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Title : George Stephenson

Format : song

Composer : Wilson, Joe (b.1841 d.1875)

Production details : publisher : J. Wilson
Newcastle upon Tyne

Date : 1864-1869

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Collection name : Joe Wilson's Tyneside songs, ballads and drolleries. Part 1.


Song in praise of the father of the steam engine. The song praises the speed of coaches and trains and also refers to a multitude of recent inventions. With steam power becoming a huge force on land and at sea by the time this song was written, it would have been natural to celebrate the life of George Stephenson.

The song forms part of a song book by Tyneside composer, Joe Wilson. Early editions of Joe Wilson's songs were published as penny song books, many of which he printed himself. As the performer's reputation grew, he decided to issue five song books, of which this book forms part 1, for the price of 6d. These were eventually issued collectively under the title of 'Tyneside songs and Drolleries ... [etc.]'. It is not known exactly when the book was published, but we can estimate that it was sometime between 1865 and 1869.

Joe Wilson, was born in Newcastle on the 29th November, 1841. At the age of fourteen Wilson joined a printers firm where he was able to indulge his love of song writing, three years later publishing his first song book. By the age of twenty-five the songwriter was touring Ned Corvan's old circuit, entertaining the crowds with his songs of domestic life. It was with songs such as 'Aw wish yor muther wad cum' and 'Dinnet clash the door' that Wilson founded his success. By the time Thomas Allan issued his fourth edition of Tyneside songs, most of Wilson's songs had been published and Allan had finally gained control of the copyright. After a short stint as the landlord of the Adelaide Hotel in 1871 Wilson returned to concert life, but sadly died shortly after at the age of thirty-three.


Collection description : Songs by nineteenth century Music Hall artist Joe Wilson

Melody used : Miller o' the Dee

Subject heading : invention and progress

Keywords : steam power & railways

Period : 1861-1900

Subject : Stephenson, George (b.1781 d.1848)


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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