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Words & music

 Ed Pickford © prs

My uncle Tommy waas six stone wet through

Nivver worked 5 shifts if he cud dee two

Frightened of nee-one but equally true

Nee-one waas frightened of him


He drank in the Lambton Castle

Each night he would give them hasssle

Set up his lip – someone would flip

Tommy wad gan on a very short trip

[Spoken] ….to the floor…the crowd…. wad roar..


Cho

Tommy lie down man, Tommy lie down

Thou knaas that thou’s safest down on the ground

Does thu not get tired of being knocked around?

For God’s sake Tommy lie down!


Aal Tommy’s family had terrier’s snecks

All built like bantys and easy t vex

He shud have had handles sewn in his keks

So he could hoiked* when howked**


His diet was Woodbines and drink

A thirst like a B&Q sink

Each night as he hit the floor

He learned aal about Issac Newton’s law


Cho:


That Lambton Castle was just an’ aad hut

A place where Lord Lambton had never set foot

Condemned by Defra - but it wadn’t shut

Ah think it was twinned with Dodge City


If ye hoyed a petrol bomb there

It wad be supped in mid-air

In the netty*** a warning waas pinned

“Divven’t light tabs**** if ye breakin’ wind”



Chorus


God teks nee lip mind when he teks yer in

Get vexed up there yer committin’ a sin

God said t Tommy, “Why Ah knaa thy twin!

Thou’s like Hitler – just littler”


Ah’m sending thou down t’ Aad Nick

He’ll skelp yer arse with a stick

Dance on yer cap - torn ye on a spit

Each torn for a shift thou missed at the pit



* lifted up

** beaten up

*** toilet

**** cigarettes

Other words:

snek/nose  banty/small hen keks/trousers hoyed/thrown skelp/smack



Tommy - Lie Down!

Note about the song & recording:

The recording comes from the now defunct Birtley Folk Club - where I started as a teenager, The club was run by the Elliott family - ‘The Elliotts of Birtley’

The song is expresses a kind of frustration - expressed in - what is to me - kind of “pit village” language - as told to me by my mother. I am not sure anyone outside of Durham can really understand - but - you never know.

The lady you hear  really enjoying herself is Jack Elliott’s daughter - Doreen Henderson - a one-woman audience.

Doreen Bryan