Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / exit

The Oiling of Dickey's Wig

BY THOMAS WILSON

from the Tyne Mercury of 18 Jul 1826

(Note: by this time the route of road via Low Fell, favoured by T.W., had been approved, and the 'tooting o' the horn' signals the start of the traffic. Considering the improvement this will bring to Low Fell, a general call to celebrate is issued...)

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How 'way Dicky, how 'way hinney,
  There's the tooting o' the horn,
If it cost a gowden ginney
  Thou's be soak'd wi' barley corn.

We'll hae a royal house to day,
  And every true LAW FELLER
Will moisten weel his drouthy clay
  Frae Willy Almond's cellar.

And if there's ony left that sees
  When Willy's tap runs thinnish,
Let them be powl'd off at the Keys
  Or at the Black Horse finish.

For where's the man deserves the nyem,
  Winnet push about the jorum,
And fairly mill'd gan dancen hyem
  The reel of Tullygorum. .

Come then, my boy, thy wig prepare,
  To get its promised oilen,
Till roun' and roun' its lanky hair
  Like Watty's tail is coilen.

This day puts mettle i' wor heels,
  Sets every pipe a' singen;
Wor vera hills yeckey the peels.
  Ower aw the LAW FELL ringen.

And had we wor pit-heaps to-day,
  And aw the cuddies to them,
And aw the faws wi' Flucker Hay,
  That went stravagin wi' them

They'd gien a gaudy day to care
  To see this change surprizen,
Wor calf-yard yence thought poor and bare
  To wealth and honor rysen.

Wor cuddy band, of bye-gyen days
  To LAW FELL lugs se cheerin,
Wad on this day in weel-set brays
  Hae gien their pipes a clearin.

They wad hae far'd on thistle tops
  The verra sweetest growen,
For hay but seldom blest their chops
  Unless it had been stowen.

Their maisters, te, as dry as chips,
  And always fit to gyzen,
Wad hae run gallons through their lips,
  Their drouth was sae surprizen.

Wor canny houses duffit theek'd
  Wor canny wives within 'em
Wor canny bairns se chubby cheek'd
  And sweet and clean ye'll find 'em

Are aw deck'd out in Sunday trim
  To mense this great occasion,
Whilk on the wheel-of-Fortune's rim
  Gie us se proud a station.

By this time we had reach'd the Back,
  The grave of serious thinkers,
Where we fand mony a hearty chuck
  Set in for sappy drinken.

The skuils are shut-- the gabblin fry,
  Aw skelp about at pleasure
Their maisters kizzen'd up wi' dry,
  Are now at liquid measure.

The blacksmith's bammer, yark for yark,
  We hear ne langer bangen,
He's busy putting out a spark
  A job he finds a lang en.

The tyelyers cabbish nyen to-day,
  Aw to a man designen
To strengthen weel their outer clay
  Wi' Willy's inner lynen.

And here comes to the lads o' wax,
  Rattlin like empty blethers,
They've left their kits resolved to rax
  To-day their upper leathers.

The joiners aw pin'd in wi' drouth,
  Shrunk up to spelks and dozzen'd,
Hae sworn o' yell to hae their fouth,
  And be completely rozin'd.

Amang them aw, some yen could nyem
  For tipple 'just the taty,
That oft their chalk lines leave at hyem
  To scratch a few wi' Katy.

But nyen the myessen cheps can bang,
  For suckshen always glymen--
Brewers dis'ent haud them lang--
  A barrel's but a primen.

The landlord's cocks on Gyetshead Fell
  Will this day be kept runnin;
And as we sit and swig wor yell,
  We'll cheer the cheps frae Lunnen.

Then drink, my boy, for weel we knaw
  The jaw wags nyen without it,
And tyke the road and tell us aw
  The outs and ins about it.

The call was instantly obey'd
  And Dicky set awaggin
A tongue that barley corn it's said
  Prevents frae ever laggin.

"Eh, lads, but its a bonny way
  But what myest pleased wor Nanny,
Was seeing fogies awd and gray
  Paid just for keepen't canny.

Its easy, airy, broad, and dry,
  The paradise of horses--
They bliss ye now as they gans by--
  Before ye had their curses.

The gaird comes fleein like the wind
  His blasts like thunner blawen,
The horses cock their lugs to find
  They're duen wi' lang-bank drawen.

It's form'd on Mackey's newest cut,
  And myed to suit aw humours;
A road for horse-- a road for foot--
  And yen for aw the bummers.

Its famous views ower hill and dale,
 And up wor bonny river,
Where aw the keels and whurries sail,
 Will matchless be for ever.

Here wafflers need not mind their steps
  Its aw the way se level,
The verra thing for muzzy cheps
  As leyte frae town they stevel.

Of aw the roads it bears the bell.
  (But whe ought else expected?)
Brings out the beauties o' the FELL,
  Se mony years neglected.

The jay-leg'd bodies frae the town,
  Hae lang keek'd through their glasses
At us, but could see nought aw roun'
  But bastard bairns and asses.

