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I could have been a Makem

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FOUR GREEN FIELDS


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GUEST,Robroy 10 Jan 06 - 03:57 AM
GUEST,Ray Padgett (work) 10 Jan 06 - 04:19 AM
Dave Earl 10 Jan 06 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,PnG 10 Jan 06 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Transporter 10 Jan 06 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Robroy 10 Jan 06 - 02:06 PM
Dave Sutherland 10 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Robroy 10 Jan 06 - 05:00 PM
Tig 11 Jan 06 - 09:07 AM
fat B****rd 11 Jan 06 - 03:11 PM
TheBigPinkLad 11 Jan 06 - 03:24 PM
Liz the Squeak 11 Jan 06 - 04:28 PM
John Routledge 11 Jan 06 - 04:36 PM
Dave Sutherland 11 Jan 06 - 05:31 PM
TheBigPinkLad 11 Jan 06 - 06:31 PM
GUEST 12 Jan 06 - 02:03 AM
manitas_at_work 12 Jan 06 - 05:16 AM
GUEST,Dazbo 12 Jan 06 - 07:14 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Jan 06 - 07:29 AM
Brian Hoskin 12 Jan 06 - 08:04 AM
Liz the Squeak 12 Jan 06 - 08:54 AM
Big Al Whittle 12 Jan 06 - 09:04 AM
John Routledge 12 Jan 06 - 09:26 AM
Snuffy 12 Jan 06 - 09:32 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Jan 06 - 10:12 AM
Gedpipes 12 Jan 06 - 12:44 PM
TheBigPinkLad 12 Jan 06 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,Jacquie 12 Jan 06 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,shieldsfolk 12 Jan 06 - 04:10 PM
shepherdlass 12 Jan 06 - 05:42 PM
Gedpipes 13 Jan 06 - 08:06 AM
Tannywheeler 13 Jan 06 - 08:10 PM
CannieShieldsLaddie 16 Jan 06 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,padgett 16 Jan 06 - 06:31 AM
Shields Folk 23 Feb 06 - 06:41 PM
gnomad 23 Feb 06 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,DaveS at work 24 Feb 06 - 02:41 AM
Purple Foxx 24 Feb 06 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Eric 24 Feb 06 - 01:46 PM
ard mhacha 25 Feb 06 - 06:52 AM
Purple Foxx 25 Feb 06 - 07:02 AM
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Subject: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Robroy
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 03:57 AM

I heard a clip from this song and I wonder if anybody knows what it is


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Ray Padgett (work)
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 04:19 AM

Is this a refernece to a Sunderland fan?

Did you see Mike Elliot and Billy Mitchell last night?

We are Makems ( Mackem and Takem) or is this summat else?


Ray


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Dave Earl
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 05:11 AM

As mentioned on TV last night a Makem is a native of Sunderland or supporter of the football team of the same name.

Apparantly derived from the phrase "We mak' 'em they tak' 'em".

To be a Makem Robroy would need to meet the above qualification.

Dave


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,PnG
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 06:16 AM

I was expecting a sad story of an allergy to Aran sweaters depriving someone of fame as member of a well known Irish singing group.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Transporter
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 11:25 AM

...and I thought this was a thread started off by some gadgy desperate for a mate


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Robroy
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 02:06 PM

I know what a Makem is but there was a clip from a song on Tv which I assumed was called "I want to be a Makem". Its a geordie song about a guy whose mother died when he was 2, his father ran off to sea with another man, his sister was a prostitute and his brother was in jail. But as he said I could have been a Makem


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM

Please somebody post the words to this one - it's not nice to kick a Sunderland supporter when he's down (well nearly)but, what the Hell.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Robroy
Date: 10 Jan 06 - 05:00 PM

I have now managed to download it...To DaveS...if you are feeling masochistic, give me your e-mail address and I will send it to you


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Tig
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 09:07 AM

Come on - some more of us would like to see the worms too!


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: fat B****rd
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 03:11 PM

Howay, man !! Tha divent wanta see wardes laike them.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 03:24 PM

A varient of "there but for the sake of God go I" ?

... howay man, ya hafta laff ;o)


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 04:28 PM

It's a song with Newcastle derivations, bewailing the tragic life of the subject, but saying that it could be worse, he could be from Sunderland.

I suspect it isn't that old.

LTS


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: John Routledge
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 04:36 PM

Can anyone confirm when "makem" first came into common use.

I am interested for personal reasons :0)


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 05:31 PM

It goes back to the heyday of the shipbuilding industry - as mentioned earlier "Sunderland makem, Newcastle takem". And I want the words in order to gloat Rob: me a makem? I'd rather be a Tory!


