Song descriptive of the celebration of the General Peace of 1814.
This song gives a vivid description of the illuminations held in celebration of the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The song describes the coloured lamps used to light up Newcastle's Quayside and the general merryment had by all. On occasions of national importance it would have been common for celebrations to have been held on the Quay with food and drink provided by the town. The song was printed in the Tyne Mercury of 1st June, 1814.
There seems to be some confusion surrounding authorship of this song. Allan's Tyneside's Songs attribute the song to John Selkirk, however Fordyce states the song to be the work of John Shield.
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. This book forms part III of the 'Songster' series and is perhaps easier to date than parts I and II. Although it is not clear whether preceding parts of the 'Songster' were published before or after John Bell's 'Rhymes of the Northern Bards, 1812, the appearance of songs such as 'XYZ' in part III indicate the publication date to be no earlier than 1814.
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.