This song is rather 'arty', but does illustrate the cross between dialect and Victorian decorated lyrical work found in song writing at this time. The song also contains interesting references to the once popular steamboat trips that operated throughout the region. 'Allan's bower' does in fact refer to a public house built into the cliff face at Marsden run by landlord Peter Allen. Allen was famous for keeping pigeons, pigs and a pair of tame ravens and was a popular subject for local song smiths.
This song forms part of a short run series of 'Shields' songs that were published some time in the 1850s by the Shields Gazette editor, William Brockie. The songs reflect the characters, landscape and industry in the small coastal towns of North Shields, South Shields, Tynemouth and Cullercoats. Famous for their fishwives, press gangs and tars (sailors), these towns, lying at the mouth of the River Tyne, were the gateway for trade in and out of the region. This small pamphlet forms no.2 of a series thought to consist of only 3 publications. Bound together in one volume held by South Shields Library, no.s 1-2 are complete with no.3 lacking all before p.17., and all after p.32. Songs are attributed to various authors in manuscript notes throughout the series, revealing that publisher William Brockie also contributed to the content of the publication.