A Collierís Lament by Audrey Siddall
Cum on ower 'ere doy
Cum sit upon mi knee
Ah'm ower browden a, thee boy
An Ah've things ter seh ter thee
Yer grandad an 'is afooar 'im
An nah alas ther's me
An Ah doant want mi only son
Ter live dahn t'pit, or dee
Some fowk think it's better nah
Bur it's still a livin 'ell
Wi black sweated brow an 'eavin chests
Wi rarely feel ser well
Each shift at t'cage awaits on us
Tar tek us dahn soa deep
An gates clang to behind us
Ďuddled theear like sheep
An each an lvvry time wi drop
W! feel as if it's t'last
But when t'shift's ower, it's ower an done
Anthen it's in the past
Soa wi lift us e'es ter t'Sky above
An thank God in silent prayer
Far t'touch o' tísun an t'smell o' t'grass
An t'taste oí típure sweet air
But menny a mate's bin trapped alive
An fahnd wi an inky gaze
Ďis body lifeless yet e'en lookin up
Seein 'eaven at t'end on 'is days
An if we're lucky ter finish alive
Then mebbe wi've gotten t'dust
Thru pickin an scrapin at 'ell's pantry dooar
Just tryin ter earn a crust
Oh boy, yer onny two year owd
An Ah know yer can't tek it in
Bur Ah'll keep on tellin yer time after time
Then mebbe one day Ah'll win
Ahíll keep on tellin yer till yer knaw
At ther's sense i' what Ah say
Yeríve got the time an yeríll get the chance
Ter finnd some other way
Tar earn that crust, an butter, an jam
In a world ahtside o' this
An nah it's time ter goa d'ahn ageean
Cum on doy, gi'e us a kiss
Friday by Audrey Siddall
My, but it's dark an' cold this very morn,
an ah hed to get up to start afore dawn.
Ahr bedroom winder wer iced up inside,
an ah felt that starved, ah could nearly hev cried.
But up vary early today ah must be,
cos t'big cleaning day's allus Friday you see.
So afore it all starts and t'fire can be lit,
there's t'blackleading to do, ah gi' t'fender a bit.
We used to hev steel uns, an' did 'em wi sand,
but nah we're a bit posher, an brass uns look grand.
Its got nobs at each end, an' a big un in t'middle,
Oh, stop dreaming lass, there's ashes to riddle.
I tak 'em outside and shak 'em reight 'ard,
an hope it's not windy, or they'll be all over t'yard.
T'old fella next door likes some for his fowls,
cos sometimes its muddy, an' reight up to his jowls.
I pick t'biggest cokes off, but it maks t'fingers sore,
they help to fill t'grate up an mak a good core.
Then ahl blacklead mi grate, an mi oven an t'hob;
I use that theer Zebra, it does a good job.
On mi brasses ah use some stuff outna tin,
I think its called Brasso, its new, just come in.
When all that is done, there's mi peg rug to shak,
then I leave it on t'wall, out there at the back.
Now t'fire's got going, an t'place gleams like a mansion,
So I'll get out mi dough that's been rising in t'pancheon.
It's been rising all t'neet, nice slow and strong,
that's way to mak good bread, you just can't go wrong.
When mi bread's made, I'll mak pies an some cake,
there's nowt i like better than a good bake.
Then t'neet we'll have fish, an nice parsley sauce,
an ah think ahl mak soup as a first course.
They say that it's posh to have more course than one,
and things are a bit better when all's said and done.
I remember the time when mi mam just made stew,
there wer eight of us then and we hed to mak do.
Aye, times wer real hard, they couln't be worse,
I could write a book, but I'll mak do wi' verse.
It's finding time to put pen to paper,
what wi cooking an cleaning, life's quite a caper.
But happen one day when mi family's grown up,
I'll have more time to think, an I'll sit wi a cup,
an I'll write about life wi' its joys an sorrows,
but reight now I'm too busy to think of tomorrow.
Well todays nearly gone,
an its neer time for bed,
And work hurts me none,
but oh! these thoughts in me' ead.
