Motto song on the importance of 'pulling together'.
Motto songs were common during this period and a number of examples can be found in the Dunbar song book. Usually containing some kind of moral message the purpose of these songs was to offer advice on acceptable behaviour or attitudes. The popularity of motto songs during this time is not surprising given the moralistic nature of Victorian society. This song emphasizes the importance of sticking together, both with regards to marriage and domestic life, and in society as a whole. It reminds the reader to 'keep their place' in society by pulling together rather than working for the individual good. The song style is a play on the popularity of rowing poems and songs which were a particular favourite at the time.
This song was written by William Dunbar and printed in 1874. Dunbar began his life in the service of Gateshead painter and glazier, Mr. Romanis. After working for a short time in the service of a Felling cartwright, he spent the remainder of his life in the coal pits. He varied the monotony of the pit life by appearing at amateur concerts at which, although not much of a singer, he was always well received. Along with his talent for composing, Dunbar had a decided taste for drawing and spent much of his spare time producing water-colours and pencil sketches. During the last few years of his life he spent most of his time writing pieces for the local annuals, published by J.W. Chater of Newcastle. He won a number of medals and competitions and on his death in 1874 was fondly remembered with a number of tributes in Chater's publications.
'The pull that wins the day ' forms part of a small song book published by Stevenson and Dryden of Newcastle. It contains over 40 pages of local songs composed by Dunbar, along with extracts from 'Chater's Diary and Local Remembrancer'. Most of the songs are given the tune to which they were intended to be sung and are classified into 'local', 'motto', or 'comic' song types. The book was published in 1874, probably on the death of William Dunbar.