The Row Between the Cages
One mornen wen aw went ta wark, th'seet wis most exsiten.
Aw ard a noise en luckt aroond, en we de ye think wis fiten?
Aw stud amaisd en at thim gaisd, te see thim in such raiges,
For aw nivor seed e row like that between th' Brockwil caiges.
Wor aud caige sais: "Cum over th' gaits, becaws it's mei intenshin
To let th' see wethor too or me is th' best invenshin."
Th' neuin been raised, teuk off his clais, then at it thae went dabbin;
Th' blud wis runnen doon th' skeets an past th' weimin's cabin.
Wor aud caige sais: "Let's heh me clais; thoo thwot thit thoo cud flae me,
But if aw'd been is young is thoo, aw's certain aw cud pae thee."
Th' patent knockt hees ankel off, en th' buaith ad cutten fuaices.
Th' shifters rapt three for te ride, so th' buaith went te thor plaices.
Wen gannen up en doon th' shaft, th' paitint caige did threetin
For te tuaik wor audin's life if thae stopt it meeten.
Wor aud caige bawld oot is thae passt: "Thoo nasty dorty paitint,
Rub thee ies eguain th' skeets -aw think too's ardly wakinit."
Th' patint te wor aud caige sais: "Altho aw be a strangoer,
Aw kin work me wark is weel is thoo, an free th' men freh daingor.
Noo, if th' rope shub brick we me, aud skinny jaws, just watch us-
Thoo'll see me clag on te th' skeets, for aw's full e springs en catches."
Wor aud caige te th' paitint sais: "Aw warned thoo think thoo's clivor
Becaws thi'v polished thoo we paint, but thoo'l not last for ivor.
The paint on thoo 'ill wer awae, an then thoo's lost thei beuty;
Th' nivor painted me at aal, en still aw've deun my deuty."
Th' braiksmin browt thim buaith te bank, th' mischeef for te sattil,
Thae fit frae five o'clock te six, en th' paitint won th' battle.
It teuk th' braiksmin half e shift te clag thim up wi plaistors.
Wor aud caige sent hees noatece in, but just te vex th' maistors.
The song was written by Tommy Armstrong (1848-1919) of Tanfield, County
Durham. The above is as he wrote it, "Pitmatic" dialect and all, and is
A.L Lloyd's Folk Song in England. The song was set to a traditional melody,
used earlier by Alexander Rodger for Robin Tamson's Smiddy.