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Title : Canny Newcastle.

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : Thompson, Thomas (b.1773 d.1816)

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

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 comparing Newcastle and London, giving preference to Tyneside. As London was dependent on the coal from Tyneside, it would be an easy matter to obtain a passage by collier brigg.

The author of the song, Thomas 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.


Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

First line:'Bout Lunnun aw'd heard sic wonderful spokes

Subject heading : travel and adventure

Keywords : travel & drinking

Period : 1801-1840

Place : London , ,Newcastle upon Tyne ,

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