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Archive for the ‘Lancashire Dialect Poems’ Category

 
Everybody runs down Cocker Hill
Come along! come along! left, right, left!

Old folk, young folk, step with a will

Merry as a shuttle weaving warps and weft.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill

The parson, the miller, the milk maid too;

The soldier lad, to the goose step drill;

Everybody runs, so must you.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill

Women with Asthma, men with gout;

Fat men, thin men, step with a will

Short girls, tall girls, slender, stout.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill,

Everybody laughs; nobody minds;

Age slips away; childhood still

Isn’t so far away, everybody finds.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill

A slug would, a thug would, so would a hare;

Restore circulation if you feel you’ve a chill

Keeping pace with everybody there.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill

Dress a la mode or scantily;

Don’t visit Switzerland running up a bill

Toddle or Waddle here cantily.

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill,

Years slip away like a loosen’d cloak:;

Grandsires race with boyhoods’ skill

Without a wheeze, a sneeze, or coke!

Everybody runs down Cocker Hill,

Come along! come along! right, left right;

Head up, chest out! Step along, until

Jolity imbues you with gladness and delight.

From Woodfield Memories – A Platt – Tameside Local Studies Library

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I loved this poem when I found it; I love that the author, Sam Hill, seems to love the area as much as I do and I love the dialect it is written in. It is thanks to my Grandad that I can understand it all and hearing words like “booside” and “scholars” reminds me so much of him.  I find it best to try to read it aloud and then you can get the sense of it even if you struggle with some of the words. 

Old St Georges, Cocker Hill

 

 The Church is all gone now, but the Churchyard is still there and you can still “linger and wonder and ponder quite fierce” while looking down on Stalybridge. I often do. 

Noan far fro’ this clod ther stands an owd church
Th’ yard wo’s are grown hoary and grey,
Loike a stern sentinel up on his perch
Guardin’ the realms of decay.
I wurn’t yersterday ‘ut th’ foundations wur laid,
Wi’ that bed o’ hard rock for sil;
Theer theawsands o’ th’ owd un’s han’ knelt, sung, an’ prayed,
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Aw’ve known that owd church sin’ fost aw knew owt;
Within th’ seawnd of it bell aw wur born;
As a lad, aw’ve climbed th’ wo; carin for nowt,
T read th’ owd inscriptions so worn.
When th’ gates han’ been fast, an nob’dy’s bin nee,
When th’ booside’s bin quiet an’ still,
Aw’ve linger’t, and ponder’t, and wonder’t, quite frce,
By that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Ther’s lots o’ owd folk at aw knew sleepin’ theer,
‘ Neath th’ shadow o’ th’ sacred owd pile;
Ther’n restin’ till doom’s-day, witheaut any fear;
Ther’s some on’em rested a while.
Ther waitin’ till th’ day when ther’ll be a big sheawt,
When Gabriel’s trumpet shall trill  -,
That reckonin’ – day ‘ut they tell’n us abeaut
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Th’ owd shepherd, ut watches o’er th’ flock ‘ut goes theer,
Aw’ve known him o’ th’ days o’ mi life,
Loike an old pilot, his boat he can steer –
It’s seldom ther’s bother or strife.
He’s noan quite as nimble as he’d use’t to be,
But he goes to his work wi a will;
Long may his owd face be seen beamin’ an free,
I’ that Little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Every Whit-Friday aw look for th’ owd brid
When aw goo watchin’ th’ scholars I’ th’ teawn;
He’s one o’ th’ old stagers, fast nearin’ “the strid” –
Th’ owd mower keeps switchin’ um deawn.
Aw loike watchin’ th’ scholars, ther’s no deaubt o’ that;
Sweet feelin’s it seems to instil,
For it’s grand just to see ‘um com’ marchin’ full bat
Fro’ that little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

Aw conno’ do mich wi’ a romancing tale,
An’ yo’ munna’ be hard on mi rhyme;
Aw loike for t’ yer those ‘ut weather ‘t loife’s gale
Tell things ‘ut  wur wanst on a time.
Aw’m preawd o’ th’ owd landmark, it’s seldom aw miss
To let my porr een ha’ ther fill –
Aw look up fro’ th’ bridge, wi’ a feelin o bliss,
At that little Reawnd Church up o’ th’ Hill.

 

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