Geordie Folk Songs

Geordie Folk Songs & Music – Howay Lads “n” Lasses Sing Weh A Song

Geordie folk are still very interested in the songs sung in the theatres and fairs of old Geordieland.

The songs portray a life set in the historic industrial , seafaring, fishing and farming communities of Northumberland, Durham & across North & South Tyneside.

In this section we will attempt to highlight the best available links, allowing geordies everywhere to experience these great north east folk songs and monologues.

For your convenience links are set to open in a new window, simply close the window when your done and move on to the next highlighted link.

Two of the most famous of these songs are of course Geordie Ridley’s -The Blaydon Races and “Dance Ti Thy Daddy“.

Much has been written about the most popular Geordie folk songs and tales, so instead of simply repeating what has already been said we will link you to some of the excellent information that is already available.

These links may/will include existing mp3/4 downloads, interactive web pages and video links as well as examples of what could become the Geordie folk songs of the future.


We used to link to the following folk songs, however the websites they were on have now dissapeared from the net. Luckily at the time we saved them to listen to later 🙂


Dance Ti’ Thy Daddy Till The Boat Comes In

Dance Ti Thy Daddy is one of the most traditional Northumbrian/Geordie folk songs. The folk song celebrated the brave & enduring spirit of the fishermen who trawled the North sea from Berwick-Upon Tweed, down through to the river Tyne and up through to the Wear and Tees. The song was made popular throughout the UK when it became …

Future Geordie Folk Songs?

Could any of the following songs, sung by Geordie folk singer Ronnie Lambert, become future Geordie folk songs? Ronnie, who is sadly no longer with us, was most famous for his iconic Geordie folk song “Coming Home Newcastle”. Or what about the Mark Knopfler’s classic Why Aye Man or even Jimmy Nail & Sting Singing Water’s …

Geordie Ridley’s – The Blaydon Races “Thev gorra canny day fer it”

Geordie Ridley one of Geordielands most famous folk singers tells of the history of one of the most famous Geordie folk songs. Geordie Ridley – The Blaydon Races from Shipley Art Gallery Gateshead on Myspace. Now that you have learnt the history of the song, watch Jimmy Nail, Tim Healy & Kevin Whately Sing The Blaydon …


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    • Liz on August 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Hi my Uncle is having trouble remembering something my Aunt use to recite, if anyone can help. I dont know if its a Newcastle rhyme, poem etc but it goes like this:-

    they came for leeks and carrots to boil
    they came for tuppenny candles when they cant afford parafin oil
    and then there is a line about they skinned a rat

    ive trawled the internet and out this on twitter but so far drawn a blank and my aunt has passed away and is the only one in the family from Northumberland so we have no one else that could help.

    Many thanks

    • PAUL WILLIAM DIXON on May 24, 2020 at 11:39 pm

    Why aye man! Me father was a Geordie from West Stanley. I was born in Coventry and now live in Brazil.

    I have a new source for ‘Cushie Butterfield’:

    And a song in honour of Newcastle FC:

    Some phrases wor man taught me were:

    Wor man’s bad wi’ th’ beor.
    Wor bairn’s got the skitters agyen.
    Divvent dunshus wah Geordies.
    I’m gan to th’ netty.

    • Miranda Mitchell on April 6, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    We used to sing a song at the beach whilst patting our buckets full of sand to make pot pies (sandcastles). I think it went pot pie, pot pie, pot pie man …
    I can’t find any references to it online. Any ideas how it goes. It really bugs me that can’t finish the rest!

