The Salamanca Corpus: The Bishoprick Garland or a Collection of Legends, Songs, Ballads, &c. …(1834)

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Captain.Oh! for a doctor, a right good doctor,

A ten-pound doctor, oh!

Doctor.Here am I.

Captain.Doctor, what’s your fee?

Doctor.Ten pounds is my fee; but nine pounds, nineteen shillings, and eleven pence, three farthings, will I take from thee.
See here, see here, a doctor rare,

Who travels much at home;

Come, take my pillsthey cure all ills,

Past, present, and to come.

The plague, the palsy, and the gout,

The devil within, and the devil without

Every thing but a love-sick maid

And a consumption in the pocket.

Take a little of my nif-naf,

Put it on your tif-taf.

Parson, rise up, and fight again,

The doctor says you are not slain.

The rector gradually recovers, which is the signal for general rejoicing and congratulation.
Captain.You’ve seen them all call’d in,

You’ve seen them all go round;

Wait but a little while

Some pastime will be found.

Cox-green’s a bonny place,

Where water washes clean;

And Painshaw’s on a hill,

Where we have merry been.

Then, fiddler, change thy tune,

Play us a merry jig;

Before that I’ll be beat,

I’ll pawn both hat and wig.

A general dance concludes the performance, to the old and favourite tune of, “Kitty, Kitty, bo, bo!”


The earliest song with this title, is directed to be sung to the tune of “Sir John Fenwick’s the flower amang them,”—and begins gallantly:
Come, brave spirits, that love Canary,

And good company are keeping,

From our friends, let’s never vary—

Let your muse awake from sleeping.

Bring forth mirth and wise Apollo;

Mark your eyes on a true relation:

Virgil, with his pen, shall follow,

In ancient Stockton’s commendation.

Upon the stately river Tees,

A goodly castle* there was placed,

Nigh joining to the ocean seas,

Whereby our country was much graced;

Affording rich commodities,

With corn and lead, unto our nation;

Which makes me sing, with cheerful voice,

Of ancient Stockton’s commendation.

Then follows an account of three Stockton men, who, in the year 1635, played a match at foot-ball, with three men of Middleham, and were, of course, victorious;
And Stockton got the commendation.
The second “commendation” was written by Benjamin Pye,

* Old Noll, in his day, out of pious concern,

This Castle demolish’d—sold all but the barn.

Vide—a new song for 1764, by Mr. William Sutton.
LL.D., Archdeacon of Durham, consisting of six verses, of which the following are perhaps the most effective:
But now I’ll tell you news prodigious;

My honest friends, be sure remark it,

Our ferries are transform’d to bridges,

And Cleveland trips to Stockton market.

Our causeways rough, and miry roads,

Shall sink into a navigation;

And Johnny Carr shall sing fine odes,

In modern Stockton’s commendation.

Oh! what a scene for joy and laughter,

To see, as light as cork or feather,

Our ponderous lead, and bulky rafter,

Sail down the smooth canal together.

* * * * * * *

Another song “in praise of Stockton, for 1764,” was written by Mr. William Sutton, to the tune of “Derry down.” They are all given at length in Ritson’s “Bishopric Garland.”

Maids get up and bake your pies,

Bake your pies, bake your pies;

Maids get up and bake your pies,

’Tis Christmas day in the morning.

See the ships all sailing by,

Sailing by, sailing by;

See the ships all sailing by,

On Christmas day in the morning.*

* The following lines are ancient, but they appear to be only a paraphrase of the above:—


I wish my love she was cherry,

Growing upon yon cherry tree;

Dame, what made your ducks to die,

Ducks to die, ducks to die;

Dame, what made your ducks to die,

On Christmas day in the morning.

You let your lazy maidens lie,

Maidens lie, maidens lie;

You let your lazy maidens lie,

On Christmas day in the morning.

It is the practice in some parts of this County to preserve the ashes of one yule clog, to sprinkle upon the next, which may have given birth to the following original and beautiful lines:—

“Yule sits upon yule clog,

With a white feather in his cap—

Red Rose, when wilt thou spring?”

* This song is simple and ancient; it was written down from the dictation of Mr. George Wood, of Bridge Street, Bishopwearmouth, whose tenacious memory is a well-filled treasury of local recollections.

The locality of the following fragment is doubtful; yet it was frequently sung by an old lady, who had it from her grandmother, who firmly believed it belonged to the Bishoprick.:—

Picking of lillies the other day;

Picking of lillies both fresh and gay;

Picking of lillies, red, white, and blue,

I little thought what love could do.

I set my back against an oak,

Thinking it was a stately tree—

But first it bended, and then it broke,

And so did my true love to me.

I saw a ship sailing on the main,

As deeply laden as ship could be;

But not so deep as in love I am;

I car’d not whether I sunk or swam.

