This song was written by George Cameron, around 1804. A hairdresser in the Cloth Market for many years, Cameron wrote this song whilst serving in a volunteer regiment in Newcastle during the Napoleonic Wars. He performed the song at a meeting of his regiment at the Three Indian Kings on Newcastle's Quayside, and despite being met with much approval this appears to have been the only song Cameron wrote. George Cameron died aged fifty-five years on 20th June, 1823.
Newcastle was the second largest producer of chapbooks in the country at the time of this book's publication. 'The Newcastle Songster' 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 'The Skipper's Wedding' to 'Newcastle Fair', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as John Selkirk and would have been extremely popular among the local population.