    • Sharon Fisher on April 6, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    My grandma from Durham used to sing a song about an old rocky chair.
    “My Grandmother she at the age of 83 took sick one day and died. When she was dead the will of course was read, all the family standing side by side. How they chittered how they chaffed, how my brothers and my sisters laughed. When they heard the lawyer declare ‘Granny has left you her old rocky chair’ ”

    There is a story about it but my grandma always forgot the words so if anyone knows the title or the rest of the song i would be really grateful as im a grandma myself now and would love to sing it to my grandchildren.
    Thank you so much

      • Stephen Foster on July 17, 2020 at 7:45 pm

      Grandmas Old Arm Chair

      1. My Granny, do you see, at the age of eighty three,
      One day was taken ill and soon she died;
      And after she was dead,
      The will to us was read,
      By a Lawyer as we stood side by side
      To my Brother then I found,
      She had left a Hundred pounds,
      And the same unto my sister I declare,
      But when he came to me,
      “Ah” the Lawyer says “I see,
      She’s but left to you her Old arm chair.”

      [CHORUS sung after each verse]
      Hey they tittered! how they chaffed!
      How my brothers and my sisters laughed,
      When they heard the Law yer declare,
      Granny only left to you her Old Arm-Chair.

      2. Now I thought it hardly fair, yet I said I did not care,
      And in the evening took the chair away;
      The Neighbours at me laughed,
      And my Brother at me chaffed,
      And he said “it will come handy John one day
      When you’re settled down in life,
      Take some young girl for your wife,
      And then you will be happy I declare,
      And when at home at night,
      and your fire is burning bright,
      You can sit down in your Old Arm-Chair.”

      3. What my brother said came true, for in about a year or two
      I soon was settled down in married life;
      I first a girl did court,
      And then the ring I bought,
      Took her to church and soon she was my wife
      Now the old girl and me,
      We’re as happy as can be,
      And when my work is over I declare,
      “Abroad I never roam,
      and at night I stay at home,
      And sit down in my Old Arm-Chair.”

      4. Now one night the chair I found had fallen to the ground,
      And the bottom had dropped out upon the floor;
      And there to my surprise,
      And right before my eyes,
      Laid some banknotes of ten thousand pounds or more,
      When my Brother heard of this,
      Now the fellow I confess
      And mad with rage he almost tore his hair,
      When I said “now brother Jim
      don’t you think it is a sin
      That you didn’t get the Old Arm-Chair.”

    • Jim Bainbridge on January 4, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    I had a little baal
    And I stotted it ower a waal”
    and that’s aal

    • Katie on December 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    Hi, stumbled upon this site and hoping you can help. My dad (Who is 87) loves an old style sing song but his memory is fading. I’m looking for recordings of old songs he used to teach us when we were kids in the 1960s. His favourite was a story that turned into a song about a day out at the beach … “ Ginny put her foot in the mud and Arthur got the cramp, me mother in law began to roar because the sea was damp…… and when we looked for the bathing machine it had floated out to sea”
    No idea what that’s called and can’t find it anywhere. Another old favourite is the Bread and Butter song also searched long and hard with no results for that either.
    My dad comes from a creative family but I’m pretty sure they didn’t make these things up.has anybody heard of them before or know where I might get a recording of them?

    • Hall Dean on November 28, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    Hallow, North Shields branch here hailing out of Hamburg.
    Spotify has lots of Geordie folk songs. Unfortunately the records are not always great.
    Wor Nanny’s a Mazer is a cracker though!

    • Ray Moore on September 6, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Jacqueline,
    The song/poem you are referring to was written by my maternal grandmothers uncle, my great great uncle Albert ‘Albie’ Gibbons. He was born in West Wylam in 1891 and wrote ‘The Bad Haaf Croon’ sometime in the 1920’s. During WWI, when he was a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers, he wrote what is probably his best remembered poem ‘The Soldier’s Poem’ which is often referred to by its repeated line ‘The Canny Lads from Prudhoe’. He died in 1937.

