Song referring to the failure of the local railway to service Jarrow. At the time this song was written, the trip to Jarrow had to be made in stages. It proved easier to take the North Shields Railway and then get out at Howdon, and use the river ferry. For a long time the railway on the south side of the River Tyne swept around Jarrow, requiring alternate forms of transport.
This song forms part of a study of 'Newcastle folk-speech' by Harry Haldane. The book was published in 1879 and included a small selection of local song, as well as 'Geordy's last', a local tale. Most of the songs deal with the topics of the day such as town improvements, although there are also a number of 'motto' songs in the collection.
Harry Haldane was in fact a pseudonym for the popular Tyneside song-write Richard Oliver Heslop. Richard Oliver Heslop was born in Newcastle on 14th March, 1842. An iron merchant by trade, Heslop's literary offerings were largely concerned with Northumbrian dialect. His 'Northumberland words' appeared weekly in the Chronicle for a number of years and writing local songs seems to have been something of a hobby.