Lyrics for some Liverpool folk-songs
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Here are the lyrics of some Liverpool folk-songs as known by Gerry Jones of Broad Green, who was a young man during the folk-song boom of the early 1960s. Click on a title in the Contents List below, to go to the start of that song (or you could be scrolling for a long time).

Please feel free to click here to email me with more information about any of the songs, and especially if you can offer some more lyrics or answer some of the Questions.

If you are also looking for the music for these songs, then please
follow this link to the "Dots" page where I am putting a "melody line plus chords" version of the songs whose tunes I know.

I have made a CD of myself singing many of these lyrics, - Billy Butler played a couple of tracks on BBC Radio Merseyside in July and September 2005.

click here for details.
orclick here for how to buy it.

It was produced at the instigation of a scouser in Spain who saw the page, was happily reminded of the lyrics, and just wished he could now learn to sing them! So, you have the words here; would you like the tunes as well?

"Liverpool Lyrics - the Book"
this is another venture, a work in progress in summer 2008, in which I aim to present the web-page lyrics, the music notation, and some background information about the songs. It will initially be sold via throught the good offices of John Haines.. This would be a Print On Demand system, although it is hoped to make the book available throught the main tourist outlets in Liverpool.

OCTOBER 2007 Freddie Baker. (The Merseyside song and a few others ). He has issued another of his songs, available free of charge as a DVD / Video download.Entitled "Closing of the Day" it is a Remembrance Day tribute to WW2 1939-1945.
and it has been played on BBC radio and other stations but he has only just finished the Video to it.
You can still take up his offer of a free download (donation suggested) of his "Merseyside Song" available from August 2006 at

SEPT 2007


(these guys are GOOD!)
They have been stalwarts of the Wirral folk scene since the 1960s, then known as the Wallasey Wreckers (- an allusion to the habit of early inhabitants of Wallasey, of lighting fires on Leasowe shore to misguide ships for Liverpool to founder on the sandbanks, thence to be plundered etc. All very historical.)

Lots of instrumentals and three-part harmonies, mostly gentle easy-listening. Contact Lol Rowbottom ;
or via
or phone; 0151 648 0904

It is now available from the '08 Place shop, and "Impressions of Liverpool" on the Albert Dock. You won't regret it

MAY 2007 ; http:/ . is the site of John Tollerton, who writes; "I do some writing for Billy Maher, 3 CD's and one more on the way, mostly songs about Liverpool. I like to write new stuff for fear that we will run out of new material if we just keep re-inventing the old stuff. Good though it is, we need new songs always."

December 2006; John Haines, Liverpool writer under tha name "Josh Rogan", is now selling a re-print of that famous Liverpool Tale, "Her Benny," through his listing. Or email him at

Late in April 2006, Pete McGovern, author of "Liverpool Home" and defining figure in the Liverpool folk scene from the 1960s, died peacefully in his sleep, aged 78. Rest in peace, Peter.

This original Lyrics page has grown so much, it is bursting at the seams, and I am now receiving as much info about the singers / song-writers as about the songs themselves. So I am now planning to move some elements to their own related pages on this site, leaving here just the songs . Please follow these links to a
SINGERS' PAGE ; to hold information about the various singers and writers of Liverpool folk-songs, so that such information as comes my way will be made available, and to a page about
and his songs. Some items may prove to be inseparable from their composer, but I'll be giving it a try. Anybody got any suggestions of people to be included on theSINGERS' PAGE? Anybody got some information, data, or appreciations that they feel should be available on internet?

A number of Liverpool writers of books (rather than songs) have contacted me, said nice things about my page, and asked for a mention of their works. No problem, except that everything is getting bigger, and I have now decided to give these Writers a linked page of their own, WRITERS' PAGE and keep the Lyrics page more like a "Lyrics" page. The page already includes "Tales of Liverpool from the Mersey Mouth" by John Williams. A book about Garston, by Frank Mason, 'Over the Top from Under the Bridge' in 1990 and still have copies available at £3.50.
Also, books by John Haines, writing as "Josh Rogan",a Liverpool Writer, whose works are not restricted to Merseyside matters. To visit the John Haines / Josh Rogan site, it's at . Click here for The skipper's lament, a Liverpool song by "Josh Rogan." NEWS! John Haines, Liverpool writer as "Josh Rogan", is now selling are-print of that famous Liverpool Tale, "Her Benny," through his listing. Or email him at

Back Buchanan Street. by Harry & Gordon Dison.
Double-thick marmalade butty. by John Dillon.
Garston / Pete McGovern
If you ever take a fourpenny bus to Garston.a "Galway Bay" parody.
Goin' down to Lundon.... on the night express.
Googi the Liverpool Duck.(as sung by Patti Paige)
If you ever go across the sea to Liverpool. (Anon, via a lady in a care home.)
In My Liverpool Home. (Originally by Peter McGovern.)
I wish I was back in Liverpool. by Stan Kelly
Johnny Todd.(The "Z-cars" tune.)
The Leaving of Liverpool.words & music arranged by Stan Kelly (c)
Liverpool Barrer Boy.
The Liverpool Blues. Vipers Skiffle group??
Liverpool Ladies.(by Joe Orford of Crosby).
Liverpool Stan Kelly)
Maggie May.
The Mersey Tunnel song,. from "Our Day Out" by Chris Mellor 1983
My Liverpool, words & music(c) by Brian Jacques. The "JacquesTown" theme. (complete)

Rent collecting in Speke.(also by Peter McGovern.)
Song of the Lyver Birds. (another variant on Liverpool Home)
Seth Davy. by Glyn Hughes.
The Wallasey Ferries (a "Sloop "John B"; a parody, by The Wallasey Wreckers )
My Father was Orange, my Mother was Green. words by Tony Murphy; tune "The Wearing of the Green." (on LP "Echoes of Merseyside".)
I stand making wellies all by Stan Lewis; recorded by Billy Maher
The Wallasey Wreckers.( by The Wallasey Wreckers folk-group themselves)
The Weller / "The Mighty WELL" !! by John Dillon, recorded by Billy Maher
Where the Mersey flows tonight
Mersey Tunnel Song (from Our Day Out)
We're off, we're off in a motorcar. traditional
Whip Jamboree traditional
William Brown (Keep that wheel a-turning...)
The World in One City. ( again, by Peter McGovern. A "Liverpool Home" variant)

Links to other sites of related interest.
Disclaimer ... in case I've got something wrong.

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Nov 07; "GOING DOWN TO LONDON" Judy Hicks writes from California about this. In the 1970s,she heard the group who performed it, a week before they appeared on "New Faces." She asks if anyone can remember the name of the group and what became of them. And is it still available on record or CD?

June 06. Paul Mc has found that the composer of the song " DOCKLANDS", the story of his father's life on the docks, was in fact the performance poet
Jim Bennett, who we believe has also written a song about the Superlambanana.
We thought it might be Pat Ayers who has a book on sale with Docklands in its title (£4.95 via Amazon). Is/was Pat Ayers a folk-singer?

ALEX McCUE; please get in touch; my email replies to you get knocked back.
The song I have about the "Wallasey Ferry" is a parody (set of different words) on a much earlier song called "The Sloop John B" - search in Google for this phrase.
The original Chorus starts,
"So hoist up the anchor chain, see how the mainsail sets,
call up the captain ashore, let me go home."

BURLINGTON STREET; (March 2006) Jim McDonald is looking for the words to a song called " Its only a dwelling in Burlington Street" to the tune of " Its only a shanty in old shanty town".He writes;" I am not sure of the age, would hazzard a guess its from around the forties. There is a strong connection with Burlington Street and the Scotland Road area, my friends father used to sing it and his son after him." Any older Eldonian got any ideas?

MAL BROWN ? Are you there? Please contact me again, especially if you are Mal of 'Lavender Blue' fame, ex-Shrewsbury Folk Club? If so "Jim the Digger" Irvine would love to get in touch.