    • Jacqueline Foster on August 13, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    My grandad was born in Prudhoe but lived in West Wylam until he married my nana at Hexham Abbey. They lived in Swalwell for a while and settled in Newbiggin by the Sea in the 1940s – I’m 65 now but still remember one of the songs he would sing to me about a Bad Half Croon. I can only remember a few lines … doon ower the new bridge past the bumbler box, into the forst pub ah think the caalled the fox, calley caalled the drinks and wi aal sat doon when the barman discoveredtwas a bad half croon. Does anyone know the origin of this song/poem

    • Will Richarfson on April 12, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Where did the Cushie Butterfield song cone from, who was the lead singer and where did the school kids come from?

    I shared it with my Geordie da and it made his day on yet another horrible grey day soon sooth.

    • John Munro on January 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    lyrics for me me wife me mother in law went doon to the silvery sea.
    trying for the words

    • richard on December 22, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Can anyone finish the 12 days of Geordie Christmas or “will yee” fest?

    1 POt pie in a coal cree
    2 stottie cakes
    3 pork pies
    4 “calla” herring
    5 chicken wings
    6 crates of amber

    • Sharon on November 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Hi does anyone out there know a song which includes he lyrics
    Now here’s a tale I’ll tell about
    A tale of grief and sorrow
    About a lass from Felling square
    Who was courting strong in Jarrow
    Heard it in a folk club in Newcastle many years ago would love to track it down.

      • Neil Devlin on May 11, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      It’s a song of Eddie Pickfords.

      • Gary Maddison on May 12, 2018 at 10:35 am

      Lyrics like that Sharon sulely come from Lindisfarne just an educated guess

        • Jim Bainbridge on July 28, 2020 at 5:30 pm

        No, Ed Pickford- ‘The Dowdy Streets of Jarrow’ based on a very old Scottish ballad -the ‘Dowie Dens of Yarrow’

    • Derek Thomas on September 4, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Does anyone know the song about a man coming home to find the geet washing tub stuck on the floor and nothing on the table? I last heard it 69 years ago!

    • Francine Griffith on August 29, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    from my childhood i remember my grandmother singing Cah ackie cah ackie cah ackie through the watter Ackie is a queer beast but Ackie will na wade the watter
    can anyone tell me what this is?

      • Hilary Pearson on February 4, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      The words you quote phonetically are the chorus, Ca (call) Hackie etc. The first verse gives you the answer to your question
      Hackie is a bonny coo (cow)
      Aall the children dee adore her
      For she gives them aall the milk
      There is none among the kye (cattle) afore her

    • Marie on June 18, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Hi can any one help me, it sure if this is a Newcastle song but it has the words
    I stand at the corner she whistles me oot, we hands in me pockets short tail hanging oot,
    If anyone knows what it’s called and the rest of the words be lovely to have them. My Mam sang this to me,

      • Julia Gordon on December 2, 2017 at 10:01 am

      My mam did too but looks as if Still I Love Him is an Irish folk song. It must just have been popular at the time.

  1. A great source:

    • Louise Hall on November 23, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    My Dad was in the Felling male Voice Choir and they did so many of these wonderful songs. they recorded them on CD – Lambton Worm, Cullercoats Bay, Keep Ya Feet Still Geordy Hinny, Wor Nanny, I hope you can find some CDs or on you tube:
    Louise Hall

    • Keith Gerrard on September 1, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Has anyone heard of a song that includes some of the following words
    Here come the tetty pickers coming doon the raa, some with Raghu britches on and some wi nen at all

    • Joe Stevens on July 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    For Jackie Kinch

    Jackie did you ever get an answer to your question about the poem Poor Willie?

    My mother used to recite it to me many years ago and I’ve been looking for it without success for a very long time. I remember it ended with something about him waking up as they were about to bury him and being told that now we’ve gone to all this trouble you better stay where you are – or words to that effect?

    If you could let me know the rest of the words I’d be massively grateful.

