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Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity

GUEST,NH Dave 23 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM
Emma B 23 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM
TheBigPinkLad 23 Dec 05 - 02:33 PM
Dave Sutherland 23 Dec 05 - 02:58 PM
shepherdlass 23 Dec 05 - 07:13 PM
webfolk 23 Dec 05 - 10:01 PM
Jim Dixon 31 Dec 05 - 02:35 AM
Bat Goddess 31 Dec 05 - 01:09 PM
Barry Finn 31 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,Gary Hogg 19 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM
Leadfingers 19 Aug 09 - 04:28 PM
bill\sables 19 Aug 09 - 04:41 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 20 Dec 10 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Ladleah 05 Dec 14 - 07:56 AM
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Subject: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: GUEST,NH Dave
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 01:42 PM

Back in the 70's there was a "British" humorist who did recitation called A Geordie Nativity, about "Joe, a carpenter, who was a bit of a Ca pit a list, and took a charablanc tour down to Bethlehem to see Nazarus Rovers play Bethlehem United . . ." and ends up, "And there was Joe, smilin' like the proud father he was supposed to be . . . and God up on a cloud wi' a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale shouting 'This is the best Christmas I've seen in a long time!'"

Does anyone here have the full text to this recitation, know who the artist was, if his work has been redone onto CD, and if the CD or whatever are still available?

I heard this on BBC, along with another or perhaps the same man who's routine was to have the band play a few bars of a song from one of the regions of Great Britain, and then do a joke in the accent of that region. May be the same man but I came in late in the program and didn't catch all the names. Any hints or ideas ?


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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: Emma B
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM

There is a "Geordie Bible" written by Andrew Elliot, but I can't find the nativity in it. There is a great version of the book of Exodus and the Prodigal Son in the "Larn Yersel' Geordie" by Scott Dobson too

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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 02:33 PM

It might have been George House ... right time frame. You can ask here, Dave:

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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 02:58 PM

That introduction sounds very much like the version that Louis Killen does, it would be worth checking his discography to see if he has recorded it at sometime over the years (possibly in America.) Mike Elliott has recorded it - on his "Out of the Brown" LP but that was over thirty years ago. Jim Irvine also used to do a pretty good version of it around the North East folk clubs too. There are several variants but they are very long to re-produce - maybe sometime later.

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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: shepherdlass
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 07:13 PM

It's infuriatingly hard to track down lyrics for this kind of thing ... something about the local record companies in the 70s! I'll have a dig around and see if I have any printed versions anywhere, but at the moment none spring to mind. Sorry but it's probably down to finding one of those old recordings (again, wish I could help, but I don't think I have one anywhere) and transcribing them.

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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: webfolk
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 10:01 PM

there is a follow up book to the Geordie Bible which has a 'nativity st ory in it, I think it's called the Geordie life of Jesus, also by Andrew Elliot. I have a copy but I do not have custody of it at present.

Geoff - bit on the side

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From: Jim Dixon
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 02:35 AM

Well, there's this on the same topic, but it doesn't contain any of the phrases you've quoted.

Copied from

Gary Hogg

Me Auntie Barbara's son Joe lives down our back row,
And he was telling us about Mary, his bird;
And the morning of the Bethlehem charabanc trip
He said the funniest of things had occurred.

Mary, his fiancée, had just left their Nancy's
When there happened the most strangest of things:
There was a puff of white smoke and there stood this bloke
In a nightie with a halo and wings.

Well, she jumped with the fright. She says, "You've no right
Putting the willies up people like that."
She says, "I've come ower all queer. I'm all wobbly stood here.
I'll have to sit down, you daft prat!"

He says, "I'm sorry for the fright. It's Mary, am I right?
I've got summat in here, just for you.
It's from our Lord God Almighty." He put his hand in his nightie.
Mary went a bit faint and said, "Ooh!"

She was relieved, poor soul, when he pulled out a scroll,
Started to read about joy and glad tidings.
She's says, "You'd best sling your harp and bugger off sharp,
'Cos if our Joe comes, you'll get a good hiding!"

"Hang on Mrs—er—It's all 'whyfores' and 'wheres'"
She says, "Miss!" He says, "What?" She says, "Miss!"
"Miss?" he says, "Oh, you're not married?" She says, "No."
He says, "In that case it's bad news, is this."

He says, "What it says, is in a couple of days,
Your gan' to give birth to a saviour,
Some sort of Messiah." She says, "Eeh, you big liar!
We don't go in for that sort of behaviour."

Mary was struck dumb, then as fast as he'd come,
He done a bunk in a flash of white light.
She says, "Oh yeah, thanks a bunch; put us right off me lunch,
And now me corsets have gone really tight."

She met up with her pals down by the canal
Where the charabanc was sat sitting waitin'.
"What time d'you call this?" said Joe, givin' her a kiss.
She says, "Shush, Joe. Give ower creatin'."

Joe helped her on the bus, made a right flaming fuss,
Gave a heave and gritted his teeth.
He gave a big push. Mary started to blush.
He says, "Bugger me! You've narf piled on some beef!"

She's says, "Ha'ad yer gob, Joe. There's summat you should know.
I've just discovered I'm gan' to give birth."
He looked her straight in the eye, says, "You what?" She says, "Aye,"
And started explaining for all she was worth.

She says, "I'm supposin' we should be glad we were chosen.
Fancy picking us! What's the odds?"
He says, "There's summat I'm missin'. Can you get pregnant by kissin'?"
She says, "No, you daft tatie! It's God's!"

