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Blaydon Races - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Written by Englishman, Geordie Ridley in 1862 in a music hall style, Blaydon Races has become the unofficial anthem of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the North-East of England.  Rather like Camptown Races, which was written by Stephen Foster in America a decade or so earlier, the song is an exaggerated, humorous account of a trip to the races, though unlike Camptown Races it focuses more on the getting there than on the racing itself.  I wonder if Geordie Ridley had heard Stephen Foster's song?  Whether or not, the song remains hugely popular today, unlike the Blaydon Races themselves, which ended in 1916 - the race track is now the site of a power station.  The song is best known now as a football chant, sung by the supporters of Newcastle United Football Club, and remains a musical icon of the Geordie community in the North-East of England.

Sir Thomas Allan and Sheila Armstrong

Chords

Verse

G

I went to Blaydon Races

            D                G
'Twas on the 9th of June

C                                G
Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two

           D
On a Summer's Afternoon

      G
We took the bus from Balmbras

D                       G
She was heavy laden

C                               G
Away we went along Collingwood Street

          D                     G
That's on the Road to Blaydon




Chorus

G                         D                        G
Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin'

C                          G
Passing the folks along the road

D
just as they were stannin'

G
All the lads and lasses there

D                   G
all with smilin' faces

C                         G                 D
Gannin along the Scotswood Road

D7                           G
To see the Blaydon Races

Lyrics

I went to Blaydon Races
'Twas on the 9th of June
Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two
On a Summer's Afternoon
We took the bus from Balmbras
She was heavy laden
Away we went along Collingwood Street
That's on the Road to Blaydon

Chorus:
Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin'
Passing the folks along the road
just as they were stannin'
All the lads and lasses there
all with smilin' faces
Gannin along the Scotswood Road
To see the Blaydon Races

We flew past Armstrong's factory
And up by the Robin Adair
gannin ower the Railway Bridge
The bus wheel flew off there
The lasses lost their crinolenes
And the veils that hide their faces
I got two black eyes and a broken nose
gannin to Blaydon Races

Repeat Chorus

Now when we got the wheel back on
Away we went again
But them that had their noses broke
They went back ower hyem
Some went to the dispensary
And some to Doctor Gibbs
And some to the infirmary
To mend their broken ribses

Repeat Chorus

Now when we got to Paradise
There were bonny games begun
There were four and twenty on the bus
And how we danced and sung
They called on me to sing a song
and I sung 'em 'Paddy Fagan'
I danced a jig and I swung me twig
The day we went to Blaydon

Repeat Chorus

We flew across the Chain Bridge
And into Blaydon Toon
The bellman he was calling then
They called him Jackie Broon
I saw him talking to some chaps
And them he was persuading
To gan and see Geordie Ridley's show
At the Mechanics' Hall in Blaydon

Repeat Chorus

The rain it poured down all the day
And made the ground quite muddy
Coffee Johnny had a white hat on
Shouted 'Whi stole the cuddy?'
There were spice stalls and monkey shows
And old wives selling ciders
And a chap on a ha'penny roundaboot
Saying 'noo me lads for riders?'

Repeat Chorus

 

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