits again.

To-day, when it pelted at th' height,
    "Aw'll ston it no longer," said I;
An', rayley, it didn't look reet
    To keawer under cover so dry;
So, though it were rainin' like mad,
    Aw thought—for my heart gav' a swell,—
Come dawn asto will, but yon lad
    Shall not have it o' to hissel'! "

So, whippin' my bucket i'th rain,
    Aw ga' th' bits o' windows a swill;
An', though aw geet drenched to my skin,
    Aw're better content wi' mysel';
But, theaw stons theer smilin' o'th floor,
    Like a sun-fleawer drippin' wi' weet;
Eh, Jamie, theaw knowsn't, aw'm sure,
    Heaw fain aw'm to see tho to-neet!

Why lass; what's a sheawer to me?
    Wi' plenty o' sun in his breast,
One's wark keeps one hearty an' free,
    An' gi's one a relish for rest;
Aw'm noan made o' sugar nor saut,
    That melts wi' a steepin' o' rain;
An', as for my jacket,—it's nought,—
    Aw'll dry it by th' leet o' thi e'en!

So, sit tho dawn close by my side,—
    Aw'm full as a cricket wi' glee;
Aw'm trouble't wi' nothin' but pride,
    An' o' on it owin' to thee;
Theaw trim little pattern for wives;—
    Come, give a poor body a kiss!
Aw wish every storm ov e'er lives
    May end up as nicely as this!

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