Rather moralistic song about avoiding the 'miseries of man'. This song is very similar to the messages contained in 'motto' songs. 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 selection of songs from 'Blyth and Tyneside poems and songs' by James Anderson. The book was published in Blyth by J. Fraser, around 1898. The songs reflect the characters, industries and landscapes of Tyneside, with many such as 'Be kind te yer wife', touching on domestic life at the time. The author, James Anderson, was born in the village of Earsdon, in 1825. Following his father into the pits, Anderson held the position of lamp man at Elswick Colliery in Newcastle for over 20 years. His early songs gained merit in the Weekly Chronicle song competitions and the composer went on to have material published in 'Chater's Tyneside Comic Annuals' and other publications. The author was apparently as well known in his day as famous Tyneside composer Joe Wilson, although his popularity has not endured and he is not well known today.