And aw mysel, a bonny blackbird,

How aw would pick that cherry, cherree.

O, my hinney, my bonny hinney,

O, my hinney, my bonny hinnee;

The mair I think on her, my heart’s set upon her.

She’s fairer than ever she us’d for to be.

I wish my love she was a grey Ewe,

Grazing by yonder river side;

And aw mysel a bonny black Tup,

By that Ewe’s side aw always would bide.

Aw wish my love she was a Fish—

Aye, a fish in yonder sea:

And aw mysel a bonny fisher lad,

How aw would fish that fishy, fishee!

I wish my love was in a Kist,

And aw mysel to carry the key;

I would open the kist, and give her a kiss,

And kiss her again for company.



Up the raw, ma bonny hinney,

Up the raw, lass, every day;

For shape, and for colour, ma bonny hinney,

Thou bangs thy mother, ma canny bairn.

Black as a craw, ma bonny hinney,

Thou bangs them a’, lass, every day;

Thou’s a clag-candy, ma bonny hinney,

Thou’s double-japanded, ma canny bairn.

For hide, and for hue, ma bonny hinney,

Thou bangs the crew, ma canny bairn;

Up the raw, down the raw, ma bonny hinney,

Thou bangs them a’, lass, ma canny bairn.*

A few of the verses seem original, of which the following are the most characteristic:—
The damsels of Sunderland would if they could,

Welcome brave sailors when they come from sea,

Build a fine tower of silver and gold;

Every man in his mind, but Sunderland for me.

In Silver-street lives one Isabel Rod;

She keeps the best ale the town can afford,

* This song is equally current on the banks of the Tyne and the Wear; it is one of those nursery songs which descend from “generation to generation,” without variation. Fragments of songs of similar import still obtain, and are heard occasionally, as—
My bairn’s a bonny bairn, a canny bairn, a bonny bairn,

My bairn’s a canny bairn, and never looks dowly;

My bairn’s a canny bairn, a canny bairn, a bonny bairn,

My bairn’s a bonny bairn, and not a yellow-yowley.

All the neet ower and ower,

And all the neet ower again:

All the neet ower and ower,

The peacock follows the hen.

A hen’s a hungry dish,

A goose is hollow within;

There’s no deceit in a pudding;

A pie’s a dainty thing.

For gentlemen to drink, till they cannot see;

Every man to his mind, but Sunderland for me.*



The ship is all laden, and ready for sea,

The foy-boat is coming, away let us be;

Come hoist up your topsails, we’ll go without fail,

The wind’s West, Nor’ West, and it blows a fresh gale.

The skipper goes forward, and there takes his stand,

Both growling and grumbling, and giving command;

Haul this rope, haul that rope, he doesn’t know which,

And when he has time—gives his breeches a hitch.

The men are all groggy; we can’t find a boy;

Billy Wilson’s too lazy to work for his foy:

A rope is fast here, and a rope is fast there—

The foy-boats away—smash my wig if I care.

* Sir Walter Scott visited Sunderland on the occasion of the Duke of Wellington’s visit (4th October, 1827), and was an honoured guest at the upper table. In a letter to a gentleman shortly afterwards, who accused him of forgetfulness, he mentions his visit to Sunderland with commendation; which may plead an excuse for the following extract:—
Forget thee? No! my worthy fere,

Forget blythe mirth and gallant cheer;

Death, sooner stretch me on my bier!

Forget thee? No!

Forget the universal shout,

When canny Sunderland spoke out;

A truth which knaves affect to doubt.

Forget thee? No!

A triumphal arch was erected on this occasion by the ladies of Sunderland, in honor of the hero of Waterloo. A representation of which, with its gay flags and streamers, may not be misplaced as a decoration.
Such wrangling, such jangling, such cutting of ropes;

Such squalling, such bawling, such staving of boats;

Such cracking of bowsprits, such rattling of rails,

Such smashing of sterns, and such tearing of sails.

Our owner comes down, with his wig on one side;

He blows like a grampus, to see such a tide;

Bowse, bowse, boys, the capstan—hang me if I care—

I’ll have her to sea, if she strikes on the bar.

He’s from the low Quay, then he’s at the Pier end,

and then to the ale house, to drink with a friend;

We’ll leave him there, drinking his bumbo of rum—

We are stuck in the narrows—the tide it is done.

The ship is safe moor’d, and all hands gone ashore,

To court all the pretty girls that they adore;

They dance with their sweethearts, and what not beside,

And if they think fit, they will court them next tide. *

* This song (softened down, however, and deprived of many marine imprecations) was written forty-five years since, and it was no doubt a lively portrait of the bustle and confusion of a ship going to sea, [winding along a narrow and shallow channel, with a doubtful tide]; so different from the orderly, tranquil, and well regulated practice of the present day; and as to the state of the harbour, an official report of the officers of customs, dated 3rd November, 1739, relates that— “The ships which load in the harbour for over-sea are very few, for the depth of water at the bar, even in high spring tides, is not above ten feet, and will not admit ships which carry above four keels, or thirty-two chaldrons to go out loaden.” This account contrasts wonderfully with the present condition of the river; and proves abundantly what may be done by zeal and perseverance, properly applied.

