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Cushie Butterfield

  • Words George Ridley / tune trad

    Chorus:
    She's a big lass and a bonnie lass
    And she likes her beer
    And they call her Cushie Butterfield
    And I wish she was here

    I's a broken-hearted keel-man I's ower heed in love
    With a young lass in Gateshead and I call her my dove
    Her name's Cushie Butterfield and she sells yellow clay
    And her cousin is a muck-man and they call him Tom Grey

    Her eyes is like two holes in a blanket burnt through
    And her broos of a morning would spyen a young coo
    And when I hear her shootin', Will ye buy any clay
    Like a candyman's trumpet, it steals my young heart away

    You'll oft see her doon at Sandgate when the fresh herring comes in
    She's like a bag full of sawdust tied roon' with a string
    She wears big galoshes tae, and her stockin's once was white
    And her petticoat it's lilac and her hat's never straight

    When I axed her te marry us she started te laugh
    Noo, none of your monkey tricks for I like nae such chaff
    Then she started a-bubbling and roared like a bull
    And the chaps on the Quay says I's nowt but a fool

    She says, The chap that gets us he had te work every day
    And when he comes hyem at neet he'll have te gan and seek clay
    And when he's away seekin' it I'll make balls and sing
    Oh weel may the keel row that my laddie's in

    As sung by The Spinners

    Tune Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1967:] Productions of this stamp cannot be considered folk songs by any workable definition. They are popular songs, belonging to the world of the professional stage, however humble. But they were of peculiar importance to miners and other industrial workers, and their influence was so powerful that the musical repertory of, for instance, the north-eastern colliers might have become entirely urbanized, and lost what remained of its folk song character, were it not for an accident of history [the Irish Famine]. (Lloyd, England 332f)

    [1974:] Words George Ridley, tune Pretty Polly Perkins of Paddington Green. Ridley was a Tyneside comedian, an ex-collier who was only 30 when he died in 1864. The word 'spyen' means to dry up the milk. Although I have sung this for years, I had to consult a dialect dictionary before I could translate some of the words of the original into standard English. (Dallas, Toil 179)

    [1979:] Another blow to the romantic image - for the working-class man, too. Cushie Butterfield's job here is that of the 'clay wife' - selling the whitening stones used by women in their 'other' work then (and still today in some places), to clean their front doorsteps. This is a popular song of the 1850s from the music halls of Newcastle, written by George Ridley. (Henderson/Armstrong ?)

    [1982:] In is early days the music hall relied heavily on folksongs and their tunes, and many early performers made a speciality of folksong parodies - some of which have lasted better than the originals. On Tyneside, for example, the comedian Joe Wilson [sic!] took Pretty little Polly Perkins, a rather sickly-sweet Cockney parody of an earlier song, and turned it into Cushie Butterfield, an altogether more earthy girl. (Pollard, Folksong 9)

    [1984:] One of the classic dialect songs of George Ridley, the Tyneside bard. (Notes The Spinners, 'Last Night We Had A Do')

Quelle: England

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