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Title : Quayside shaver.

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : Stephenson, William, Snr. (b.1763 d.1836)

Production details : publisher : J. Marshall
Old Flesh Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1812 (circa)

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Collection name : Newcastle songster; being a choice collection of songs, descriptive of the language and manners of the common people of Newcastle upon Tyne and the neighbourhood.

 

Song describing the practice of having a weekly shave in the open air on Market Day on Newcastle's Quayside. The barber is a woman (open air barbers chiefly were women) who has an impatient queue.

The author of the song, William Stephenson, was born in Gateshead on June 28th, 1763. A schoolmaster for the greater part of his life Stephenson wrote a number of well-known songs such as 'Quayside Shaver' and 'Skipper's wedding'. He also collected songs and poems and was well-known for his descriptions of local Gateshead eccentrics and famous characters. Stephenson died aged 73 on 12th August, 1836.

'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.

 

Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

First line:On each market day, Sir, the folks to the Quay, Sir

Subject heading : industry and occupation

Keywords : barbers & markets

Period : 1801-1840

Height : 14 cm

Width : 8 cm

Held by : Newcastle University

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of Newcastle University

 

t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East