This is the only sea song in the collection. The British Museum contains nothing relating to the Bishoprick; and the Pepysian collection of songs at Cambridge has but one, connected with this part of the country. It is lengthy, and describes the search of a citizen of Newcastle after his frail help-mate. One verse may suffice:—

And meetest thou not my true love,

By the way as you came?



I was young and lusty,

I was fair and clear;

How should I know your true love,

That have met many a one:

She is neither white nor black,

But as the heavens fair;

Her looks are very beautiful,

None may with her compare.

Emery wrote and published a ballad, which he sung to a select party, on whose judgment he thought he could rely. But the “faint praise” of his friends did not satisfy his sanguine anticipations, and he never sung it again. It was worthy of a better fate. The last verse is graphically descriptive:—

The pier with our wives and our sweethearts is lin’d,

To greet us on jumping on shore;

Each blessing the gale so propitious and kind—

So soon their lov’d tars to restore.

Now my notion of songs, you may call a strange fancy,

But I will as plump tell you no;

For the song that draws tears of joy from my Nancy,

Is the happy returning yo, heave ho!

This lengthened note may be closed with a verse from a very old local song; and it is the only verse which has escaped oblivion:—

If he comes to Sunderland Pier,

If I chance to hear his voice;

If he hollow—

Him I’ll follow,

Through the world—for he’s my choice!
* This song is “far north;” it is admitted in Bell’s Northern Bards, and may very possibly belong to the Bishoprick, where it is well known. Ritson, in “Gammer Gurton’s Garland,” gives it differently, and more quaintly:—
Says t’ auld man ti’t oak tree,

Young and lusty was I, when I ken’d thee—

I was young and lusty, I was fair and clear—

Young and lusty was I, mony a lang year;

But sair fail’d is I, sair fail’d now—

Sair fail’d is I, sin I ken’d thou.

I was young and lusty,

Mony a lang year.

Sair fail’d, hinney

Sair fail’d now;

Sair fail’d, hinney,

Sin I ken’d thou.

When I was young and lusty,

I could loup a dyke;

Now at five and sixty—

Canna do the like.

Then said the awd man

To the oak tree:

Sair fall’d is I,

Sin I ken’d thee.

The sailors are all at the bar,*

They cannot get up to Newcastle;

* Of a similar description are the following fragments, which apply to Sunderland:—

Blow the wind southerly, southerly, southerly,

Blow the wind southerly, So’ and So’ West;

My lad’s at the bar, at the bar, at the bar,

My lad’s at the bar, that I love best.
Wee’ll all away to Sunniside,

To Sunniside, to Sunniside,

We’ll all away to Sunniside,

To see the Fitter’s maidens.

Till the tide comes in, till the tide comes in,

And wee’ll sit upon the Pier till the tide comes in.

The sailors are all at the bar;

They cannot get up to Newcastle.

Up wi’ smoky Shields,

And hey for bonny Newcastle:

Up wi’ smoky Shields,

And hey for bonny Newcastle.



Ye sons of Sunderland, with shouts that rival ocean’s roar,

Hail Burdon in his iron boots,* who strides from shore to shore!

O, may ye firm support each leg, or much, O, much, I fear,

Poor Rowland may o’erstretch himself, in striding ‘cross the Wear.

A patent quickly issue out, lest some more bold than he,

Should put on larger boots, and stride across the sea!

Then let us pray for speedy peace, lest Frenchmen should come over,

And, foll’wing Burdon’s iron plan, from Calais stride to Dover.

Oh! the weary Cutter, and Oh! the weary Sea,

Oh! the weary Cutter, that stole my laddie from me;

When I look’d to the Nor’ard, I look’d with a wat’ry eye,

but when I look’d to the South’ard, I saw my laddie go by.

* The second line is well worthy of preservation. Rowland Burdon, Esq., M.P., for the County of Durham, from 1790 to 1806, built this splendid bridge; the advantages of which have never been sufficiently appreciated. It is singular enough, that the Act of Parliament for its erection does not determine its name, and it is now called indifferently, Sunderland Bridge, Wearmouth Bridge, and the Iron Bridge.

Before the bridge was built, the “North-siders” ,were invited to come to the “benefits,” by a postscript, in large letters, conveying the comfortable intelligence, that the great boat would be “in waiting for the better accommodation of the ladies and gentlemen of Monkwearmouth.”

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