Song about a keelmen who is bitten by a dog. The keelman and his crew frighten a Quaker passenger by pretending the dog bite has caused hydrophobia.
The author, Robert Emery, was born in 1794 at Edinburgh but moved to Newcastle at an early age. He served his apprenticeship as a printer with the well known bookseller Angus. Author of some of the region's most celebrated songs such as the 'Sandgate pant' and 'Hydrophobie', Emery died on 28th March 1871, at the age of 77.
This book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'Hydrophobie' to 'The pitman's skellyskope', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as Robert Emery and would have been extremely popular among the local population.
Similar to the cheap press of today these poorly printed books and broadsides catered for popular tastes, being sold by chapmen in the country and booksellers in the town. Usually sold for no more than a penny, the production of these little books and broadsides were extremely profitable for most printers. Sold in bulk the material required little proof-reading, was widely plagiarised, and badly printed.
Newcastle was the second largest producer of chapbooks in the country at the time of this book's publication. 'Songs of the Tyne' were a short series of chapbooks originally printed by, J. Ross of the Royal Arcade. This book forms no.3 of the 'Songs of the Tyne' series and was reprinted by William Walker sometime between 1857 and 1866. Most of the songs in the book were first printed in the 1830s and 1840s although some, such as 'The pitman's courtship', did infact appear as early as 1816.