Feb 06; On another point, the Scaffold's "Thank U very much" is unlikely to be definable as a folk-song, but there is one snippet from Radio 4 which might elicit interest or debate; the AINTREE IRON. Generally held to be the triangle of land at Walton Vale holding the Black Bull etc, it is also claimed that those minimalist dockers' urinals along the north dock road, just a couple of bent sheets of cast iron, were made by the "Aintree Iron Company," and it is easy to imagine bursting dockers saying "Thank you very Much" to the Aintree Iron Co. for providing such a vital facility.

Feb 06; Anybody got any more info/details for "jmcm" about this one many of us knew from school-days, where you insert the names of a boy and girl you want to pair up; the tune is almost certainly a variant on "Bless 'em all"

There's a ship coming in from Bombay
And its bound for Liverpool shore
Here comes ---- with tears in her eyes
And here comes ---- from out of the skies
Singing ---- I love you, I do
I'll always be faithful and true
He knelt down and kissed her
To show how he missed her
Oh ---- I love you, I do

The "Marmalade Tom with only one eye" has turned up, thanks to Gene Stevenson and Chris Jones,which will please Colin Duncan Hughes, a "2nd hand Scouse", who enquired on 20 Oct 05. Although it looks like a complete story to me, Gene & Chris reckon there are still lots of missing bits, so once again would you all keep your eyes and ears open. Thanks. I now know this item is a Brian Jacques Monologue, so I have decided to keep it on the Writers page. To see the full text as we have it, and other comments, please click here for the WRITERS page, and look under Question Corner.

At last! Some news about this snippet from Everton!
when the pie was set upon the table -
we all made a rush for the door-
my old mam - she fainted on the spot -
and the cat fell through the floor -
with a bish / bang- forgotten what goes here
- the dog went mad, the monkey up the chimney done a guy
- in all my life, I'll never forget -
the day that we had a rabbit pie.

August 2009 - after only five years waiting! - we have another version of this song, from Andy Gilligan and family.

"The apple pie was placed upon the table
We all made a rush for the door
My old man fainted in his chair
And I fell through the floor
Bish bang wallop, And the cat started laughing
And the dog fell dead
The monkey up the chimney gave a cry
As long as I live I’ll never forget
The day we had the Apple pie"

Here's a little item some of you may remember ; can you fill in the gaps?

"Take me back to dear old Bootle,
put me on the train for Liverpool
Drop me anywhere ...............or Clayton Square
. ................ or Waterloo, I just don't care.
How I'd like to see New Brighton,
Knotty Ash or Garston by the Sea, Oh,
Carry me back to the Dingle,
where half the mothers are single,
Liverpool's the place for me."

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"BIGAMY LIZ" Does anyone know the full lyrics to this Liverpool song? tonydw of the Scousehouse Forum ( ) has got us started with the following; "I heard ‘Bigamy Liz’ in my teens, on some ship during a drunken sing-a-long … it just stuck with me. I have no idea of who made words, or the tune, however it was a particularly Liverpool song so I surely someone somewhere in Liverpool will know.
The few words I remember are as follows:

"Oh! Bigamy Liz, oh! Bigamy Liz if she ain’t married then nobody is
She has husbands in the Argentine, husbands in Japan
Husband’s in the (Bibby Line?) and the rest in the Legs of Mann
Oh! Bigamy Liz, oh! Bigamy Liz -------------------------

10 June 2005; John Cadwallader; are you still there?
In Jan. 2004 John asked about the words of "Double-thick marmalade butty". This song was written by FRANK LEWIS, who also wrote THE WELLER, both of which have been sung by Billy Maher. To see the full words, please go to the SINGERS' PAGE ; which I am building.
Also, would Tim Clark please get in touch about Stan Jardine,; I have lost Tim's email address.

THANKS to Mal Brown for the following ;"The Washhouse club was in the basement of Sampson and Barlow in London Road (not Scotland Road).
I think that 'The Orange and The Green' was written by Tony Murphy who used to frequent the Washhouse club.
I am sure that the Liverpool Lullaby was written by Stan Kelly.
Seth Davy was written by Glyn Hughes if I'm not mistaken.
I am now living in Shropshire but used to haunt most of the Liverpool Folk clubs in the 60s."

03 Feb 05: Does know a song with the 'Tate and Lyle' in? "Catherine" heard that her mother's friend in an old peoples home in Sefton had been singing 'old tunes from scotty', which had place names included and the 'Girls of Tate and Lyle'. The old lady is dead, now. What a pity!
Even Radio Merseyside "A-team" had no luck, and that just leaves the Tate & Lyle pensioners magazine, which will give it a mention.

"Tommy D" asked about a rather rude childhood song called "The Dirty Old Woman., concerning a lady "caught short" and a policeman on his beat. I have been given two versions of the words, one with London references and one mentioning the Dingle. Both versions are rather lavatorial for general viewing, but I will pass them on to enquirers.

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Here are the other pages of this site:

MUSIC: the Liverpool Country Dance Band
SONG: the "Travelling People" folk musicians.
SCOTTISH ; Liverpool branch of the RSCDS
IRISH: Merseyside Irish Dancing information.
ENGLISH:Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs, and inc. bands & callers, as in Newsletters.
Liverpool CONTRA Folk-dance club
my two Country Dancing Clubs in Liverpool.
Gerry Jones, the handy musician
back to my Home Page/Index

For other links of interest, see foot of page. Back to Contents List click here
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There are a number of items which are very well known in Liverpool, but which are not really LIVERPOOL songs, and so I do not intend to include them. Thanks to many people who keep sending in versions of them, and I'll gladly pass on what I hear to anyone who cares to ask. Similarly, I do not see this page as a place for football songs - not even "Scouser Tommy"
e.g. Geoff Jones,who was looking for a song starting with; "Two teams alike in Liverpool where we set our scene..."and one about "A Liver Bird upon my chest." For FOOTBALL SONGS go to, a site for LFC songs. Stan Kelly writes; " Geoff Jones was asking about my football version of ROMEO & JULIET?
"Two Clubs alike in dignity in Liverpool where we set our scene;
"And Juliet's dad was Everton MAD; while Romeo's followed Bill Shankly's team!"
I can post werds on yr soccer site, OK? It's on my LP O LIVERPOOL WE LOVE YOU (Transatlantic XTRA 1076).
" There was a later Rugby version based on Wales/Scotland rivalry.

Others which are not Liverpool songs include "The Belle of Belfast City". a.k.a. "I'll tell my Ma" , nor even "Liverpool Lou" in which the name Liverpool was used by an Irishman, but does not appear to have any real Liverpool connections. Also, the "Blackpool Belle", was NOT a Liverpool Tram, but I have some lyrics for it, if anyone wants them

"THE SHIRT MY FATHER WORE" is a very pleasant song from Packie Byrne. It is a parody on "The Sash my father wore" and nothing to do with Liverpool, but Jon McNamara has kindly provided the words, if anyone would like them.

In My Liverpool Home. Three versions. The Original verses were by Peter McGovern, who performed it for the first time sometime around 1961 in the "Washhouse" folk club, which was held in the basement of Sampson & Barlow's Restaurant in London Rd, and not in Scotland Road as I had thought. Many other people have been moved to invent additional verses, including Peter McGovern himself; see "World in one city".
On one memorable occasion on BBC Radio Merseyside, Spencer Leigh presided over a session of people each singing their own " Liverpool Home" verses, which resulted in a ninety-minute cassette going on sale.
. FOOTNOTE from Joe Orford; "the tune used for Liverpool Home was originally an American "western" song called "Oh,the Strawberry Roan". The internet can provide the full lyrics and they do fit the scansion.
"Well, it's oh, that strawberry roan, Oh, that strawberry roan!
He's ewe-necked & old, with a long lower jaw,
You can see with one eye he's a reg'lar outlaw. Oh, that strawberry roan!"
Chris Webster (from Spain) tells of a '78 of this song from 1937/8, written by Curly Fletcher, and recorded by "Big Bill Campbell and his Hill Billy Band" with Vocal Chorus" [Columbia FB 1883]. The writers are given as 'Howard, Vincent and Fletcher'

Everyone has their own set of verses; here are my current favourites.

