Song about a man who is out of work. He wanders through Newcastle and sees people who share a similar fate. The song was written by Joe Wilson and was awarded 3rd prize in Chater's local song contest for 1868.
Joe Wilson, was born in Newcastle on the 29th November, 1841. At the age of fourteen Wilson joined a printers firm where he was able to indulge his love of song writing, three years later publishing his first song book. By the age of twenty-five the songwriter was touring Ned Corvan's old circuit, entertaining the crowds with his songs of domestic life. It was with songs such as 'Aw wish yor muther wad cum' and 'Dinnet clash the door' that Wilson founded his success. By the time Thomas Allan issued his fourth edition of Tyneside songs, most of Wilson's songs had been published and Allan had finally gained control of the copyright. After a short stint as the landlord of the Adelaide Hotel in 1871 Wilson returned to concert life, but sadly died shortly after at the age of thirty-three.
The song is taken from Chater's canny Newcassel diary, a collection of local facts, tales, songs and other ephemera. The book was published by local printer J.W. Chater and forms part of a series of similar annuals and almanacs published by the same printer. A large majority of the songs were written especially for the publication, many as competition pieces which were judged by Chater. The various annuals contain contributions from many well known local composers such as Joe Wilson and would have been popular in their day. The books are now held at Beamish Museum.