This is a parody on the song 'When ye gang awa, Jemmie' which relates a conversation between two lovers. In this humorous version a wife is forced to pawn belongings in order to maintain the household budget. The pawn shop had been used as an early form of credit throughout the nineteenth century. Women often used the shop on a weekly basis, pawning an item at the beginning of the week and re-purchasing it on pay day. This practice continued throughout the first half of the twentieth century.
The 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.