I was born in Liverpool, down by the docks.
My religion was Catholic; occupation - hard knocks.
At stealing from lorries, I was adept, and
underneath overcoats each night I slept.

CHORUS: "In my Liverpool home, D..A..D..D.. in my Liverpool Home, G..G..D..D..
We speak with an accent exceedingly rare; G.. G. .D.. D.. /
(we) meet under a statue exceedingly bare. [ G.. G.. D..D../
If you want a cathedral, we've got one to spare, [ G.. G.. D..D../
in my Liverpool home."A..A..D..D..

Back in the Forties the world it went mad,
and Hitler he threw at us all that he had.
When the smoke and the dust had all cleared from the air,
"Thank God," said my old man," the Pier Head's still there."

Over at Anfield* the shirts they are red. *LIVERPOOL.
And the players play football as though they were dead.
While over at Goodison* the shirts they are blue, *EVERTON.
and the football they play is fantastic to view.

If it's football you're wanting, the team at the top,
is the team that they're singing about in the Kop;
this city has got two great teams it deserves;
Liverpool ... First Team, and Liverpool Reserves.

I took a walk along Lime Street one day,
I saw a "Young Lady" a-heading my way;
"Have you got the right time, love", says I to the lass,
She said, "I've got the time, Jack, if you've got the brass."

When I grew up, I met Bridget Mc Cann;
she said, "You're not much, but I'm needing a man;
I want sixteen kids, and a house out in Speke;
well, the flesh it was willing, but the spirit was weak.

Walton Gaol is the place for a quiet week-end.
Climb over the wall, and you'll meet all your friends.
You can sit and watch telly, drink whisky and beer
and chalk on the prison walls; "Kilroy was here".

We've got wide open spaces like the Wavertree Park,
where it's unsafe by daylight and more so by dark
We've got places of culture like Dingle and Speke,
where they play "tick" with hatchets, and fight with their feet.

We've got romantic places like the Cast-Iron Shore,
where you can find someone else's back door,
We had John, we had George, Ringo and Paul,
the Liverpool Spinners, and the St George's Hall.

Oh, the Green and the Orange they battled for years.
They gave us some laughs and they gave us some tears.
But the Wacker don't want no spiritual rewards;
all he wants is a Green Card to get into Ford's

Our LIVerpool Ladies will HUG and kiss Men,
but a TRUE virgin Lady you'll FIND now and then
Our eighteen-foot Lyver Birds perched up on high,
will FLAP their great wings every time one goes by.

Way out in Kirkby, the kids they wear clogs,
there's eight million kids and there's ten million dogs.
They play "tick" with hatchets, I tell you no lie,
and they call you a "cissy" if you've more than one eye.

When my last whistle blows & the "Ref Up There" says;
"You've supped your last Guinness,lad, it's the end of your days,"
Take my ashes to Old Trafford( dramatic pause!) and spread them around,
and they won't win a match while I'm haunting the ground.

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Song of the Liverpool LYVER BIRDS.
To the tune of "In my Liverpool Home." by Gerry Jones. 2002
to assist his bid to get a third Liver Bird built for 2008.

We're eighteen foot tall, over twenty foot wide,
From three hundred feet we survey Merseyside
There's two of here, facing eastward and west,
One sees the river and one sees the rest.

In 1911 we first found this perch,
with a good view of dear old St Nicholas' Church.
With Donnelly's ship standing proud and aloof,
and our little white chick up on Mersey Court roof.

In 1207 when John was the king,
We were ON the Town Seal when they signed anything
We started as Eagles - the bird of St John -
Till they found our original image had gone.

An artist who'd never seen an eagle before,
had seen many cormorants along our sea-shore,
He tried drawing eagles, he tried it for weeks,
But we ended up like cormorants with weed in our beaks.

We've BOTH got some Laver; that's "sea-weed" to you.
It's quite rich in iodine, but a bit tough to chew.
But over in Clwyd, they bake it instead,
As a vital ingredient of Welsh "Laver bread."

Our LIVerpool Ladies will HUG and kiss Men,
but a true virgin Lady you'll find now and then
We know who is who from our perch up on high,
and we FLAP our great WINGS every time she goes by.

Liver Birds are the best. tra-la-la Liver Birds are the best; tra-la-la
Venice has pigeons , that's all that they've got.
London has sparrows, that cough quite a lot,
We've got the best that the others have not,
our Liver Birds are they best.

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The "World in one city."
by Pete McGovern,(the original composer of "Liverpool Home") as printed in the Liverpool "Echo" on 16 Oct 2002, Some verses on the "World in One City" theme connected with Liverpool's bid for Capital of Culture. , to the tune of In My Liverpool Home.

So many colours and so many creeds,
all of them people, all with the same needs,
We MUST work together, and understand, please,
- to play the piano needs the black and white keys.

West AFRican ballet, Jamaican steel bands,
Irish step-dancing, and choirs from all lands.
Fierce Chinese dragons crawl over the ground,
a riot of colour of music and sound.

Senior CITIzens are marching throughout Liverpool;
they're starting all over to go back to school,
to study computers and using the mouse,
and taking "A" Levels in "Classical Scouse."

Let's TALK to the the children, their fears and their hopes.
We've GOT the experience to show them the ropes.
and working together, then we can be sure,
their future is bright, and it's also secure.

... and still more verses come. Here are some from Ruth Raisman of King David Kindergarten who penned a couple of verses for "Liverpool 08" as one of the school themes.

Capital of Culture for Two-oh-oh-eight Everyone's happy and everything's great.We've
Concerts and shows that you'll want to see. So Come down to Liverpool and you will be... ... In my Liverpool home, etc

Our City of Liverpool's having a ball Museums and concerts and ships that are tall.
We Welcome all tourists from over the sea.This is the only place I wanna be... ...In my Liverpool home....etc

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Johnny Todd.

The tune of this song was used as the theme for the "Z-cars" TV series,
which is still played when Everton F.C football team go out onto the pitch, but the song was sung long before Everton FC was invented. There is a pub in Kirkby (the "Newtown" of Z-cars) called the "Johnny Todd".

JOHNNY TODD he took a notion for to cross the ocean wide,
and he left.......his true love behind him, waiting on the Liverpool side.
For a week she wept full sorely, . . . tore her hair and wrung her hands,
Till she met ..... with another sailor, . . . walking on the Liverpool sands.
"Why, fair maid, are you a-weeping, . . . for your Johnny gone to sea?
If you will ..... marry me tomorrow, . . . I will kind and constant be".
"I will buy you sheets and blankets, . . . I'll buy you a wedding ring,
and I'll buy .... you a silver cradle, . . . for to rock your babies in".
Johnny Todd came home from sailing, . . . sailing o'er the ocean wide,
just to find ... that his fair and false one . .. was another sailor's bride.
So you young men who go sailing, . . . off to fight the foreign foe,
do not leave your love behind like Johnny; . . . marry her before you go.

Jean Frankland recalls her Nanna singing along to the first Z-cars, using a variant verse four, "I will BUILD you a GILDed cradle..." with that nice internal rhyme. This might be traditional, or it may be Nanna's invention. With folk songs, who can tell?
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The Liverpool Barrer Boy [ Liverpool Barrow Boy]
(He had to keep pushing his barrow, because every time he stopped to sell something, a policeman [scuffer] would charge him with Obstructing the road or pavement.. "Judy-cop" = W.P.C.) Tune = Rakes of Mallow.

Shoves me barrer round and round, ripe tomatoes firm and sound!
Only half-a-crown a pound! Buy some from me barrer!

CHORUS; Pushing and shoving all the day, soon as I find a place to stay,
up comes a scuff saying; "On yer way! Move your blinking barrer!"

2. Just as I start to make me sales, fingers all handy for the scales.
Up come a scuffer - never fails - says I've got to shift me barrer.

3. Casey, Leece, Cable Street, there's always a scuffer on his beat.
I can't seem to rest me aching feet, I've just got to shift me barrer.

4. Hawking in London Road one day, when a judy-cop come and took me away.
Fined in Dale Street Court next day.So now I've go to SELL me barrer!