The rogues knew weel they were their awn,
  (But this durst not be hinted,)
And were, for fear their tricks gat blawn,
  Upon wor common stinted.

It stan's for nought, then, i' their creed
  That brag o' birth and kelter,
The nyek'd to creed, the hungry feed,
  And gie the houseless shelter.

Sic was the compensation whilk
  We'd frae these thoughtless nodies,
For finden air and asses milk
  To mend their crazy bodies.

'Tis true they might hae travel'd lang
  T' have seen a flunkey's tassel,
Yet we had things they could not bang
  In a' their fine Newcassel.

They brag'd o' banks byth awd and good,
  And bankers aw se cliver,
But wors hae stood sin Noah's flood,
And will stan' good for ever.

A banker's not amang wor ills,
  No grunting ungenteely,
For whether long or short wor bills,
  The notes come a'ways freely.

Their's often myke a forgen tyel,
  Tho' stampt and finely written,
Whilst wors awd Nature stamps hersel'
  Ayont aw counterfitten.

Their's pass a while, then pass away,
  Which mykes wor case the stranger,
For wors pass current till the day
  When time shall be ne longer.

Upon their vicar's pant they dwell--
  A verra muddy maiter,
Compar'd wi' canny Cairter's well,
  Se famed for drinkin waiter.

But if they jaw till grey they grow
  In aw their pithless lingo,
'Tis but comparen treacle wow
  Wi' Willy Almond's stingo.

And he mun be a sackless dog,
  Far worse than ony dandy
That dis'nt drink it in his grog
  By way of syeven brandy.

In sense they liken'd us to culls
  In manners to a boby
Yet oft we've had wor dancen skuels,
  And sometimes Punch and Toby.

We've oft had te the mountebanks
  On pay neets-- Lord, how funny
The merry Andrew was-- his pranks
  Suen eas'd us of wor money.

Its thrimmel'd frae the pocket neuk,
  And then wi' jaw se cunnen,
He wheedled us to try wor luck
  For fine things new frae Lunnen.

And tho' unlearn'd and bare wor claes,
  As far as history teaches,
We never in wor darkest days
  Hung up awd wives for witches.

We've led the fashions, if we can
  Believe what's oft reported,
That awd Will Cummin was the man
  That first a spencer sported.

Here's just by Nature what we were,
  When frae her hand she flang us;
And now a'll tell you what we are
  Sin great folks cam amang us.

We've lang wor meeting houses had
  For aw kinds o' beleiven;
Now we've a church to mend the bad,
  And help them up to Heven.

And that wor steeple stands abuin
  St. Nicholas', whe can doubt it.
That knaws the chep upon the muin
  Is forced to gan about it?

Here a' wor bairns may christen'd be,
  Wor lads and lasses married
And when at last we droop and dee,
  Here we may aw be buried.

We now raise grapes upon wor FELL,
  As weel as pines and peaches,
That Ravensworth cannot excel
  So far as flavour reaches.

We've peacocks te, wi' bonny tails,
  About wor barn doors feedin,
As weel as sheep that crop wor vales,
  The crack of fancy breedin.

But what delights wor drouthy set,
  For fear drink should be wanted,
The magistrates last time they met,
  To four mair, licence granted.

So now should they not board the Ship,
  Nor charge weel at the Cannon,
Let them not past the Engine slip   Beside wor College stannin.

But there get up sufficient steam
  To reach the Sov'reign cheerly,
Where they may quaff the royal stream
  As lang as they see clearly.

Yet still some odds and ends we need
  To put us a' in fettle,
Wor wives wad like a bit het bread
  Just when they boil their kettle.

We want a chep to trim wor locks
  And help us wi' wor shaven;
Also a pair of parish stocks
  For aw the misbehaven.

We want the gas when muinny's gyen,
  Folks far away t' leeten;
A parish clock that every yen
  May mark how fast time's fleeter.

We want a scribe to make wor wills
  Before we end life's journey,
To save us frae the warst of ills
  The lawyer and attorney.

He should naw some few points o' law,
  How notices are written
For muzzeling dogs, byth greet and sma'
  As weel as tenants quitten.

He should read every kind o' hand,
  And write aw kinds o' letters;
Cast up wor bits o' taty land,
  And touch up lazy debtors.

Just one word mair to wor great men,
  Whose fame wad shine far brighter',
If they wad, when at roads agyen,
  Make them a wee thought straiter.

Aw dinna mean by this to fling
  On them the least reflection;
Its only stamp'd an earthly thing
  By this sma' imperfection.

Then let's, mi lads, before we gan,
  A bumper freely gi' them;
Wi' three times three frae every man,
  For health and long life t' them.

And may as good gan wi' them aw
  As lang as they are leevin;
And when they're deun wi' roads belaw,
  May they find that to Heeven."

Here Dicky's tongue wad de ne mair,
  His wig was oil'd completely;
And every drouthy croney there
  Was dish'd and duin up neatly.

Lubin Level
July 12, 1826

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