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- Songs of the Ridings - 6/11 -

Ringin' so clear i' t' star-leet Across the frozzen ground. I niver mell on(4) parsons, There ain't a prayer I know; But prayer an' sarmon's i' yon bells O' Kirkby Overblow.

Six boards o' gooid stout ellum Is what I'll want to-morn; Then lay me low i' t' church-yard Aneath t' owd crooked thorn. I'll have no funeral sarvice When I'm browt down below, But let 'em touzle t' bells like mad At Kirkby Overblow.

I don't know wheer I'm boun' for, It hardlins can be Heaven; I've sinned more sins nor most men 'Twixt one an' seven-seven. But this I'll tak my oath on: Wheeriver I mun go, I'll hark to t' echoes o' yon bells O' Kirkby Overblow.

1 Unwieldy, grumbling rascals. 2 Hoarse. 3. Snare 4. Meddle with.


Why! Bobbie, so thou's coom agean! I'm fain to see thee here; It's lang sin I've set een on thee, It's ommost hauf a yeer. What's that thou says? Thou's taen a wife An' raised a family. It seems thou's gien 'em all the slip Now back-end's drawin' nigh.

I mun forgi'e thee; we're owd friends, An' fratchin's not for us; Blackbirds an' spinks(1) I can't abide, At doves an' crows I cuss. But thou'll noan steal my strawberries, Or nip my buds o' plum; Most feather-fowl I drive away, But thou can awlus coom.

Ay, that's thy place, at top o' t' clod, Thy heead cocked o' one side, Lookin' as far-learnt as a judge. Is that a worrm thou's spied? By t' Megs! he's well-nigh six inch lang, An' reed as t' gate i' t' park; If thou don't mesh him up a bit, He'll gie thee belly-wark.

My missus awlus lets me know I'm noan so despert thin; If I ate sausages as thou Eats worrms, I'd brust my skin! Howd on! leave soom for t' mowdiwarps(2) That scrats down under t' grund ; Of worrms, an' mawks,(3) an' bummel-clocks(4) Thou's etten hauf a pund.

So now thou'll clear thy pipes an' sing: Grace after meat, I s'pose. Thou looks as holy as t' owd saint I' church wi' t' brokken nose. Thou's plannin' marlocks(5) all the time, Donned i' thy sowdier coat; An' what we tak for hymns o' praise Is just thy fratchin' note.

I've seen thee feightin' theer on t' lawn, Beneath yon laurel tree; Thy neb was reed wi' blooid, thou looked As chuffy(6) as could be. Thou's got no mense nor morals, Bob, But weel I know thy charm. Ay, thou can stand upon my spade. I'll niver do thee harm.

1 Chaffinches. 2. Moles. 3. Maggots. 4. Beetles 5. Tricks 6. Haughty

Lile Doad

The Lord's bin hard on me, Sir, He's stown my barn away. O dowly, dowly was that neet He stole lile Doad away!

'Twas Whissuntide we wedded, Next Easter he was born, Just as t' last star i' t' April sky Had faded into t' morn. Throstles were singin, canty,(1) For they'd their young i' t' nest; But birds don't know a mother's love That howds her barn to t' breast.

When wark was ower i' summer, I nussed him on my knees; An' Mike browt home at lowsin'-time Wild rasps an' strawberries. We used to sit on t' door-sill I' t' leet o' t' harvist-moon, While our lile Doad would clench his fists An' suck his toes an' croon.

But when t' mell-sheaf(2) was gotten, An' back-end days set in, Wi' frost at neet an' roke(3) by day, His face gate pinched an' thin. We niver knew what ailed him, He faded like a floor, He faded same as skies'll fade When t' sun dips into t' moor.

Church bells on Kersmas mornin' Rang out so merrily, But cowd an' dreesome were our hearts: We knew lile Doad must dee. He lay so still in his creddle, An' slowly he dwined away, While(4) I laid two pennies on his een On Holy Innocents' Day.

The Lord's bin hard on me, Sir, He's stown my barn away. O, dowly, dowly was that neet He stole lile Doad away!

1. Briskly 2. The last sheaf of the harvest 3. Mist 4. Until

His Last Sail

GRANDFATHER T' watter is blue i' t' offin', An' blue is t' sky aboon; Swallows are settin' sou'ard, An' wanin' is t' harvist moon. Ower lang I've bin cowerin' idle I' my neuk by t' fire-side; I'll away yance mair i' my coble, I'll away wi' t' ebbin' tide.

MALLY Nay, Gransir, thoo moant gan sailin', Thoo mun bide at yam to-neet; At eighty-two thoo sudn't think O' t' Whitby fishin' fleet. North cone's up on t' flagstaff, There's a cap-full o' wind i' t' bay; T' waves wap loud on t' harbour bar, Thoo can hardlins fish to-day.

GRANDFATHER It's leansome here i' t' hoose, lass, When t' fisher-folk's at sea, Watchin' yon eldin(1) set i' t' fire Bleeze up, dwine doon, an' dee. An' t' sea-gulls they coom flyin' Aboon our red roof-tiles; They call me doon the chimley, An' laugh at other whiles.

"There's mack'rel oot at sea, lad," Is what I hear 'em say; "Their silver scales are glestrin' breet, Look oot across the bay; But mack'rel's not for thee, lad, For thoo's ower weak to sail." My een wi' saut tears daggle(2) When I hear their mockin' tale.

MALLY Dean't mind their awfish(3) skreekin', They 'tice folk to their death; Then ride aboon yon billows An' gloor at them beneath. They gloor at eenless corpses

Songs of the Ridings - 6/11

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