Friday, May 19, 2006

The Lambton Worm

I was reminded of the legend that is the Lambton Worm by a fellow Northern Exile in the pub last night.

I love the Lambton Worm and think its a pity that it isn't known much outside of the region - its our equivalent of Robin Hood or King Arthur really. I used to love going to Lambton Lion Park as a child (it later became Lambton Leisure Park when they got rid of the lions) and they had a little display there explaining the legend.
My school did a big musical production of it when I was about eight, but obviously it being a posh school we couldn't do the traditional song in northern dialect so we had new songs written. I can still remember the lyrics to the song that the villages sung as they saved goodbye to John Lambton as he went off to the Crusades.

Anyway, here is the original song:

One Sunday morn young Lambton
Went a-fishin' in the Wear;
An' catched a fish upon his huek,
He thowt leuk't varry queer,
But whatt'n a kind a fish it was
Young Lambton couldn't tell.
He waddn't fash to carry it hyem,
So he hoyed it in a well.

Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
Aa'll tell ye aall and aaful story,
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
An' Aal tell ye 'bout the worm.

Noo Lambton felt inclined to gan
An' fight in foreign wars.
He joined a troop o' Knights that cared
For neither wounds nor scars,
An' off he went to Palestine

Where queer things him befel,
An' varry seun forgot aboot
The queer worm i' the well.

Repeat Chorus

But the worm got fat an' growed an' growed,
An' growed an aaful size;
He'd greet big teeth, a greet big gob,
An' greet big goggle eyes.
An' when at neets he craaled aboot
To pick up bits o'news,I
f he felt dry upon the road,
He milked a dozen coos.

Repeat Chorus

This feorful worm wad often feed

On calves an' lambs an' sheep,
An' swally little bairns alive
When they laid doon to sleep.
An' when he'd eaten aal he cud
An' he had has he's fill,
He craaled away an' lapped his tail
Seven times roond Pensher Hill.

Repeat Chorus

The news of this most aaful worm

An' his queer gannins on
Seun crossed the seas, gat to the ears
Of brave an' bowld Sir John.
So hyem he cam an' catched the beast
An' cut 'im in three halves,
An' that seun stopped he's eatin' bairns,
An' sheep an' lambs and calves.

Repeat Chorus

So noo ye knaa hoo aall the folks

On byeth sides of the Wear
Lost lots o' sheep an' lots o' sleep
An' lived in mortal feor.
So let's hev one to brave Sir John
That kept the bairns frae harm
Saved coos an' calves by myekin' haalves
O' the famis Lambton Worm

Repeat Chorus

Noo lads, Aa'll haad me gob,

That's aall Aa knaa aboot the story
Of Sir John's clivvor job
Wi' the aaful Lambton Worm!

I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't find a picture of the worm wrapped seven times around Penshaw Hill.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a musical of the story. See