The Collier Lad

The Collier Lad appeared in Skipsey's 1864 collection: The Collier Lad and other Songs and Ballads, printed by J G Forster, 81 Clayton Street, Newcastle.  It was subsequently included in all the other published collections.  

My lad he is a collier lad
And ere the lark awakes
He’s up and away to spend the day
Where daylight never breaks;
But when at last the day has pass’d,
All washed and cleanly clad,
He courts his Nell who loveth well
Her handsome collier lad.

There’s not his match in smoky Shields
Newcastle never had
A lad more tight or trim or bright
Than is my collier lad.


Tho’ doomed to labour underground
A merry lad is he
And when a holiday comes round
He’ll spend the day in glee;
He’ll tell his tale o’er a pint of ale
And crack a joke, and bad
Must be the heart that loveth not
To hear the collier lad.

At bowling matches on the green
He ever takes the lead
For none can swing his arm and fling
With such a pith and speed;
His bowl is seen to skim the green
And bound as if it’s glad
To hear the cry of victory
Salute the collier lad.

When in the dance he doth advance
The rest all sigh to see
How he can spring and kick his heels
When they a-wearied be;
He does 1-2-3 with either knee
And then – you’d think he‘s mad -
A heel-o’er-head to finish
Does my dancing collier lad.

Besides a will and pith and skill
My laddie owns a heart
That never once would suffer him
To act a cruel part;
To the poor he’d ope the door
To share the last he had
And many a secret blessing’s poured
Upon my collier lad.

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