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(There really was a sailing ship called the "Davy Crockett" and a painting of her can be seen in some books about Liverpool.)

Fare thee well, to you, my own true love, I am sailing far away.
I am bound for California, and I hope that I'll return some day.

CHORUS :" So fare thee well, my own true love, and when I return, united we will be;
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but, my darling, when I think of thee.

I have signed on a Yankee clipper ship, "DAVY CROCKETT" is her name
and Burgess is the Captain of her,and they say she is a floating shame;

I have sailed with Burgess once before, and I think I know him well
If a man's a sailor then he might get along,but if not, why then he's sure in hell.
Fare thee well to Lower Frederick Street, Anson Terrace & old Park Lane.
for I know it will be a long, long time, before I see you again
I am bound for California, by way of the stormy Cape Horm.
I will write to you a letter, love, when I am home-ward bound.

Oh, the sun is shining on the harbour wall, & I wish I could remain.
for I know it will be a long, long time, before I see you again. .CHORUS :

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How I love the Marsh Lane girls ; mascara'd eyes and peroxide curls
I love to kiss those greasy lips, just to get the flavour of the curry and chips.
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, you're loved the whole world over.

Mary lived in Brasenose Road, Hundreds of pounds to the catalogue owed
Couldn't stop her getting "tick", The Guinness she drank'd make a docker sick.
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, you're loved the whole world over.

Once I courted a Bootle girl, she had my poor heart in a whirl;
fish-net tights and ankle socks, couldn't keep her out of the Betting Shops
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, You're loved the whole world over.

I once knew a girl from Toxteth Town; She was big and round and brown.
She said she'd kiss and wouldn't tell; But don't believe a Dingle Belle.
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, You're loved the whole world over.

Glenys was of Welsh descent, owed the council lots of rent;
She played "Bingo" every night, a jackpot win would put things right.
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, You're loved the whole world over.

Nellie worked for thirty years, in Tetley's pubs selling wines and beers;
Thirty years in a Lime Street bar; You'd think she'd know what sailors are!
CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, You're loved the whole world over.

CHORUS: Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, Liverpool Ladies, you're loved the whole world over.

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The Liverpool Blues.

Around the seven seas I have roamed,
and there's many, many a place I call home,
When at last I quit the sea, I know where I want to be;
I want to be down where old Maggie roams.
I've got the high-down low-down mean old Liverpool Blues.
Don't want to go down the coast of Spain,
I like Liverpool in the rain.
Don't want to go where there's castanets ringing;
Give me Sunday morning in the old pub singing.
I'VE GOT THEM LIVERPOOL BLUES: Blues I hope I never lose
Ham & Eggs is a Yankee dish
Give me Sunday morning with the old salt fish 'cos.

I got the "Hey Joe, Waddyou know," mean old Liverpool Blues.
Don't want to go down to Tennessee,
Scotty Road is good enough for me,
Don't want to go where there's banjos strumming
Give me Paddy's Market with the "Two a penny, lemons."
I'VE GOT THEM LIVERPOOL BLUES: Blues I hope I never lose
Ham & Eggs is a Yankee dish
Give me Sunday morning with the old salt fish 'cos.

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Liverpool Lullaby.(by Stan Kelly (C) )
(This REALLY should be sung un-accompanied.)

OH YOU ARE A MUCKY KID, dirty as a dustbin lid.
When he hears the things you did, you'll get a belt off your Dad.
Oh you have your father's nose, so crimson in the dark it glows
If you're not asleep when the boozers close,
you'll get a belt from your Dad.

You look so scruffy lying there, strawberry jam-tats in your hair,
though in the world you haven't a care while I have got so many.
It's such a struggle every day, living on your father's pay.
The beggar drinks it all away and leaves me hardly any.

Though we have no silver spoon, better days are coming soon
Now Nelly's working at the LUNE, & she gets paid on Fridays.
Perhaps one day we'll have a splash,
when Littlewoods provides the cash.
We'll get a house in Knotty Ash, & buy yer dad a brewery.

Oh your are mucky kid; dirty as a dustbin lid.
When he hears the things you did, you'll get a belt off your dad
Oh you have your father's face, you're growing up real hard case
There's no-one can take your place,
go fast asleep for your Mammy.

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If you ever go across the sea to Liverpool.
(Tune; "If you ever go across the sea to Ireland/Galway Bay")

then maybe at the closing of your day,
you can see the moon rise over Garston Gasworks
and watch the sun go down on Dingle Bay.

Just to see again the Ferries on the Mersey;
the cars on William Brown Street in a jam
and to sit beside your Judy in the Scala,
and get her bevvied in the "Legs of Man."

There's a man who stands just opposite the Adelphi;
He stands there all day long, he's in his prime,
But I think he'll have to go and get some clothes on
before they'll let him in at opening time.

Oh I watch the Orange Lodge parade to Southport,
that one day in the year, they think it's grand
And I see the kids who sit outside the boozer,
with a conny-onny butty full of sand.

Oh the winds that blow across the streets of Great Homer,
are perfumed by the pigs cheeks as they blow,
and the women selling papers on the corner
speak a language that the clergy do not know.

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And here is another version from John Leadbetter.

"I am working in India and visited your web site to refresh my memory on some Liverpool songs. I thought you might like to add this one to your collection. My Dad used to sing it to me as a lullaby, and goes to the tune of Galloway Bay."

"If you ever take a four penny bus to Garston"

If you ever take a four penny bus to Garston
It may be at the closing of the day
You can smell the lovely odour from the gas works
Or watch the sun go down o'er scouseland bay.

Oh the wind that blows across the sea from Stanlow
The perfume on the jetty as it blows
And the kiddies in the back streets playing conkers
Speak a language that the strangers do not know.

But things are not so bad in dear old Garston
No fag ends in the gutter do we see,
And if I'm to live a life in next year after
I shall live in dear old scouseland by the sea.

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Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they have taken her away,
and she'll never walk down Lime Street any more.
Oh, she robbed those lime-juice sailors,
and the captains of the whalers,
That dirty robbing no-good Maggie May.

O gather round, you sailor boys, and listen to my plea,
And when you've heard my tale you'll pity me;
For I was a goddamn fool, in the port of Liverpool
the first time that I came home from sea.
I was paid off at the Home, from the port of Sierra Leone,
The three pounds ten a month that was me pay.
With a pocket full of tin, I was very soon taken in
By a girl with the name of Maggie May,. CHORUS.

Oh the first time I saw Maggie, she took my breath away,
she was cruising up and down old Canning Place.
She'd a figure so divine, like a frigate of the line,
so me, being a sailor, I gave chase, CHORUS;

In the morning I awoke, I was flat & stony broke.
No jacket, waistcoat, trousers could I find,
And when I asked her where; she said," My very good sir,
they're down in Kelly's pawnshop, number 9."

To the pawnshop I did go, no clothes there did I find,
And the police they took that girl from me away,
And the judge he guilty found her,
of robbing the homeward-bounder,
And paid her passage out to Botany Bay. CHORUS.

There are many variants to this song.
I have heard various amounts given as "the ££££ a month that was me pay" and after her "figure so divine", I first heard it as ..."and her voice was so refined."
I have used "frigate of the line" as it sounds more nautical, even though Liverpool sailors were much more likely to be Merchant Navy than RN.
and I have seen/heard " the judge he guilty found her, of robbing the homeward-bounder, " used as the middle lines of the chorus.

The song has quite a modern feel about it, and there's not much antique about the words, and I thought its "tradition" started about 1960. However, Herb Hughes (RN) heard it sung by Liverpool matelots around Plymouth as early as 1947.
Roger French, ex-pat scouser and mariner from Texas, writes;
" I first heard the song in 1958, sung by Stan Hugill when he was bo'sun at the Outward Bound Sea School in Aberdovey. A reaonable provenance, I'd think! He said, and I remember this very clearly, that Maggie May was originally a London lady and song, who got adopted by Liverpool. sailors. Canning Town became Canning Place, for example, Limehouse became Lime Street. Interestingly enough, when Stan sang the song back then, she cruised in Paradise Street, not Lime Street. His version was considerably more "raunchy" than most, with reference to Maggie's "old red flannel drawers" and other unmentionables.
Stan's chorus was:
"Oh Maggie, Maggie May, they have take her away,
for a slave upon that cruel devil's shore.
Oh she robbed many a whaler, and many a drunken sailor,
but she'll never cruise down Paradise Street no more."

