A motto song using the local phrase 'Nowt se queer as folk'. Motto songs were common during this period and a number of examples can be found in a number of local song books. 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 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.