Blog No.1: A Musical ‘History’ Of Northumberland & Durham – Part 1 – 18th century – Tracks 1 to 4

BLOG NO. 1 – If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. Apologies.)

Welcome to a blog about tracks 1 to 4 of ‘album’ (Part) one of these five ‘albums’ (65 tracks in all) covering over three hundred years of history – both real and fictional – relating the English northeastern counties of what were Northumberland and Durham, but now Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham including Teesside. As such, some of the songs are sung in the old Northumbrian, Geordie or Pitmatic accents and dialects. I’ve included explanations of the words used where necessary, and sometimes give lyrics in Standard English. Part 1 covers the 18th century.

Keep in mind the music styles will change greatly from Parts 1 to 5 as they reflect the time they depict.

If any ex- or working miners out there spot any technical mistakes, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page. If anyone else spots typos, please let me know. Thanks.

Anyone can give a Rate This star rating at the top of the blog or leave a Comment at the bottom of the page, and you can Like this blog if you’re a WordPress member at the bottom. If you’d like each blog to be posted to your inbox, click on the Follow Mak’s Music Blog tab at the top of the sidebar to the right if you’re with WordPress, or FOLLOW (THROUGH EMAIL) if you’re not. Please do rate the tracks in the Poll after them.

Recorded in Weston Lullingfields & Oswestry, Shropshire © Mak Wilson 1974, 1976, 1977, 1993, 2007 & 2017

Track 1 Sailing The Men O’ War – I’ve dated this to c.1700, and it’s about the men from

the Northeast region who would have sailed on the Men o’ War ships in the War of Spanish Succession.

This is an orchestral, instrumental piece created using Apple Loops in Garageband and Logic Pro X.

Track 2 – The Trapper’s Song – I’ve dated this to c.1705. It’s sung from a 10 year old trapper boy’s perspective, whose 12 hour day was spent in the pitch black, opening and closing the door for tubs and ventilation. This remained the first job of mining boys well into the 20th century.

This is a time when mining was a family affair. The father would be the hewer, cutting the coal; the mother the getter, shovelling the coal into tubs or corves; the eldest brother the hurrier, pulling the tubs full of coal; the younger brother or sister a thruster, pushing the tubs to help the hurrier, or carrying the corves (baskets) of coal on their heads; and the youngest the trapper.

For this one I used the acoustic guitar in Garageband on the iPad. No real guitar was hurt in the making of this track.

There are some Pitmatic dialect words in this one: dee=do; hurrier=puller of coal tubs; thruster=pusher of coal tubs; getter=shoveler of coal into the tubs; shite=shit.

Track 3 – Over The Hills And Far Away – This original version of the song dates to 1706. The song was made famous by the British television series, Sharpe, but this version, however, predates that one by over hundred years. Mine stays closer to the original tune, and not the one arrange and sung by John Tams for Sharpe. Again it is set in the War of Spanish Succession, but this time it’s about recruiting men. The next track is an epilogue to this propaganda recruiting song.

Created with a mix of Apple Loops and live playing of virtual instruments in Garageband and Logic Pro X on a MacBook Pro.

Dialect word: gann owwa=go over;

Track 4 – Over The Hills And Far Away – Epilogue – An epilogue to the previous track. Where that was a propaganda song to get recruits, my version – which uses Tams’ tune – looks at the affects of war on the men who were ‘fortunate’ enough to return home to Northeast England.

All virtual instruments in Garageband and Logic Pro X. This was one of the tracks where my illness affected my voice a little. Sung with a slight Northumbrian accent.

Dialect word: owwa=over; waak=walk; aanly=only affore=before.



6 thoughts on “Blog No.1: A Musical ‘History’ Of Northumberland & Durham – Part 1 – 18th century – Tracks 1 to 4

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