Songs from the Age of Steam


  • Category: First Reactions to the Railway

Newcastle & North Shields Railway

A New Local Song on the Opening of the Newcastle & North Shields Railway


O grief on grief, no prospect now, one single comfort yields,
The waggon-way's completed frae Newcastle down to Shields,
What will wor canny Gig-men dee, se sober, civil, clean, and clever;
And all wor bonny Steam-boats tee, late dibbling, dabbling, on the river.

The time has been, so long a trip, took fourteen hours o'sun,
'Twas talk'd of many a week before, and after it was done ;
Your BACKS and PARRYS then might spare their northern trips and long narration,
Eclips'd by Jawsey's talents rare, and Harry Foster's navigation

And if by land ye had the heart to venture on a sproach,
Who does not mind the nice jog trot of Jesse Johnson's coach,
Se orderly it rumbled on, the weel bred horses cut no capers,
Ye might have read while gannin down the whole of four Newcastle Papers !

But see how things are changed, for now both there and back they say,
Ye'll gan se suen, ye'll clean forget that ye have been away !
The sea-gull once so fam'd in flight, relinquishes all competition,
And horses in despair outright, may now lament their lorn condition,

No longer Towns are station'd now, but through the very land
They one and all intend to walk, till meeting they shake hands,
North Shields upon the Solway Frith, will take a little variation,
And Carlisle down at Cullercoats mete out a spot for meditation,

So shall old England prosper, (the reverse though railers say)-
A Nation first at Railways, while all Nations rail away ;
And Commerce on the drumly Tyne, in prosperous and unceasing motion,
Newcastle and North Shields, maintain the queens, upon the German Ocean.


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