December 19, 2008

Robert Allen: The Whee’s Deed Collum

Wor Lizzie wes readin’ the Journal the day,
Hor mooth erl pinch’d an’ sollum
Nee need te ask what bit she’s at,
It’s cerl’d the Whees Deed Collum.

“Ah see that owld Whatsit theor’s gitten away,
It says he’ deid i’ the papors:
They wore erl kinda half expectin’ it, mind
Accordin’ ti the neighbours”.

“He’s had sic a gey poor look for weeks,
That shabby around the knees:
Ah’m wond’rin whee we’ll be readin’ o’ next,
‘Cos they erlwis gans i’ threes”.

“When ye think hoo he’ gitten away that sharp.
Ah wes ownly just sayin’ ti Nan:
An’ Ah see that the fun’ral’s this efternoon,-
Nee cerl for ye ti gan”.

“Ah might trot alang for a bit theor mesel,
But the forecast speaks o’ shooers”
So Ah’ll just werlk up ti’ the Cemetry then,
An read whee sent the flooers”.

“Ah wondor what did for ‘im theor at the last,
They say it was mebbies hes heort:
An’ it says he wes nobbut just fifty nine,-
Whey, yon’s a lee for a steort!”

“Ah know for a fact he wes owlder nor that,-
When wes it they buried yor feythor?
Cos he wadda bin nigh on sivinty noo,
An’ they baith went ti shool tigithor”.

“It’s twenty eight pee for the papors the day,
An’looka the news they bring;
Thore’s nowt but mordors an’ strikes an’ rapes,
An’ ye canna believe a thing.

“He’d a sistor what merried yon chep from doon sooth,
An’ varry soon eftor she deid;
An’ diddent he hev a young brother an’ erl,
Wes no just reet o’ the heid?”

“Ye mind on hes cousin that went ti the bad,-
Wes erlwis a bit of a nowter,-
What took a hord’s job at yon place ootbye,
Then hed ti merry the dowtor?”

“Mind, hes mam wes that scruffy, Ah erlwis thowt
She’d ben needn the worse o’ a scrub:
An’ they say that hes feythor could drink like a fish,
He wes nivvor oot o’ the pub.

“Neebody’d a good word ti say aboot them,-
Ah feel sorry for hes wife:
She’s now but a slut the way she keeps hoose,
But he’s led hor a helluva life.”

“She’ll likely be sheddin’ some cross-eyed teors,
But it’s just what ye’d expect:
Weel, - when ye bin merried for erl them lang years,
Ye hatta show some respect.”

“They say…. That the second wee laddie woren’t his,
An’ mebbies the thord yi as well:
Mind, wi’ erl them freckles an’ gingor haor,
Ye’ve ownly ti look, - ye can tell!”

“Man, Ah hope she’s bin weel provided for,
‘Cos ye know what folks is sayin’;
An’ she’s no erl that bad lookin’ but,
She’d dee worse nor merry again”.

“It’ll not be for want o’ the askin’, mind,
She’ll manage it onnyone can:
Oh aye,- Ah’ve seen tehm theor up the Lynn,-
Hor an’ hor fancy man!”

An the gossip rowled on like a rivor i’ spate, -
So Ah quietly clos’d the door,
As Ah left for the pub aboot half way thro’,
“Cos Ah’d heored it erl afore!

From “Canny Bit Verse”, 1994. ISBN 0-9524649-0-X Published by the author.
Robert Allen's farming and historical poems have been sourced from the Northumberland Language Society. Please contact the NLS as a source ( of more of these brilliant works, and for recordings. The copyright is held by Nigel and Georgina Hall - for enquiries email them on

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