    Best wishes

    • Alan Guy on March 11, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Does anyone have the words to “Wor Nanny”? It is a recitation about soeone’s first train journey. It starts:- ‘Have you ivor been on a train before? Whey once but nivor again………’ My mother used to tell me the story and I remember wonderful phrases like ‘….aal plush cushions and photies on the waals….’ …and aal of a suddint aa lost me eyesight…..’ (went into a tunnel) Hope I can get some help here as I live in Australia now but born and brought up in Shields (North) and occasionally get asked to ‘perform’ and my repertoire is getting a bit stale.
    Thanking you in anticipation.

      • Ged on April 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

      Here is the song in the geordie dialect

      Wor Nannys a Mazer

      Wor Nanny an’ me myed up wor minds te gan an’ catch the train,
      ‘Te gan te the toon te buy some claes for wor little Billy and Jane:
      But when we got to Rowland’s Gill the mornin’ train wes gyen,
      An thor wasn’t another one gan’ that way till siventeen minutes te one
      So aa ses te wor Nan its a lang way te gan an
      Aa saa biv hor feyce she wes vext;
      But aa ses nivvor mind we heh plenty o’time, we’ll
      stop an’ we’ll gan on wi’ the next.
      She gove a bit smile an wen Aa spok up an ses, ther’s a
      pubbilick hoose along heor,
      We’ll gan along there and git worsels warm an’ a glass
      o’ the best bittor beer.
      But Nan wes se stoot Aa knew she’d not waak an she
      didn’t seem willin’ te try.
      Wen a tink o’the trubble Aa’d wiv hor that day,
      Aa’s like te borst oot an’ cry.
      Chorus –
      And ay wor Nanny’s a mazer an’ a mazer she remains
      An’ as lang as Aa leeve Aa winnet forget the day we lost the trains.

      So doon we went te the pubbilick hoose, an when we got te the door
      She sez “We’ll gan inti the parlor end for Aa’ve niver
      been heor afore”.
      So in we went an tuek wor seats, an’ afore Aa rang the bell
      Aa axed hor what she was gannin’ te hev, and she sez
      ” The Syem as yorsel”.
      So Aa caalled for two gills of the best bittor beer, she
      paid for them when they com in.
      An afore she’d swallied a haaf o’ hors she said, “Aa
      wad rethur hev gin”.
      So Aa caalled for a glass o’ the best Hollands Gin, she
      swallied it doon the forst try:
      Aa sez to wor Nan thoo’s as gud as a man, she sez
      “Bob man Aa feel varry dry”.

      She sat an’ drank till she got tight, she sez “Bob, man
      Aa feel varry queer”.
      Aa sez, “Thoo’s had nine glasses o’ gin te me two gill’s o’ beer”.
      She lowsed hor hat an’ then hor shaal an’ hoyed them on the floor:
      Aa thowt wor Nan was gan’ Wrang iv hor mind so
      Aa set mesel near the door.
      She sez, “Give us order, Aa’ll sing a bit sang”-
      Aa sat an Aa glowered at hor;
      Aa thowt she wes jokin’ for Aa nivvor hard wor Nanny sing ony before.
      She tried te stand up te sing the “Cat Pie” but she fell
      doon an’ myed sic a clatter,
      She smashed fower chairs, an’ the Landlord com in an’
      he sez “What the hell’s the matter”.

      He sez te me “Is this yor wife, an where de ye belang?”
      Aa sez “It is, an’ she’s teun a fit wi tryin’ te sing a bit sang”
      He flung his arms aroond hor waist, and trailed hor ower the floor,
      An poor aad Nan (like a dorty hoose cat) was hoyed
      oot side o’ the door.
      An’ there she wes lyin’, byeth groanin’ an cryin’, te
      claim hor Aa reely thowt shyem;
      Aa tried ta lift hor, but Aa cudden’t shift hor an’ Aa
      wished Aa had Nanny at hyem.
      The papor man said he wad give hor a lift, se we
      hoisted hor inti the trap:
      But Nan was that tight that she cuddent sit up, so we
      fasten’d hor down wiv a strap
      She cuddent sit up and she waddent lie doon, an’ she
      kicked till she broke the convaince:
      She lost a new basket, hor hat an hoe shaal, that
      wummin, wi lossin’ the trains.

