The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51834   Message #584526
Posted By: Wolfgang
02-Nov-01 - 07:32 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Who Wrote Dalesman's Litany? (Moorman)
Subject: Dalesman's litany (orig.)
Dave Fawthrop buried this gem in a thread in the Help Forum. I think it merits a thread here:
Just found your version of Dalesmans Litany via a thread in umf. This song was written by F W Moorman and published in Songs of the Ridings. see my site Yorkshire dialect poetry for the full text including preface. As the work is out of copyright this is of acedemic interest only, but it is best atribute things to the correct author even if long dead. The words given on your site are not the original see below:

(the site linked is well worth a visit, not only for Dalesman's litany, Wolfgang)

A Dalesman's Litany

From Hull, Halifax, and Hell, good Lord deliver us.
A Yorkshire Proverb.

It's hard when fowks can't finnd their wark
Wheer they've bin bred an' born;
When I were young I awlus thowt
I'd bide 'mong t' roots an' corn.
But I've bin forced to work i' towns,
So here's my litany:
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

When I were courtin' Mary Ann,
T' owd squire, he says one day:
"I've got no bield(1) for wedded fowks;
Choose, wilt ta wed or stay?"
I couldn't gie up t' lass I loved,
To t' town we had to flee:
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've wrowt i' Leeds an' Huthersfel',
An' addled(2) honest brass;
I' Bradforth, Keighley, Rotherham,
I've kept my barns an' lass.
I've travelled all three Ridin's round,
And once I went to sea:
Frae forges, mills, an' coalin' boats,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've walked at neet through Sheffield loans,(3)
'T were same as bein' i' Hell:
Furnaces thrast out tongues o' fire,
An' roared like t' wind on t' fell.
I've sammed up coals i' Barnsley pits,
Wi' muck up to my knee:
Frae Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

I've seen grey fog creep ower Leeds Brig
As thick as bastile(4) soup;
I've lived wheer fowks were stowed away
Like rabbits in a coop.
I've watched snow float down Bradforth Beck
As black as ebiny:
Frae Hunslet, Holbeck, Wibsey Slack,
Gooid Lord, deliver me!

But now, when all wer childer's fligged,(5)
To t' coontry we've coom back.
There's fotty mile o' heathery moor
Twix' us an' t' coal-pit slack.
And when I sit ower t' fire at neet,
I laugh an' shout wi' glee:
Frae Bradforth, Leeds, an Huthersfel',
Frae Hull, an' Halifax, an' Hell,
T' gooid Lord's delivered me!

1. Shelter. 2. Earned,
3. Lanes 4. Workhouse 5. Fledged