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 11 Jan 06 - 06:31 PM

Some say that the term has been around quite a while, but I never heard it until the football crowd made it popular in the 90s. A retro-fit I suspect, and as verifiable as the word 'Geordie.' ;o)


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 02:03 AM

My mother died when I was only 2 years old. Father he ran off to sea with another bloke I`m told. My sister is a prostitute, my brothers doing life in jail. Still it could have been worse, I could have been born a Makem.........My doctor says I`ve got VD and will not last a year, I lent my friend my car he crashed it off the pier. I`ve lost my lucky rabbits foot it hasnt been my year. Still it could have been worse, I could have been born a Makem.........Wor lass left me for a multi millionaire, The house was burgled and left completely bare. and because of all the worries I`ve lost all of my hair. Still it could have been worse, I could have been born a Makem


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:16 AM

The BBC program 'Balderdash and Piffle' traced it to the early 90's, as Liz says but there was a printed reference to "mak'em and tak'em" in a rugby program 10 years earlier.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 07:14 AM

The phrase was certainly in use in the early to mid 80s when I was living in South Shields and Newcastle


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 07:29 AM

It is not pronounced as per Tommy Makem, but as mackem. It is derived from make but is pronounced mack in Newcastle and in much of Scotland, in 'The Wark O' the Weavers' there are the lines,.....

"For there's nae a trade amang them a' can either mend or mak',
Gin it qasna for the wark o' the weavers."
Wark o' the Weavers
Giok


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 08:04 AM

The word was certainly around when I arrived for a two year stay in Sunderland in 1987 and it never ocurred to me at the time that it wasn't a term of quite long and established standing.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 08:54 AM

The rugby programme quoted the 'we mak'em and they tak'em' line and was from 1973. However, for the word to get into the Oxford English Dictionary, there has to be a reputable printed record of it - and for Mackem, this wasn't found before 1991. The BBC included it in their 'Balderdash and Piffle' programme, where they found a fanzine that had a record of it from the 1980's. As a result, the OED entry is being updated to show this earlier use.

If you could source the 'we mak'em and they tak'em' quote and date it, then you'll know how long it's been around. Tell the BBC if you do find it though!

LTS


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 09:04 AM

I could have been a walrus
said the slug
but they put down all these nasty slug pellets
I could have been a turd said the diarrhoea
substantially, we're the same
you can smell it


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: John Routledge
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 09:26 AM

Many thanks to all who helped track this down.

Thought my memory had gone but as I left my first job in Sunderland in 1971...


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Snuffy
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 09:32 AM

It is derived from make but is pronounced mack in Newcastle and in much of Scotland

In Sunderland it's "mack", but on Tyneside it's "myek". Calling Wearsiders "mackems" is merely making fun of their unsophisticated "country bumpkin" speech compared to inhabitants of metropolitan Tyneside.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 10:12 AM

'E cotched a fish upon 'is ewk, he thowt it affa quyeer.
G.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Gedpipes
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 12:44 PM

Guest
I'm delighted you provided those lyrics - they are great. The last time I heard them sung was in Rothbury in the Queens when a group of us (civilised ones from the Boro) had an excursion (Beeline for those interested)out of paradise. The gadgy who sang it was a p*****d as a **** but he was very good. Anybody got the dots?
Blue skies
Ged


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 02:06 PM

How was your voice in Rothbury, Ged? Surely more powerful where the atmospheric oxygen content is thrice that of home? ;o)

Blue skies <-- nice


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Jacquie
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 03:39 PM

I'm Sunderland born and bred, and proud to be called a 'Mackem"...insulted if called a Geordie! I can remember my Grandmother explaining the term Mackem to me when I was a child in the early 1960's. I've been trying to explain it to the people of Nottingham and Derbyshire since 1973, when I moved here.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,shieldsfolk
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 04:10 PM

A Man is walking through a park in Newcastle one day, when he hears a child screaming. To his horror he sees a rottweiller attacking a small boy.
Without a second thought the man dives onto the dog and a monumental battle begins.

The man gets bitten and clawed to within an inch of his life but somehow manages to pull the dog off the child, with the last ounce of strength he strangles the ferocious beast.

A man with a camera around his neck rushes over to the bloody scene.

"I'm a report with the Newcastle Chronicle and that is teh bravest deed i have ever seen. I can jst see the front page now - GEORDIE HERO SAVES CHILD FROM CERTAIN DEATH"

"That's very kind of you replies the hero - but I'm not a Geordie - I'm from Sunderland"

The reported thinks for a while and replies

"That's alright - You'll still make the headlines - MACKEM B*****D KILLS FAMILY PET"


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: shepherdlass
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 05:42 PM

The worrying thing is that shieldsfolk's gag rings oh so true. My mate was in the maternity ward in Sunderland next to a woman whose Toon Army husband wasn't speaking to her for going into labour in Makkem territory. Seriously!