She thought she'd best mention divine intervention
'Cos Joe was, like, smelling a rat.
He says, "Oh aye, hunky-dory. You mean he takes the glory,
And leaves us with the bairn? Bugger that!"

It was quite a long drive, and by the time they arrived,
The whole bus was all laughing and shrieking;
But at the back of the bus, things were being discussed,
And by this time Joe and Mary weren't speaking.

After a day on the booze, Joe was singin' the blues.
Well, actually, he was joining in wi' 'Wild Rover'.
Mary grabbed at his hand. She says, "I don't feel too grand.
I think you and me'd best stop over!"

After they'd piled all the gang back on Bill's charabanc.
They went wandering the streets for a bed;
And at quarter to three, they found a cheap B&B,
But "I'm sorry. We're full up," the bloke said.

"I've got no rooms," he said, "but I've got this bit shed.
It's quite dry and there's plenty hay in it."
Mary shouts, "That'll do!" and then she went, "Ooh!"
She says, "Me contractions are every three minutes!"

Bloke says, "Hang on a tick! I know a shepherd called Mick.
He's a dab hand at lambing and that.
He'll know what to do. I've seen him wi' ewes,
And he helped Mrs Nicholson's cat."

It was early that morn that the baby was born,
And three wise men from the west wandered in.
They said, "For summat so young, he's a fine pair of lungs.
You can hear it a mile away, that din!"

One of 'em had a runny nose, and when he came close,
He looked like Persian or Mesopotamian.
Just then he sneezes, and Mary shouts "Jesus!"
Joe says, "Write that down. It's better than Damien."

While wiping his eyes, Joe says, "That's not too wise.
You could give the poor bugger your cold."
He says, "No, yer okay. I'm just allergic to hay."
Then he handed over a bag full of gold.

Joe says, "That's very kind. Are you sure you don't mind?
Thanks a lot. Hey, this isn't too bad."
He looked at Mary and kid and said, "Well, I never did!
I could get used to this being a dad."

He says, "It's brilliant is this!" He gave Mary a kiss
And went off to phone Auntie Barbara,
Thinking, "Bethlehem's quite nice, but I'll not do this twice.
Next year we're going to Scarborough."

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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 01:09 PM

Somewhere I have a tape (I think from YOU, NHDave!) of Geordie Nativity -- not sure who it was by, though (my random access memory is getting more and more random).

I HAVE heard Lou Killen do it at a house concert. I don't believe he's recorded it, alas. Wish he'd record the darts game (I think it was) that I heard him do at The Press Room back in the '80s (when there were just a handful of us in the audience, sitting smack dab in front of the stage and joining in loudly in most of the choruses).


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Subject: RE: Lyrics [sic] Geordie Nativity
From: Barry Finn
Date: 31 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM

Hi Batty
Yup, Lou does a knock up job on Joe. Heard him do it at a party after one of the earlier Portsmouth Sea Festivals. He reverted back to a thicker Geordie accent which made it a bit more difficult to understand but needed for the correct effect it was nothing but laughter.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity
From: GUEST,Gary Hogg
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM

I know the one you mean. I've heard the version that ends 'best Christmas I ever had' many many times. It was written and performed around the folk clubs of Newcastle by Malcolm Collins (- later to become Little Billy Fane.) I don't think he ever recorded it though. A very funny man.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 04:28 PM

Forty years ago , the High Level Ranters used to do Bible stories in road Geordie - NO idea who wrote them but they were hiarious !

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity
From: bill\sables
Date: 19 Aug 09 - 04:41 PM

Johnny Handle used to do this around the North East folk clubs in the 60s along with the 'Parable of Moses'. The nativity story is based on fact. There is a village just west of Newcastle called Newburn (pronounced Newborn in Geordie) where it is reputed to have taken place. Mary and Joseph lived near Doncaster at the time and they decided to travel up for the Newcastle v Doncaster Rovers match. The buses and trains were crowded so they had to go on an old donkey cart way up the A1. When they passed Leeds and Bradford which was called Sodom and Gomorrah in those days the wheel broke on the cart so they had to go the rest of the way on the donkey's back. There is more of their escapades but to cut a long story short they ended up in a stable in Newborn where the bairn was born. The angel appeared to the shepherds at Throckley, near Newborn and when asked where the location was he put his hand in his nightshirt and pulled out a Newcastle Brown Ale bottle and threw it towards Newborn saying "See that Blue Star? Follow it". Proof of this being the true location of the Nativity can be found in the song "Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Glory to the Newborn King"
This is only part of the story I used to tell the full story when I was drunk but I have been TT for the last 35 years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 20 Dec 10 - 02:49 PM

Google books had a few hits for Geordie Nativity
Including this one but only snippet view
Abe's folk music, Volume 5, Issues 2-3‎ - Page 22
Music - 1980


Southern folklore quarterly, Volume 40‎ - Page 45
University of Florida, Southeastern Folklore Society, South Atlantic Modern Language Association - Social Science - 1976
In fact, as we will see in the following "Geordie" version of "The Nativity," as
performed by Louis Killen, drinking brown ale is shown to be the favorite ...

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Geordie Nativity
From: GUEST,Ladleah
Date: 05 Dec 14 - 07:56 AM

I have that recording on a cassette tape. It was from the early 80s on Robert J Lurtsemas program in New England. Wonderful story and I too am searching for the transcript. Suppose I could create one myself

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