Author Topic: Add: The Collier's Rant


Posted - 26 Jan 03 - 03:27 pm

Collier's Rant, The

As me and me marrow was gangin to wark,
We met with the Deel, it was i' the dark;
I up wi' my pick, it was i' the neet,
I knock'd for his horns, likewise his club feet.

Follow the horses, Johnny my laddy!
Follow them through, my cannie lad, O!
Follow the horses, Johnny my laddy!
O lad lye away, canny lad, O!

As me and my marrow was putten the tram,
The lowe it went out, and my marrow gat wrang;
How ye wad ha' laugh'd had ye seen the fine gam,
The deel got my marrow, but I gat the tram.

Oh! marrow, Oh! marrow, Oh! what dost thou think,
I've broken my bottle, and spilt all my drink;
I've lost all my shin splints amang the great stanes;
Draw me to the shaft, lad; it's time to gan hame.

Oh! marrow, Oh! marrow, where has te been?
Drivin the shaft fra' the law seam;
Driven the shaft fra' the law seam;
Had up the lowe, lad; deel stop up thy een.

There is my horse, and ther is my tram;
Twee horns full o' grease, will mak her te gan;
There is my hoggars, likewise my half shoon,
And smash my pit sark, for my putten's a' done.

Source: Palmer, R,A Ballad History of England,BT Batsford Ltd, 1979


The text was first published in the Northumbrain Garland of 1793. The test and tune together were published in The Bishoprick Garland< editor J Ritson, in 1834.

Roy Palmer provides these translations of the dialect:

Marrow: workmate
Deel: Devil
Putten the tram: pushing the coal truck
Lowe: light
Gam: game
Law: low
Had up: hold up
Hoggars: stockings with the feet cut off, used as gaiters
Sark: shirt

Database entry is here.

masato sakurai

Posted - 26 Jan 03 - 04:03 pm

The song is adopted as the book title by Robert Colls: The Collier's Rant: Song and Culture in the Industrial Village (Croom Helm/Rowman & Littlefield, 1977).

masato sakurai

Posted - 03 Feb 03 - 07:48 am

"The Collier's Rant" (the same version with some minor differences) is also in Allan's Illustrated Edition of Tyneside Songs ([1862, revised edition, 1891]; Facsimile edition, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Frank Graham, 1972, pp. 25-26; without music), with this note [the date of Ritson's book is different]:

Sir Cuthbert Sharpe writes:--"This is a true pit song, which singers can do justice to. Those who have had the advantage of hearing it sung by the late Mr. W.S--, sen., of Pictree, will not readily forget the marvellous effect he produced on his hearers by his powerful voice and genuine humour."

SOURCE: UNKNOWN / Ritson's "Bishopric Garland," 1784.

masato sakurai

Posted - 13 Mar 03 - 04:20 pm

From folktrax:
COLLIER'S RANT, THE - "As me and me marrer was gannin to wark" - Ch: "Follow the horses" - Alt title: "The Devil and the Pitman's Wife" - ROUD#1366 - RITSON Bishopric Garland 1784/ Northumbrian Garland 1793 #13 - SHARPE BG p52 - BROADWOOD ECS 1893 pp10-11 Durham - STOKOE- REAY SBNE 1899 pp74-5 - SHARP BOBS 1902 #43 p92 - sung by massed choirs on the day the mines were nationalised in July 1946 -- Frank WALKER & Lewis BURT of Heswall rec by Alan Lomax, Thornley, Durham: 407 - Johnny HANDLE (+ guitar): TOPIC 12-T-189 1962 - John ELLIOTT (with ch) (soloist off mike) rec Birtley Durham 1963: RPL LP 29983 - Bob DAVENPORT & CELEBRATED WORKING MEN'S BAND: TOPIC 12-T-86 1963 - Johnny HANDLE with Alister ANDERSON (E-concertina) & Colin ROSS (Jews harp) TOPIC TSCD-486 1997

Malcolm Douglas
Posted - 13 Mar 03 - 05:41 pm

The song appeared in Cuthbert Sharpe's Bishoprick Garland (1834), not in Joseph Ritson's Bishopric Garland (1784). Ritson printed the song, without tune, in his Northumberland Garland (1793, song XIII). Some confusion seems to have crept in along the way, as often happens when editors quote from each others' bibliographies.

According to Lloyd (Come All Ye Bold Miners, revised edition, 1978, p.341) the tune was first published in Robert Topliff's Selection of the most popular Melodies of the Tyne and Wear, c.1815. The set appearing in Broadwood and Fuller Maitland, 1893, was taken from the Sharpe book, though with a piano arrangement by Fuller Maitland added.

Edited By Malcolm Douglas - 13/03/2003 19:43:53

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