The version you have is indeed, I think, a product of the early 60s and arose from the popularisation of Liverpool, both nationally and internationally".
Many thanks for all that Roger.

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Well, now me lads be of good cheer
for the Irish Coast will soon draw near
we'll set a course for the old Cape Clear.
Oh, Jenny, get your oat-cakes done.

with your pig-tail, sailor, hanging down behind,
Whip Jamboree, Whip Jamboree,
Oh, Jenny get your oatcakes done.

Well now Cape Clear it is in sight,
we'll be off Holyhead by tomorrow night,
we'll set a course for the old Rock Light,
Oh, Jenny, get your oat-cakes done.

Well, now we're passing Holyhead,
no more salt-beef or weevilly bread,
one man in the chains for to swing the lead.
Oh, Jenny, get your oat-cakes done.

And now we're passing Fort Perch Rock
all hammocks lashed & sea chests locked,
we'll warp her in to the Waterloo Dock,
Oh, Jenny, get your oat-cakes done.

And now my lads we are in Dock,
we'll be off to Dan Lowry's on the spot,
and there we'll sink a big pint pot.
Oh, Jenny, get your oat-cakes done.

I don't know anything about the origins of this song, and hope the Usual Suspects will enlighten me. If it is genuinely "traditional" then it will not have a known or named author. The "original" words of a "traditional" song is rather a contradiction in terms; people tend to think that the first version they heard sung is the "correct" one. "Traditional songs" are passed on a bit like Chinese Whispers, and they alter and vary as they are sung. Some people who record things will deliberately make some alterations, to claim that version as their "own work."
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SETH DAVY., by Glyn Hughes.

He sat on the corner of Bevington Bush,
astride an old packing case,
And the dolls on the end of the plank went dancing,
as he crooned with a smile on his face.
CHORUS: "Come day, go day. Wishing me heart for Sunday.
Drinking buttermilk all the week; whisky on a Sunday."

2; His tired old hands drummed the wooden plank,
and the puppet dolls they danced the gear.
A far better show then you ever would see,
at the Pivvy or new Brightion Pier.
CHORUS; Come day go day........

3; But in 1905, old Seth Davy died,
and his song was heard no more.
And the three dancing dolls ended up in a bin,
and the plank went to mend a back-door.
CHORUS:"Come day, go day

4; But on some stormy nights, down Scotty Road way,
when the wind blows up from the sea,
You can still hear the song of old Seth Davy,
that he sang to his dancing dolls three;
CHORUS; "Come day, go day...

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SETH DAVY was a real person, he really existed, and he died a couple of years into the 20th century. There was a street and a pub, both called "Bevington Bush" just north of Liverpool City Centre, and Seth Davy did do a "busking" act outside.

In his book 'Liverpool: Our City - Our Heritage', Freddie O'Connor tells us that in 1760, half a mile from Marybone ("St Patrick's Cross") along Bevington Bush Road was a hamlet named Bevington Bush which had an inn called simply the 'Bush', which became a favourite haunt for folk to travel 'out into the country', to the 'Bevy Inn' as it became fondly known. The Liverpool slang for 'bevvy' ...may have derived from this old inn.
Liverpool Pictorial says, "Bevington Bush was the name of a thickly wooded valley between Bevington Hill and Everton Hill. An inn on Bevington Hill was called `The Bush'. .
With the opening of Scotland Road, the ancient Bevington Bush Road became a minor road amidst the massive slum district that would soon engulf it. As the district was built up it also lost its original name.

Please do not be taken in by any Irish versions of this song, or any reference to "Bebbington". Bebington is "over the water" - not in Liverpool at all. I know the truth for a fact because, when I was a brand-new teacher in the Dingle in 1963, our old lollypop man told me that he had actually seen Seth Davy doing his stuff. So I have spoken to a first-hand witness.
I have heard that Seth Davy's own singing was a non-too-wonderful monotone, and not the pleasant melody that was written about him in the 60s folk boom.

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Stan Kelly writes; "The werds you give for I WISH differ un peu from what I wrote but no big deal. I'll send you an extra verse anon.
I sing I WISH on Ewan MacColl's REVIVAL IN BRITAIN (Folkways)"

CHORUS: I wish I was back in Liverpool.
Liverpool town where I was born
Where there isn't no trees, no scented breeze
no fields of waving corn.
But there's lots of girls with peroxide curls
And the "black & tan" flows free,
With six in a bed by the old Pier head
And its Liverpool Town for me.

1; Its seven long years since I wandered away,
To sail the wide world o'er,
My very first trip in an old tramp ship
that was bound for Baltimore.
I was seven days sick, and I just couldn't stick
All that bobbing up and down,
So I told them, jack, to turn right back
To dear old Liverpool Town.

2; We dug the Mersey Tunnel , boys, way back in '33
Dug a hole in the ground until we found
a 'ole called Wallasey.
The foreman cried, "Get on outside;
the roof is falling down!"
And I'm telling you, Jack, we all SWAM back
To dear old Liverpool Town .

3; There's every race and colour of face
And every kind of name,
But the pigeons* there in Clayton Square
they treat there all the same
If you walk up Upper Parliament Street,
You'll see faces black & brown,
And I've even seen them orange & green
In dear old Liverpool town.

* the pigeons sometimes make a mess "there in Clayton Square," and sometimes "at the old Pier Head." That's the way it is with folksong.

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WILLIAM BROWN ("Keep that wheel a-turning.")
Thanks to Jim ("The Digger") Irvine for the complete version.

Oh, a nice young man was William Brown,
who worked for a wage in Liverpool Town,
he worked from six till (eight? late?) at night,
turning a wheel from left to right..
CHORUS; Keep that wheel a-turning (x 3 )
and do a little more each day.

The Boss one day to William came, and said,
"look 'ere young... what's-your-name"
I'm not content with what you do;
work a little harder or it's "Out" with you.

So William turned and made her run
Three times round in the time of one,
He turned so hard he soon was made
The Lord High Turner of his trade.

William turned with the same sweet smile;
the goods he made grew to such a pile,
they filled the room and the room next door,
and overflowed to the basement floor.

The nation heard of the wondrous tale,
His picture appeared in the Sun and the Mail;
The railways ran excursions down,
And all to look at William Brown.

But sad the sequel is to tell;
He turned out more than the boss could sell;
The market slumped and the price went down,
Seven more days and they sacked young Brown.

The moral of the tale is plain to tell:
If you wanna lose your job, just work like Hell
(I'm tempted to add another local aphorism here;
"You play the game, you do your best;
you're "down the road" with all the rest. Gerry)

And keep that wheel a-turning, keep that wheel a-turning
Keep that wheel a-turning and do a little more each day.

(I think this song is older than Jim thinks; I feel sure it was in the "Sketch" - a pre-Sun paper. Gerry)

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The Wallasey Wreckers;

The lamps they are ready, the beacons are laid,
The donkeys are harnessed, our plans they are made.
And when the night’s blackest with no moon in sight
We’ll go a—wreckin’ at Leasowe tonight!

Chorus: And its men to your oilskins and women your shawls,
There’ll be brandy and whiskey and rum for us all!

2. The last time we went there The plunder was grand
Five barrels of whiskey Were cast on the sand.
And what did we care if we killed two or three?
We’ll still go a—wreckin’ down at Wallasey!

3. The judge sits so solemn When he hears of a wreck.
The parson shouts "hell-fire" to save his own neck.
When the tide’s at the flood and the tawny owls screech,
They’ll both be a-wreckin’ down on Moreton Beach


4. We take all our plunder Out to Bidston Moss,
Where old Samuel Walker he trades it with us.
Of wines and of spirits his inn never lacks,
and we return laden with hams on our backs.