    • Denise on February 13, 2016 at 12:19 am

    can anyone help with this

    Can anyone give me the origins of this song, or at least the rest of the words, or versions of it.

    “Hay wa willy, will ya tell your billy that the pig chewn his mussels and he’s deed poor thing.”
    “What will we de, with the poor pigs lugs, Take them to the cobbler and make a pair of clogs.”
    “Clogs or a blanket or any other thing, The pigs chewn his mussels and he’s deed poor thing.”

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jackie Kinch on January 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Does anyone know of a song called Poor Old Willy. I know all the words my Dad taught me it but I cannot find out any thing about it.

    1. Oh c’mon Jackie, you cant keep us hanging tell / sing us the words 🙂

        • Jackie Kinch on January 6, 2016 at 11:09 pm

        Poor old Willie went to bed as weel as weel could be be be
        He had to gan to work in first he had to be up at three three three

        He had his supper with his aunt and bid them all good neet neet neet
        He went upstairs to say his prayers and then blew out the leet leet

        At three o clock the caller called but Willie took nay heed heed heed.
        They went upstairs beside his bed and foond poor Willie deed deed (dead)

        They woke the neighbours oot a bed and sent for Dr Tate Tate Tate
        He said what all the others said to late to late to late late late

        They washed his face and combed his hair and tied his chaffes with cloot cloot cloot
        They say he never looked so weel until his breath went oot oot oot

        Sorry not sure about Geordie spellings but hope you get the idea

        1. How you spell things in Geordie doesn’t matter Jackie 🙂 its how you say them that counts 😀

        2. You have a question / comment on your poor old Willie post

    • Ann dawson on June 25, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Please does anyone know the poem I only just remember from my young years being recited I think it’s called ” the fight on the stairs” it was really good and funny a lady from Linton in Northumberland called Hannah Curry always recited this at any function held in the village
    Thanks Ann Dawson ( nee English , twin sister is Sheila)

      • Ed on July 18, 2015 at 8:05 am

      You may be thinking of the song ‘Row upon the Stairs’

    • Lyle on October 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny its not “Dinna” drive me bonny dreams away, (Sunderland) its “Divint” drive me bonny dreams away (Newcastle)

    • Yvonne Brown on July 31, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Does anyone have or know where I could download a professional version of ‘Bonny Tyneside’ . I need it for a funeral.

    • Grace on July 11, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    I’m trying to find a recording of “the traveling candy man” I found a link to ASAPlive-radio farne where they have Reece Elliot listed as singing it – but I can’t get it to work. Do you know where I can find?

  2. On Behalf of George William ( Bill ) Jones

    My wife was in the Whitley Bay girls Choir 1954/6 time when they recorded for the BBC the song ” Cullercoats Bay” .Could you tell me if there are any recordings of this song ?? I would like to have a copy on disc.

    Bill Jones

      • Paul Colman on December 14, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      Hi Bill did you manage to get a copy of the disc with Cullercoats Bay on. My mother was also in the Whitley Bay girls choir 1954/6. She has just passed away and was hoping to plat it at her funeral

      Paul Colman

        • Geordie H on December 16, 2014 at 11:00 pm

        Sorry this comment took 2 days to approve … especially because of your recent loss Paul … life gets in the way of things sometimes, but I hope there is still time to find the answer … Twitter please help out here …

    • Geoff53 on May 19, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I have just purchased the DVD big river The Tyne is anyone aware if a song featured, Canny Tyneside is available on cd or mp3, born a geordie always a geordie, even living in lincs despite Mrs T, who forced a lot to move south

    • Zoe on April 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Re Busker

    My parents definitely have Coming Home Newcastle on single and it has the words on the cover; I’ll ask them to dig it out but from memory it goes something like (couplets not necessarily in right order!)

