The Bad Half Croon

Here are the words of a song by Albert Gibbons, perhaps from the 1920s. The reliance on the 'ring' of the coin, and the testing at Dowthwaite's chemist shop (Prudhoe) suggest a silver coin - and true silver coinage was being challenged by 1927. The version below was part of the repertoire of Tucker Huddleston, written down by Brian Watson, and can be listened to on the 'Wylam' CD of the Northumbria Anthology.

We went across to Wylam on a Saturday night
There was no beer at Prudhoe, so we couldn't get tight
Reckonin' wer money as we were gannin' doon
All we had among us was a bad half croon.

The bad half croon couldn't get a drink
The bad half croon had a rotten jink
Standin' at the bar like a silly cloon
Couldn't pay for the bitters with the bad half-croon.

Straight ower the new bridge, past the bumbler-box
Inte the first pub, Aa believe they called 'The Fox'
Ordered the bitters, the money was put doon
When the landlord discovered twas a bad half croon.

The landlord examined it, then hoyed it back
Cally Telfer says, "It's genuine, it's only got a crack
De ye think we're comin' here te rake ye doon?
Aa'll bet ye a quid, it's not a bad half croon."

That waddn't do, he was gannin' by the jink
Cally says te me "Aa canna foot the drink"
The landlord says, "Aa'll trust ye," and put them doon
So we landed back at Prudhoe wi' the bad half croon.

The next neet, Cally landed hyeme, then got dressed
Took it doon te 'Dowthwaites' te put it te the test
Walked up te the counter, and laid it doon
Cally says, "Is this a bad half croon?"

Teddy Kenny says, "Aa divven't think it, but it might"
Put in on the scales, it was the exact weight
He rubbed something on it, te turn it broon
When he said "That is hasn't, it's a Good Half Croon!"