As for the term itself, I certainly heard it (in darkest County Durham) from at least my teenage years in the mid-late 70s.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Gedpipes
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 08:06 AM

Pink Lad
Your're a wag. It actually 5 times as high midn yoiu I had to go to Bileingham last week and that was an adventure.
Blue skies
Ged


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 08:10 PM

Well, from y'alls accents(and names) I'd say this song is from across the water--the island of Great Britain, to be precise.

I've read the lyrics--it could qualify as a particular type of "country song" in the states. "....If it weren't fer hard luck, I'd have no luck at all. Gloom, despair, and agony on me." (to coin a phrase)

Nice to see evidence of our relationship--one batch of crazy sport fanatics making fun of another batch of crazy sport fanatics, just like over here. D'ya s'pose it's genetic?          Tw


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: CannieShieldsLaddie
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 04:37 AM

Wear shipyard workers would "mak" the ships and crews would "tak" them to sea. An alternative is that ships built on the Wear went to the Tyne to have engines fitted - "You makem and we takem."


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 16 Jan 06 - 06:31 AM

Balderdash and Piffle on Uk Tv BBc tonight I believe

Looking for new words, needs documentary evidence of when first used to go into Oxford English Dictionary

Mackem accepted but earliest useage still in dispute


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Shields Folk
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 06:41 PM

In response to the B&P programe I emailed them with the words to a song I remembered from the 70's.

To: History - word hunt
Subject: Word Hunt Feedback

Word: Mackem

Comment:
In the 1970's the word was used in a song sung by Newcastle fans to the tune of the "laughing policeman"

I know a Mackem Tackem that lives along our way,
I know he is a Mackem cause he's so fat and gay,
And every time I see him it makes me want to spew,
That ****** Mackem Tackem from division two,
A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
A ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

They replied with this!

Thank you for your email to the Balderdash & Piffle Wordhunt about the word mackem. I am writing from Takeaway Media, the television company who made Balderdash for the BBC. We were intrigued to hear about the mackem song to the tune of the Laughing Policeman – and it's great that you still remember it!

We have been commissioned to make a follow-up programme, featuring all the new evidence that has been sent in to us since the series went out, and as this made us laugh, we thought it might also appeal to the viewers. Would you mind us mentioning your name in the programme as the person who sent us the song? And if not, could you also let us know where you live (so that we can say "an email came in from so and so from Newcastle… or wherever)… and – you may flinch at this prospect but maybe not – might you consider singing it for us on camera?

I do hope you don't mind me writing to you in this way and please don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like to talk further about it.

Best wishes,

Helena Braun
Takeaway Media

Yep that'll be me on national TV upsetting everyone in Sunderland!


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: gnomad
Date: 23 Feb 06 - 07:35 PM

Maybe you could get them to film you in silhouette, "We have disguised our singer's voice for fear of reprisals from outraged Sunderland residents."

Is anonymous notoriety an oxymoron?


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,DaveS at work
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:41 AM

Congratulations Shields Folk, by the time it is broadcast the song will be bang up to date again. LOL


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 02:54 AM

Didn't N.U.F.C. recently pay someone with historic connections to the boro, 3 Million Ding to diddle off?
Nice work if you can get it.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 24 Feb 06 - 01:46 PM

My brother in law, who was born and bred in the toon and grew up there in the 50's, used the term and always said is was about welding skills and that the Wearside shipyard welders could only mackem and the ships had to be taken to the Tyne to finish them off [tackem]. I was never sure, in fact I often thought it was the poor sad people from Sunderland who invented the word because Newcastle people had their own nickname and they didn't. So a derivation from the second half of the 20th century does not surprise me.
Of course I must point out that not all Wearsiders are from Sunderland. There are plenty of intelligent people from Chester le Street and Durham who support a proper team in black and white stripes.
How did I get into this on Mudcat?

Eric


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 06:52 AM

Having relatives in Sunderland and being a regular visitor since my schooldays in the late 1940s I hah never heard the word used until the late 1980s.
I also worked in Sunderland from 1957 until 1960 and was a regular at Roker Park during that time, the word was unheard off then.


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Subject: RE: I could have been a Makem
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 07:02 AM

I was born & brought up in Tynedale & still live on Tyneside.
Asking around I have been unable to find anybody who recalls this expression prior to the 70's.
I left School in '78 & am sure that if this particular piece of verbal ammunition had been current at that time it would've been used.
Have a vague idea that it may have been coined by Scott Dobson in one of his books but not prepared to swear to this.


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