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Title : Blyth sailor's farewell

Also known as : Blyth and Tyneside poems and songs ;

Format : song

Composer : Anderson, James (b.1825)

Production details : publisher : J. Fraser
Scribe Office, Blyth, Northumberland

Date : 1898 (circa)

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Collection name : Collection of Blyth and Tyneside poems and songs


A song about sailing from Blyth harbour. The harbour at Blyth is recorded to have been in use from medieval times and the town of Blyth was first chronicled in 1208. The town took its name from the River Blyth. The word Blyth is said to mean 'white water'. The construction of a formal harbour was complete in 1730 with a coaling quay, a ballast quay, a pilots watch house and a lighthouse. The first breakwater was built in 1765 and the first staith with an elevated loading point in 1788. The growth of the port into a modern harbour began with the incorporation of commissioners in 1882 enabling the port to be developed in the form of a Trust.

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.


Collection description : A collection of songs and poems by James Anderson

Melody used : Laird o' Cockpen

First line : Farewell, dearest comrades, a pleasant farewell

Subject heading : river and sea

Keywords : harbours & boats & sailors

Period : 1861-1900

Place : Blyth Harbour , Blyth , Northumberland

Page numbers: p.70


Held by : Border History Museum

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Border History Museum


t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East