5. When the spoils they are shared, we will swill us some ale
At Old Mother Redcap's we'll tell all the tale.
If of brandy or tea or of silks you are light
Why not come a-wreckin' with us some dark night?

Final Chorus: And its men to your oilskins and women your shawls,
There’ll be brandy and whiskey and rum for us all!
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full original version of these two songs, courtesy of the composers, Lol Rowbottom and the "Wallasey Wreckers" folk group from Liscard.

Lol has come up trumps. Thanks, Red Dog Leader!

"Sloop John B" parody. (by "The Wallasey Wreckers")

We sailed on the River Mersey, my Grandpappy and me.
From Liverpool to Seacombe we used to roam.
We'd do it each day; it cost nine-pence each way.
Oh, please dig the tunnel; I want to go home.
CHORUS; Hoist up the anchor chain, etc."

The Captain said, "Now hear this; I'm going down for a pint,
Down to the bar to get myself a jar,
Of Guinness's stout, just to keep the cold out,
But hoist up the storm cones - there'll be strong winds about."
CHORUS; Hoist up the anchor chain, etc."

My Grandpappy he said "Son, Here's what must be done,
Eat jam butties when you're leaving Liverpool town",
And when I asked "Why?" He said with a sigh,
"They taste as nice coming up boy,
As they did going down".

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Here are the original lyrics, written by Harry & Gordon Dison back in the 1960s.

A fella’ from the Council, Just out of Planning School
Has told us that we’re being moved right out of Liverpool
The’re sending us to Kirkby, or Skelmersdale or Speke
Don’t want to go from all we know in Back Buchanan Street

We’ll miss a lot of little things like putting out the cat
For there’s no back door on the fourteenth floor of a Unit-Camus flat
Don’t want to go to Kirkby, or Skelmersdale or Speke
Don’t want to go from all we know in Back Buchanan Street

We’ll miss the fog horns on the river and we’ll miss the ole’ Pierhead
An’ short cuts through the jiggers when we’re rolling home to bed
Don’t want to go to Kirkby, or Skelmersdale or Speke
Don’t want to leave. We’ll only grieve for Back Buchanan Street

We’ll miss the pub around the corner, with the parlour painted red
Just like we miss the Green Goddesses and the Overhead
Don’t want to go to Kirkby, or Skelmersdale or Speke
Just want to stay where we used to play in Back Buchanan Street

We’ll miss the Mary Ellens, an’ me Dad’ll miss the Docks
An’ Gran’ll miss the washhouse, where she washed me Grandad’s socks
Don’t want to go to Kirkby…….etc

They’ve closed down Paddy’s Market, where me Ma once had a stall
And soon their picks and shovels, will be through our back yard wall
Don’t want to go to Kirkby…….etc

From Walton to the Dingle, you’ll hear the same old cry
Stop messin’ round with Liverpool at least until we die
Don’t want to go to Kirkby, or Skelmersdale or Speke
Don’t want to go from all we know in Back Buchanan Street

Harry Dison is still alive and well, (2005) but no longer song writing. Sadly, Gordon died on Thursday, the 1st September, at the age of 73.
Not long after the publication of the song, Harry's son John became a town planner!

Harry says;"The song was originally written for a BBC folk song competition in which it was sung by Robin Hall and Jimmy McGregor. It fortunately was one of the final 10 which were recorded and published, out of 3000 sent in. We sent the last two verses in later, but they were too late to be included."
"Jackie and Bridie took it up after this and changed the odd word here and there, commencing it with “ A fella from the Corpy…”.
"They also sang “Of a Corporation flat”, in place of “Of a Unit-Camus flat”, but we didn’t mind so long as they sang it. ‘Unit’, was a large construction company based in Speke, and ‘Camus’ a French system, I think, that they used for the pre-cast construction. Their recording was played on Radio 4 in Feb 2005, so the song is still alive and kicking."

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Here is the version I heard and sang, probably after trying to recall the words as sung by Jackie and Bridie (giving my age away.)

A feller from the Corpy, just out of planning school,
Has told us that we've got to move right out of Liverpool.
They're moving us to Kirkby, to Skelmersdale and Speke,
But we want to stay where we used to play in Back Buchanan Street,

CHORUS; Don't want to go to Kirkby, don't want to go to Speke,
Don't want to go from all I know in Back Buchanan Street.

(I'll miss the) pub around the corner, with the parlour painted red,
Likewise the green goddesses, likewise the Overhead.
And lots of other little things, like putting out the cat,
'Cause there's no back door on the 14th floor of a corpy Tower-block flat.

I'll miss the Mary Ellens, Me Dad'll miss the docks.
Me Gran'll miss the wash-house where she washed me grandad's socks
They've pulled down Paddy's Market, where me Ma once had a stall,
And soon their picks & shovels will be through our backyard wall.

From Bootle to the Dingle, you can hear the same old cry,
"Stop mucking round with Liverpool, at least until I die".

This is a very good example of how folk songs change, even songs which were actually composed by living musicians, written down and printed.
Folk-songs are normally learned by listening, not from printed publications, and even songs written in the folk song style are liable to the same fate - to be learned by hearing, probably not exactly right, with alterations, both accidental and deliberate, creeping in, and singers believing that the version they heard is the "authentic" version.

Harry Dison himself says, "There are some small variations in the wording of odd choruses which can be used or not, as desired, and it may be of advantage to reduce the number of choruses by pairing some verses together.” Exactly what has happened.

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An adventurous young man was young Willie Moran,
of yellow he'd never a streak;
Hunted shark, fished for whale, and he never turned tail,
till he tried rent-collecting in Speke, in Speke. till he tried rent-collecting in Speke.

2; He knocked on this flat with his rata-tat-tat.
"Are you paying me any this week?"
The neighbours just shrugged as poor Willie got slugged,
When he tried rent-collecting in Speke, in Speke
when he tried rent-collecting in Speke.

3; So Will tried again, sloping up Mackett's Lane,
a back road through Hunts Cross to seek.
In a camouflage mac., a flame-thrower on his back,
To try rent-collecting in Speke, in Speke,
To try rent-collecting in Speke.

4; So Will hired a tank, and armed guards from the Bank,
and policemen of manly physique.
Down the Boulevard did go, shouting; "The Corpy needs dough,
and you must pay your rent up in Speke, in Speke,
and you must pay your rent up in Speke.

5; This appeal, Willie found, fell on to stony ground,
and he soon found himself up the creek,
The staff-nurse she did grin, as they wheeled Willie in,
"He's been rent -collecting in Speke, in Speke."
"He's been rent -collecting in Speke"

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This song from Pete Mcgovern is a send up of the Woodie Guthrie song ‘If you aint got the do ray me”

Folks are leaving Speke, they say,
going on the transfer list each day
Heading down Booker Avenue way
where the neighbourhood is class.
Over that Garston bridge they roll
leaving, they say. a corpy hole
Into debt, body and soul, so the furniture will pass

But the conductor on the 86 will say ("yeh yeh")
you can't live down there on your dockers' pay

So if you 'ain't got the doh rey me, Boys
If you 'ain't got the doh rey me
you'd better go back to beautiful GARSTON,
Mossley hill may be a garden of Eden
On the lampposts the dogs will never pee
You won't find it so hot;
in that neighbourhood you're a clot
If you 'ain't got the doh re me.

You can't go just as you are
better get yourself a Jaguar
the kids will shout what a bag you are
As your riding into town
When you hear the rates, you'll weep
you'll be losing lots of sleep
to the social security you will creep
But the man down there will frown

Well, he'll raise his glasses high and he will say
"you can't live down there on your dockers pay"

Same chorus
if you 'ain't got the doh re me Boys
only difference is-—they've never heard the letters HP.

