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I went to Blaydon Races, twas on the ninth of June,
Eighteen hundred and sixty two on a summer's afternoon.
I took the bus to Balmdraes and she was heavy laden.
Away we went up Collingwood Street,
That's on the way to Blaydon

And it's O my lads you should a' seen us gannin',
Passin' the folks along the road, just as they were stannin'.
There was lots o' lads and lasses there all wi' smilin' faces,
Gannin' along the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.

We flew past Armstrong's factory and up by the 'Robin Adair'.
Just gannin' down by the railway bridge, the bus wheel fell off there.
The lasses lost thier crinolines and the veils that hide thier faces.
I got two black eyes and a broken nose, gannin' to the Blaydon Races.

When we got the wheel put on, away we went again.
But them that had their noses broke they went back over home,
Some went to the dispensary and some to Doctor Gibbs's
And some to the Infirmary to mend thier broken ribses.

Now when they got to Paradise, there was bonny game begun.
There was four and twenty on the bus, man, how they danced and sung.
They called on me to sing a song, I sung them 'Paddy Fagan".
I danced a jig and I swung me twig, the day I went to Blaydon.

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Source: Singing Together, Summer 1978, BBC Publications

Written c.1862 by George Ridley (1835-1864). The first public performance of the Blaydon Races by Ridley was on the 5th June, 1862 at a testimonial for the great Tyneside sporting hero Harry Clasper, at Balmbra's Music Hall in Newcastle.

Further details can be found at Folk Archive Resource North East

Roud: 3511 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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