Song written for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Both Victoria's Golden (1887) and Diamond (1897) Jubilees were excuses for massive outpourings of public affection. In 1887, to celebrate the Jubilee, a public exhibition was organised in Exhibition park. The exhibition opened on 11th May, 1887 and closed later that year on 28th October. This song was originally printed in the Newcastle Weekly Courant for the 30th September, 1887.
The author of this song, John Kelday Smith, was born in Orkney, moving to Newcastle at an early age. A versatile writer, Smith won a number of prizes in Chater's publications and his songs featured regularly in the Weekly Chronicles. J.K. Smith died on 12th June, 1889 at Temperance Row, Shieldfield.
The songs forms part of a collection held by Newcastle City Library. The collection comprises much of the original material collected by Thomas Allan for the publication of 'Allan's Tyneside songs'. From original Ned Corvan manuscripts to photographs of Joe Wilson, and correspondence from local figures such as Joseph Cowen, the collection provides a genuinely fascinating glimpse of some of the region's best known composers. The material dates from 1860 to 1890, spanning the dates of the various publications of the book in 1862, 1863, 1864, 1872, 1873 and 1891.