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Googi the Liverpool Duck,
(Lyrics. Thanks to Patti Page herself, and Steve McLaughlin's mum)

Googi the Liverpool Duck

I'm just an ordiNARY duck, you'll see me in the street,
Wandering round Liverpool, with wellies on me feet.
I live just up by Scotty Road, I think that you'll agree,
There's not much there to look at but its home sweet home to me.
Googi; Googi; I never had much luck,
I don't care, I'm happy, I'm.............. Googi the Liverpool Duck

My old man is a docker, and he's up to every trick,
When he isn't out on strike, he's always on the sick.
Me old girl is a cleaner in the alehouse down our street.
It helps pay for her bingo, and she's there six nights a week.

Half our house supports the Reds, the other half the Blues.,
There's murder on a Saturday night if either of them lose.
The Liver Birds are mates of mine, they went to our old school.
So when you see them, think of me, when you're in Liverpool

Sheila Droniak asked about this song she once heard in the film 'Priest' in the scene where the choirboys are singing in the church.
Googi the Liverpool Duck, by Penny Page and David Alexander certainly had its heyday, and is available on CD still.
Mark Jones writes; "I had trouble convincing anyone outside of Liverpool (plus many from Liverpool!) that it actually existed. It took years to find this but finally I have some proof that I am not mad!"

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"My Liverpool" by Dr Brian Jacques, D.Let. H.C. The drizzle on the cobbles in the early mornin', that's my Liverpool.
With a half eaten butty an' yer lace undone, y'gonna be late for school.
There's a ship with a cargo of containers coming in through the locks
an' a bus with a cargo of hangovers headin' down to the docks.
My Liverpool's a town of dogs an' kids all kickin' up in the street
Won't you give that dog a bone, Ma. Give that kid a sweet
an' the people know how to treat a stranger See that open door...........
If YOU've never had a plate of my Ma's scouse, then YOU've never lived before
It's roarin' bustlin' open wide
the northwest gate to Merseyside.

My Liverpool's a town of two religions they've both got floodlights
a hundred smells, a million faces an' a thousand different sights.
why, I knew the house where the beatles lived 'til they called in the pest control
there's a ferry that goes across the Mersey where they learned to rock an' roll
In the Kirkdale Market Saturday mornin' you can get most anything
from a new bedstead to a pound of salt-fish or a green-gold weddin' ring
There's a feller made of brass, with a big bare (elbow) where the girls all stand an wait
Have a Chinese Indian Italian meal in good ................ould Liverpool Eight.
It's roarin' bustlin' open wide the northwest gate to Merseyside.

My Liverpool's a town where the cats never sleep, they sing the whole night long
an' the sparrows cough on the window-sill in lieu of a mornin' song
an' the buskers in the subway sound as good as the fellers on teevee
an' I'm not bad when I've had a few pints you wanna have a listen to me.
Hear the sound of a tugboat on the river has a music of its own
the Goodison choir an' the Anfield army who never walk alone
then the sun comes out an' the Liver Bird stands up to stretch his wings
an' the music starts in a million hearts and that's ............ when Liverpool sings

It's roarin' bustlin' open wide the northwest gate to Merseyside.

Brian has kindly given permission for these verses to appear here, and -remember - he wrote the music as well. You can hear him singing it in his "JacquesTown" programme on BBC Radio Merseyside on Sunday evenings.
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Written by Tony Murphy a habitue of the Wash-house folk club. This song does not in fact mention Liverpool, but Liverpool has had long, strong traditions of Catholic parishes and of Orange Lodges, and relations between them have never been as light-hearted as this song suggests.

Oh my father was an Ulsterman, proud Protestant was he,
My mother was a Catholic girl; from county Cork was she.
They were married in two churches and live happily enough,
until the day that I was born when things got rather rough.

CHORUS; Oh it is the greatest mix-up that you have ever seen,
my father he was Orange and my mother she was Green.

Baptised by Father Reilly I was rushed away by car,
to become a little Orangeman, my father's shining star.
I was christened David Anthony, but still, in spite of that,
to my father I was "William" while my mother called me "Pat"

With Ma to church on Sundays, to Mass I'd proudly stroll,
while later on the Orange Lodge would try to save my soul.
Both sides tried to claim me, but I was smart because,
I'd play my flute or I'd play my harp depending where I was.

One day my Ma's relations came round to visit me,
just as my father's kinfolk were all sitting down to tea.
We tried to smooth things over but they soon began to fight,
..and me being strictly neutral, I bashed everyone in sight.

My parents never could agree about my type of school.
My learning was all done at home, that's why I'm such a fool.
They've both passed on, God bless 'em, and I'm left caught between
this awful colour problem of the Orange and the Green.

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SONGS BY BILLY MAHER; Billy has written an enormous amount of songs, in a folky-pub style, he has popularised many songs written by other people, and still earns his bread and drippin' by selling CDs of them, so I have no intention of doing him out of a crust. But a few of his songs have passed into general consciousness, and are so widely almost known round Merseyside as to qualify as Liverpool folk-songs. They include "I stand making wellies all day", and "The mighty Well !" written by John Dillon.
Billy is also responsible for what may prove to be a definitive version of "We're off, we're off in a motor-car", of which there seem to be so many versions (world-wide).
Here is Billy's version, but although it is well-known all over Liverpool, I know it is not sung just in Liverpool, or if it is originally a Liverpool song.

We’re off in a motor car
"We're off; we're off; we're off in a motor car.
Sixty coppers are after us and we don't know where we are.
Going round the corner, eating apple pie;
I asked him for a skinny bit and he hit me in the eye"
He went and told me mother – - me mother wouldn’t come
I went and bought a lollie pop and stuck it up ‘is (BEEP BEEP)
Oh me father was a hero, his bravery made me blush
They were givin free beer in the alehouse
and me dad got killed in the rush
Oh I wish he was a caterpillar – life would be a farce
He could climb up all the trees and slide down on his hands and knees

The night was dark and stormy and the rain had wet me socks.
The tram was on its journey from the Dingle to the Docks.
A dog ran in the tramlines - the driver rang the bell.
The dog never heard the signal, now he’s on ‘is way to (BEEP BEEP)

Angela from West Oz believes there is yet another verse, something about driving with his mother and smelly socks!

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"WHERE THE RIVER MERSEY FLOWS" Roger Letsom from USA asked about it, these words were supplied via "The Lurker" via Scousers Abroad forum.

When the Moon is hangin low.....
On the top of Richmond Row.....
An the smell of St Johns Market fills the air...
A game of Pitch an Toss we'll play....
With the lads from Hackins Hey............
Where the double headed penny made a play
Wirr'all it's Mansions in the air............
An the 'Coach an Horses was a lovely sight....
I only hope that I'll be spared.....
Just ter see that Liver Bird......
Oh my heart is where the Mersey flows tonight....

This song reminds me of the following;
"Where the River Mersey flows,
everyone talks through their nose,
and the Cavern's never closed - that's my home town"

Anyone remember this at all? Is it more of the same song? Please!


one of many songs by Frank Lewis of Birkenhead.

I’ve worked down at Dunlops for three years or more
And by now I tell ya, me feet are quite sore
And the reason for this is the hard concrete floor
Where I stand making wellies all day

Chorus (but with fellow singer/s joining in where stated)
I stand makin wellies all day ((all day)). I stand making wellies all day ((all day!)
I haven’t got time to rest or play Cos I stand makin wellies all day

Now a girlfriend once asked of me “Wir dya werk?”**
And when I told her Dunlops, she gave me a shirk
“And wat dya make there?” she said with a smirk
“Dyust*** stand makin wellies all day”
Chorus ;I stand makin wellies all day, etc

Now of air pollution, I’ve heard on the tele,
Is making our cities and towns smell smelly
But theres NOTHING as smelly as a stinkin ‘ot wellie
When you stand making wellies all day
Chorus ; I stand makin wellies all day, etc

This song is about the former Dunlop factory in Walton, where they made wellies and other footwear. not to be confused with Dunlops in Speke, where they made tyres. Thanks to Angela Bishop of Western Australia for these words. She writes; " **the girlfriends lines must be spoken in a most gloriously scouse accent! I have tried to write the words (werds!) as they are pronounced in the song. ***’Dyust’ is actually ‘just’, but it is said *long, sighingly, drawn out* and this is the best transcription I could think of." Thanks also to Frank's daughter Sarah for providing corrections and improvements to my knowledge.

