The Lambton Worm Song

The song, based upon the Legend of the Lambton Worm, was written in 1867 by C M Leumane
for a pantomime. The dialect is typical of the local area around Fatfield and Washington where
I grew up. There is some translation on the right for the uninitiated.
        Audrey Fletcher 2012


One Sunda morn young Lambton went
A-fishing in the Wear;
An' catched a fish upon
he's heuk                          (his hook)
He
thowt leuk't vary queer.                                    (thought looked)
But whatt'n a kind ov fish it was                              
Young Lambton cudden't tell-        
He
waddn't fash te carry'd hyem,                         (could not be bothered to carry it home)
So he
hoyed it doon a well                                     (threw it down)
  
Chorus        
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,                                 (Listen! be quiet)
An'
aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story,                         (I'll tell you all an awful)
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,        
An' Aa'll tel ye
'boot the worm.                                 (about)
  
Noo Lambton felt inclined te gan                             (Now ... to go)
An' fight i' foreign wars.        
He joined a troop ov Knights that cared        
For
nowther woonds nor scars,                             (neither wounds)
An' off he went te Palestine        
Where queer things him befel,        
An varry seun forgat aboot                                       (very soon forgot about)
The queer worm i' tha well.

Chorus        
  
But the worm got fat an'
grewed an' grewed,         (grew and grew)
An' grewed an aaful size;        
He'd greet big teeth, a greet big
gob,                       (mouth)
An greet big goggly eyes.        
An' when at
neets he craaled aboot                      (nights he crawled about)
Te pick up bits o' news,        
If he felt dry upon the road,        
He'd milk a dozen coos.                                            (cows)

Chorus
 
This
feorful worm would often feed                          (fearful)
On caalves an' lambs an' sheep,        
An'
swally little bairns alive                                    (swallow little children)
When they laid doon te sleep.        
An when he'd eaten aall he cud                             
An' he had had he's fill,        
He craaled away an' lapped he's tail                       
Ten times
roond Pensha Hill.                                   (round)

Chorus
 
The news ov this
myest aaful worm                         (most awful)
An' his queer
gannins on                                         (goings on)
Seun crossed the seas, gat te the ears                   (soon ... got to)
Ov brave an'
bowld Sor John.                                  (bold)
So
hyem he cam an' catched the beast,                (home he came and caught)
An' cut 'im in
twe haalves,                                        (two)
An' that seun stopped hes eatin' bairns        
An' sheep an' lambs an' caalves.        

Chorus
 
So
noo ye knaa hoo aall the foaks                       (now you know how all the folks)
On
byeth sides ov the Wear                                    (both)
Lost lots o' sheep an' lots o' sleep        
An
leeved i' mortal feor.                                          (lived ... fear)
So
let's hev one te brave Sor John                     (let's have a drink to brave Sir John)
That kept the
bairns frae harm,                               (children from)
Saved
coos an' calves by myekin' haalves            (cows ... making halves)
O' the
famis Lambton Worm.                                    (famous)

Chorus
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,                                
An'
aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story,                      
Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,        
An' Aa'll tel ye
'boot the worm.  
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Updated 2014

Audrey Fletcher