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Title : Noodle

Format : chapbook ; song

Composer : Gilroy, John Brodie (b.1818 d.1853)

Production details : publisher : J. Ross
Royal Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear

Date : 1846 (circa)

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Collection name : Songs of the Tyne; being a collection of popular local songs. No.4


One of a number of songs mocking local volunteer groups.

In 1819 the Northumberland and Newcastle Volunteer Corps of Yeomanry was formed. Political reform and dissent was rife on Tyneside during this time and the reform party regarded this new corps as a menace against them. They showed their dislike by referring to the corps as 'Noodles', resulting in this song.

This song was written by John Brodie Gilroy. Gilroy, a well read man, was foreman at Lambert's Printing Office in Grey Street. Author of a single, yet extremely popular song, Gilroy was known for his fiery temper and eccentric qualities. John Brodie Gilroy died in 1853 at thirty five years of age.

This book contains some of the region's best known traditional songs. From 'The bonnie keel laddie' to 'The Jenny Howlet', the book has offerings from well known Tyneside composers such as J.P. Sutherland 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 printed by, J. Ross of the Royal Arcade. This book forms no.4 of the 'Songs of the Tyne' series and was printed some time between 1847 and 1852. A number of the songs, however, can be dated to the early nineteenth century, some such as 'The pitman's courtship' appearing as early as 1816. The 'Songs of the Tyne' series were reprinted by J. Walker of the Royal Arcade, sometime between 1857-66.


Collection description : Popular Tyneside songs published in chapbook form.

First line:You're going to be a noodle bold, a valiant volunteer

Subject heading : war/armed forces

Keywords : soldiers & volunteers

Period : 1841-1860

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