Me ead it fair bursts, wi mi thoughts and ideas,
mi wishes, mi opes!, yes and mi fears.
but I dont know if anyone cares,
seems all I'm ere for's to tend to their cares.
There's sum as ud say I'm not right in mi ead,
wi not much to do I'd rather be dead,
an I wouldn't swap my like for another,
it's best life on earth to be'in a wife an a mother.
Hell-O-Cution by Audrey Siddall
Ah've spent menny an 'ahr teachin mi lads
The h'art o' speykin reight
An Ah must admit when the started schooil
It just becem mooar on a feight
Ther h'aitches wor dropped, ther 't's missed aht
The started ter talk in a gabble
An Ah wanted soa much ter gi'e em a lift up
An pur em above t'rest o' t'rabble
An Ah thowt if Ah ler em see tuther side
Later on the cud pleease thersen
An as long as the knew just 'ow ter speyk reight
The cud mix among orl soarts o' men
Bur it seems the dint want ter copy me an ther dad
An speyk wi a plum i' ther mahth
The cum fra Yorkshire an why shud the sahnd
As if the cum fra t'sahth
Soa h'eventually Ah ad ter gi'e up
The grew up an seem ter speyk quite proper
But nah guess what - Ah've joined t'U3A dialect class
An 'aven't Ah cum a cropper
Ah'm droppin mi aitches an missin mi ítís
Bur Ahím reight enjoyin missen
An if ivver Ah do cum back on earth
Ahíll do just tísame agen
I Like Tuesdays by Audrey Siddall
Cos I get out mi irons and t'old blanket and sheet,
mi beeswax and t'iron stand and place 'em all neat.
Wi a jug of cold water to dampen things off,
then I'll iron all t'shirts and mak 'em look toff.
I'll spread out the sheets on the old blanket pad,
then when t'iron gets hot, I'll iron like mad.
I can't heat up t'irons till t'fire starts to glow,
cos smoke makes t'irons sooty and sticky yer know.
Now one iron's ready, I think I'll begin,
to smooth out all t'wrinkles mi mangle's put in.
I've starched all the cuffs, and the collars and drills,
the cloths and the tea towels and pettycoat frills.
I use french chalk to put on a nice shine,
and beeswax on t'iron maks it glide real fine.
Nah mi old man likes his collars as stiff as a board,
then he wears 'em to t'church and looks like a lord.
Ahr Annie's funny abaht her ribbons and frills,
and ahr young Bill can't stand shine on his drills.
But I do like tuesdays, to me, ironings a pleasure,
even trousers to press, thrown in for good measure.
I'm ironing away and planning es dinner,
Oh heck; these sheets get thinner and thinner.
If I don't patch em soin, a foot'l come through,
but there's no time today, so it'll just have to do.
Fire's going down and it mustn't go out,
cos I keep two irons going, turn and about;
so when one's getting cold, t'other's getting hot,
an I hev to keep going, cos I weshed such a lot.
But it seems, as t'creases in t'clothes start to smooth,
then I start to relax, an mi nerves start to sooth.
So as mi fire dies down to t'last glowing ember,
Tuesday's a day I like to remember.
I Spy by Audrey Siddall
'er nex dooar's gorra patio
Wi used ter call it a yard
It's wheear wi used ter 'ang aht us weshin
Cos it wor nice 'n flat 'n 'ard
But nah the call it a patio
Wheear the sit aht an eyt i' t'sun
Wi flies an wasps buzzin rahnd
Well Ah doant call that fun
This 'ere patio's gorra pond wi a fahntin
It's ner bigger ner a gowdfish bowl
An a rockery shoo thinks is like a mahntin
Ah reckon shoo's a bit on a fool
An in t'middle ther's a plastic table
Wi a striped umbrella on top
An the sit theear eytin ther sausages
An suppin ther cans o' pop
As Ah sed ter my owd feller
"It all started when the'd bin ter Tenerife'
An Ďe sez ter me "Can't ta leeave it alone
Atta jealous? Shurrup. Good Grief"
Nah 'e wunders 'ah Ah knew an frum whence
An dint tell 'im Ah'd seen it thru a knot oil int owd garden fence