Thomas Blackah
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Thomas Blackah (1828-95)

Thomas Blackah was a lead miner in Nidderdale born 1828 and died in Leeds in 1895.
The family had to move to Leeds as the lead mines were 'worked out'.
Thomas and his family emigrated to the United States in 1857, but subsequently had to return. However Thomas kept a diary of the journey which is on the Internet and is a disturbing read of the life of those times, he was un-educated or must at the best have been self-educated - which makes his dialect verses remarkable. A short biography of his life can be found here.
(from Anne Crowther).

 

Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl 

Pateley Races

Willie's Welcome Home

 

Coom, don on thy Bonnet an' Shawl 

Coom, don on thy bonnet an' shawl, 
An' straighten thy cap an' thy hair; 
I's really beginnin' to stall 
To see thee sit dazzin' i' t' chair. 

Sea coom, let us tak a walk oot, 
For t' air is as warm as a bee; 
I hennot a morsel o' doot 
It'll help beath lile Willy an' thee. 

We'll gan reet throo t' Middle Toon, 
As far as to Reavensgill Heead; 
When thar, we can sit wersens doon 
On t' crags close at side o' t' becksteead. 

An' then, oh! hoo grand it'll be 
To pass a few minutes away, 
An' listen t' birds sing on each tree 
Their carols for closin' the day. 

An' all aboot t' green nobby hills, 
T' lile daisies their beauties will show; 
An' t' perfume at Flora distils 
Like breath o' the mornin' will blow. 

Then don on thy bonnet an' shawl, 
An' coom let's be walkin' away; 
I's fairly beginnin' to stall 
To see thee sit dazzin' all t' day.

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Pateley Reeaces

Attention all, baith great an' small,
An' dooan't screw up yer feeaces;
While I rehearse, i' simple verse
A coont o'Pateley Reeaces.

Fra all ower t' moors, they com by scoores,
Girt skelpin' lads an' lasses;
An' cats an' dogs, an' coos an Hogs,
An' hosses, mules, an' asses.

Oade foaks wer thar, fra near an' far,
At cuddant fairly hopple;
An' laughin' brats, as wild as cats,
Owe heeads an' heels did topple.

The Darley lads, arrived i' squads,
Wi' smiles all ower ther feeaces,
An' Hartwith youths, wi'screw'd up mooths,
In wonder watch'd the reeaces.

Fra Menwith Hill and Folly Gill,
Thorntyat, an Deacre Paster,
Fra Thrushcross Green, an t'Heets wer seen
Croods comun' thick an' faster.

Tween Bardin Brigg and Threshfield Rig
Oade Wharfedeale gat a thinnin'
An' Gerston plods laid heavy odds
On Creeaven Lass fer winnin'

Sich lots wer seen o' Hebdin Green
Ready seean on i' t' mornin',
While Aptrick chaps, i'carts an' traps,
Wer off ta Patela spernin.

All Greenho' Hill, past Coadsteeanes kill,
Com taltherin' an' singin'
Harcastle coves, like sheep i' droves,
Oade Palmer Simp wer bringin'.

Baith short an' tall, past Gowthit Hall,
T'updeealers kept on steerin'
For ne'er before, roon Middlesmoor,
Had ther been sich a clearin'.

All kinds and sorts o'games an'sports
Had t'Patela chaps pervided,
An'weel did t'few, ther business do,
At ower 'em persided.

'Twad tak a swell munth ta tell
All t'ins an' oots o' t'reeaces,
Hoo far the' ran, which hosses wan,
An' which wer back'd for pleeaces.

Oade Billy Broon lost hauf-a-croon
Wi' Taty-Hawker backin'
For Green Crag flew, ower t'hurdles true,
An' want t'match like a stockin'.

An' Creeaven Lass won lots o'brass,
Besides delightin' t'Brockils,
An' Eva danc'd, an' rear'd an' pranc'd;
As gif she stood o' cockles.

But t'donkey reeace wer t'star o' t'pleeace,
For oade an' young observers;
'Twad meeade a nun fra t' convent run
An' ne'er again bi nervous.

Tom Hemp fra t'Stean cried oot, "Weel deean,"
An' t'wife began o' chaffin';
Whal Kirby Jack stack up his back,
An' nearly brast wi' laughin'.

Sly Wilsill Bin, fra een ta chin,
Wer plaister'd up wi' toffy,
An' lang-leg'd Jane, he'd browt fra t'Plain
Full bent on winnin' t'coffee.

Young prony slirts, I' drabbl'd skirts,
Like painted peacocks stritches;
While girt chignons like milkin'-cans
On ther top-garrits perches.

Fat Sal fra t'Knott scarce gat ta t'spot,
Afore she lost her bustle,
Which sad mishap quite spoil's her shap
An' meeade her itch an' hustle.

Like pug-nooas'd Nell, fra Kettlewell,
Com in her Dolly Vardin,
All frill'd an' starch'd sha prrodly march'd
Wi' squintin' Jooa fra Bardin.

Ther cuffs an' falls, tunics an' shawls,
An' fancy pollaneeses,
All sham displays, ower tatter'd stays,
An' hard-worn ragged chemises.

Ther mushroom fops, fra fields an' shops,
Fine cigarettes wer smookin'
An' lots o' youth wi' beardless mooths,
All kinds o' pipes wer smookin',

An' when at last the sports were past,
All heeamward turn'd ther feeaces;
Ta ne'er relent at e'er the' spent
A day wi' Patela' Reeaces.

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Willie's Welcome Heame

Noo, Willy, put the'y wallet doon,
An' cum an' git the'y tea;
It izzan't oft ta hez a chance
Ta hit wi't barns an' me:
We've waited for the'y cumin heame,
T' thick end ov hofe an hooer;
An' t' barns were flaid thoo'd gitten lost,
Wi' cummin ower t'moor.

Ah wish the'y wark lade neather heame,
Er we were flit away,
Fer t' lads oft wish 'at they cud see
Ther fadther ivvery day:
Poor things, they nivver gan ta bed,
Bud what they freeat an' cry;
Ah's forced ta pet, an' tell 'em thoo'l
Be'y cumin bye an' bye.

Yah neet this week, lile Mat began
Ta plean aboot his weame;
He mawn'd and maddl'd all aboot
His daddy cumin heame:
Ah nivver gat a wink o' sleep,-
Ah thowt he're gine ta dee;
Ah cried mesel, an' wad ha' geen
All t' world to ha' just seen thee.

Ah've weshe'd an' darn'd the'y stockins, lad,
An patch'd the'y blue lin slop;
Ah fettl'd ivvery button hoal,
Fra t' boddum up ta t' top.
T' first thing this mornin, wen hooer Sal
Had all her poddish done,
She'y fetch'd hoot t' brush an' t' blackin pot
An' clean'd the'y Sunda shoon.

Ah've meade six razin pies for thee,-
Tharr's yan fer ivvery day;
Thoo sees ah doan't fergit the'y, lad,
Fer all thoo gans away.
Bud t' hoose leaks dowly all t' week lang-
It's hardly like itsen
Hoo badly off wad wimmin be,
If they sud loss all t' men!