    I had to come to London, ‘cos I could’nt find a job
    I don’t intend to stay long if I make a few quick bob

    It’s cold up there in summer, it’s like sitting inside a fridge
    But I wish I was on the Quayside, looking at the old Tyne Bridge

    (Not sure which lines go where in song, chorus varies)

    I’m coming home Newcastle, I wish I’d never been away
    I’d kiss the ground for the welcome sound of me mother saying hinney haway

    I’m coming home Newcastle you can keep your London wine
    I’d walk the streets all day all neet for a bottle of the River Tyne

    (And another one about a bottle of your own brown ale, and another about being at the Gallowgate end in the rain)

    I miss the old blind busker, who stands at Fenwick’s door
    He plays a mean archordian, you’ve all seen him there before

    Sorry, that’s all I can recall off-hand (but not too shabby for 30 oddyears ago!). Hopefully it’ll jog a few memories to fill in the gaps (and I’ll try to find my parents’ single and repost)

      • Dave on March 31, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      I’m coming home by a band called Geordie who released the album A Band from Geordieland

    1. You should both check this old post out 🙂

  3. On Behalf Of BR Martin

    Wonderful – a website for Geordie’s like me. Yes, I am a Geordie born and bred and now in the USA.

    I am looking for sheet music “Coming Home Newcastle” which was written by (I think Ronnie Lambert) and wondering where I can get it. Melody and lyrics – I can cope with chords.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    God Bless
    Br Martin
    Way ai man – you Canny Fine Fella!!!

    *posted from email contact form

    • Syd on September 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Does anyone out there know where I can get me’ hands on copies of Ronnie Lambert’s music? I have one “Busker” cd with “I’m comin’ Home Newcastle” – “Wor lass” etc. but he sang more than just these famous ones. Any help would make me a very happy geordie. We owe it to Ronnie and ourselves to keep his music alive. He is a true Geordie hero and the definitive “bonnie lad”

      • Kathleen on March 18, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Hi there. Was interested in your post last September which I’ve just seen. A few years ago when my cassette player finally packed up I got rid of all my cassettes -stupid move. Among them was one with Busker’s ‘Home Newcastle’, It also had Lindisfarne ‘Fog on the Tyne plus Adam Buckham, Lambton Worm, Wor Nanny’s a Mazer and others I can’t remember, but a real mixture of folk and rock. I was wondering if this is the same recording as the CD you mention or if not, if I could have the title of yours so that I can start hunting for it. The most annoying thing is that for the life of me I can’t remember the title. I’ve tried Amazon, Ebay and Music Stack but no use.

      Any help would be very welcome

      Kathleen Richmond

      1. Sorry Kathleen & Syd … there used to be a website all about Ronnie ran by an old friend of his where you could buy & listen to excerpts of Busker’s music, it was called but it’s run by someone trying to sell the domain name now … I made the mistake of delaying the purchase of a CD until it was to late, maybe you will get lucky and one of our visitors can help. I’ll put a post to your comments on twitter.

        1. The lead sheet for Coming Home Newcastle is available from a company run by Penny Weedon called Dots2Order. I am able to say this because I arranged for her to write out the dots for me and I play it often from the lead sheet written by this company from listening to it on UTube. Please note my email does not start with a capital G. It should all be lower case as is usual, but the site kept changing it to G instead of g.

    • Spiritbody on May 12, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Billy Billy Stamper, stamp my hand. If you dont you’ll never be a man

    • Jean Grey on February 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Does anybody know the rhyme, Billy Billy Stamper……. How does it go on? I am 79 so going back a long time!

    • mandy snee on February 12, 2011 at 8:18 pm


    Links to folk songs not working.



      • Geordie H on February 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      Thanks for the heads up Mandy 🙂 … links to the lambton worm now fixed …

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