This song was written by Thomas Thompson for the Newcastle elections of 1812. The song appeared in the Newcastle Advertiser and was sung at the Turk's Head Inn, in Newcastle's Bigg Market, on Saturday, October 10th, 1812. Thompson was born in Bishop Auckland in 1773. Author of 'Canny Newcastle' and 'The New Keel Row', amongst others, Thompson is regarded by many as one of the earliest and best of Tyneside writers.
'The Newcastle Songster', from which this song was taken, was printed by J. Marshall, one of the most prominent chapbook printers in Newcastle during the early nineteenth century. It is rather difficult to date the book, but as we know that Marshall didn't move to his Flesh Market premises until 1811, it is possible to say that it certainly wasn't published before this date. The appearance of much of the books contents in John Bell's 'Rhymes of the Northern Bards', published in 1812, could also indicate that the book was printed around the same time. However which was printed first, can not be established for certain.
The book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'Weel may the keel row' to 'Canny Newcastle', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as John Selkirk and Thomas Thompson, and would have been extremely popular among the local population.