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I'd wait outside the ale-house when I was just a lad,
Eating bags of salty crisps being passed out by my Dad
I'd hear pi-anno music, and hear the boozers sing,
But above them all I'd hear my old man Shouting just one thing;....

(Chorus) He'd shout WELL!" while they were singing,
WELL! Just that one word ........ .......... .........
His mighty WELL! had my ears ringing.
His shout of WELL! was always heard.

On Saturday night back AT our house, we always had a Do.
There was ale and scoff for anybody that me Old Man knew,
Me Nan would play the squeeze-box and We'd all sing along.
But me Dad just shouted OUT one word no matter what the song.


One Christmas Eve at Midnight Mass I sat down in a pew.
Me Old Man staggered into church,I could see he'd had a few.
(Then the) Organ started playing and the choir sang a hymn,
Before they got through half a verseMy Old Man had joined in.

But now they've changed the style of pub,It gets me old man down.
With juke-box and with discos in every pub in town.
Although they now play records,And there's no need for a Weller,
Above the blaring of the noise,You can still hear my old feller.

JOHN DILLON wrote in (Feb 06) to say; I wrote "THE WELLER" (originally THE "WELL" SONG) as sung by Billy Maher, for Billy's old group, The Jacksons.
.I'm happy that Billy is still performing the song, and hope that people enjoy hearing it sung, word for word as it was written. I am telling you this is for historical accuracy; I am very proud of being a Liverpudlian and if, in future years, some young scouser hears this song and asks "Who wrote this?" I'd like someone to answer, "A fellah called John Dillon"!

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by Frank Lewis, who also wrote 'The Wellie Song' .Thanks to Frank's daughter Sarah for providing the words for this song Billy Maher sang some of Frank's songs, on BBC Radio Merseyside.

A long-term fan of Frank’s, Gary du Rose, writes; “ Around 1982 -85, Frank Lewis was my teacher in Primary School,. He was from Liverpool,and he would get his guitar out and sing it to us. The last I heard of him he was living in Birkenhead. He also wrote a song called "I'm a Great Man" all about himself running for the bus as a teenager on his way to work." Last I heard, from his daughter, Sarah, Frank was still a teacher, living in Birkenhead, singing with the kids in school. “I’m a great man” was a song about cursing a bus driver, driving an Atlantean. He has also written songs about "Arrowe Park", and "A Penny Return."

I live in a slum, with me dad and me mum,
Theyre always out gamblin' an boozin',
Drinkin' their beer, with bingo cards near,
And horses invariably losin'.
They tell me I'm rude, when I ask for good food,
an' tell me I'm acting quite smutty,
If you're older or younger, to stave off your hunger,
have a double thick marmalade butty.

A double thick marmalade butty
A double thick marmalade butty
If you're older or younger
to stave off your hunger
have a double thick marmalade butty.

One year for our hols', we went to the falls,
the weather was shocking by gosho,
the gamblin was lousy, they played 'housey housey',
An' the food it was terribly posho.
Me dad said that he wouldn't pay them for food,
'cos to him it all tasted like putty,
so we went down to Youngers, to stave off our hunger,
for a double thick marmalade butty

When out with me ma, we ate caviar,
it cost us a pretty penny,
when I asked him for chips, he said through his lips,
I'm afraid, sir, that we have not any'.
Me ma said that" this isn't cricket, you know,
for us you're not doing your utty!"
So we came out that hotel, and went to the motel,
for a double thick marmalade butty.

Me young brother Mort, was a hell of a sport,
he never would eat before playin',
he said that his hunger made him feel younger,
but didnt realise what he was sayin'.
He loses his 'ead, and pinches some bread,
before he goes out to play footy,
and while gettin a beatin, he's standin there eatin'
a double thick marmalade butty.

(Final Chorus).
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I am finding people asking about Stan Jardine, who played with various folk groups, including the Wallasey Wreckers for a time, and later singing solo in Birkenhead folk venues.
All information I receive about Stan, and his songs, will soon be moved to it's own page.

Here are some snippets I have been given of songs from Stan Jardine, and I hope to have the full words in a few weeks time . 1st song. Think it was called ... started something like:
They took away the landing stage When they pulled old Parley down,
It'll never be the same again, Dear old Liverpool town....."

Chorus something like:

But now there's concrete blocks
Of offices and shops, And a tower where the market used to be....... (can't remember next line)....
But the Liverbrid smiled at me

2nd song. Started something like:

There's a wiley old bird called the Liver,
Perched up on the top of a dome,
With his big beady eyes he just sits there,
Watching the big ships come home"

Chorus includes the lines
The old liver bird is still nesting up there,
And we can't get the old buzzard down.

3rd song I think was called the New Brighton Ferries -
Chorus went something like:

The New Brighton Ferries don't sail any more,
They've taken the Pier away,
And the fine golden sand,
That ran through my hand,
On many a bright summer's day......."

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The Mersey Tunnel Song

. A query from Jim McKeown on 17 Nov 05, asking for the rest of song about The Mersey Tunnel song, of which he can offered two verses, below.

Joanna Oldham writes; "I think it was written specifically for the first performance on the stage of Willy Russell's Our Day Out at the Everyman in 1983. As far as I know, the lyrics and certainly the music were written by Chris Mellor (who whose name was misspelt as Mellors by Samuel French publishers)".

As regards the tune, I have no solid information, but I feel strongly that it has to be based on something simple and well-known, and it can indeed be sung to the "Off in a motorcar" tune, or possibly a 6/8 version of Lonnie Donegan's "My old man's a dustman". (Gerry) The Mersey Tunnel is three miles long
and the roof is made of glass,
so that as you are driving through
you can watch the ships sail past,
there's a plughole every five yards
thats opened every night,
it lets in lots of water
and it washes away the..da da da diddly da da da.

NEXT VERSE The tunnel it runs from Liverpool
right through to Birkenhead ,
three miles of engineering
beneath the Mersey bed,
it was built by the Romans
when the ferries were on strike,
and Caesar led his army through
upon his motorbike
da da da dar dar dar diddly dar dar dar.........

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Gonna Lun-dun, gunna have some fun.
Gunna grab all the tarts,
In my own little pad in Chelsea,
I'm gunna break all their hearts.
Gunna gerra job as a bouncer,
in the big West End.
When they hear my Liverpool accent,
it'll send them round the bend."

Going down to London, on the night express,
with my khaki kecks and my gansey on,
I'm looking at me best.

Now I'm down in London,
I'm walking round Hyde Park
Looking for a place to live,
it's quickly getting dark,
I went for a drink in a hale-house,
while I thought about what to do.
I said; "Gizza brown-mixed and put a 'ead on it,
or I'll put a 'ead on you."

This is from the 1970s, and the group who performed it appeared on "New Faces."

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Liverpool Lyrics

From the days of sailing ships, through folk-song, pop music and football chants, Liverpool has always been a singing city. Even so, there are times when people know the tune well enough - they just can't remember all the words. It was partly for these people that I decided to make my "Liverpool Lyrics" web-page.

One response was from an ex-pat scouser in Spain, who found the words, and just wished he could learn to sing the songs. To help him out, I decided to sing the songs into my computer and make a CD for him to learn from. Of course, once it was all safely on the hard disk, it was easy to run off some copies now and then, for other friends.

This situation ended very suddenly, in late July 2005. I decided to try to enlist our local BBC Radio Merseyside in a bid to "raise awareness" about a pet project of mine - to have a Third Liver Bird built, full-size, in the city centre, standing on a Liver Clock dial, as public art, and as a tourist attraction for 2008. (Try "Third Lyver Bird" in Google).
So I gave them a copy of the CD, and a few weeks later Billy Butler played "The Lyver Bird Song" - and he also gave out my home phone number on air! The result was that our phone went mad with dozens of callers, all wanting to buy it! And I had to turn away dozens of sales, because I had not obtained permission or copyright for the songs.

This is now sorted, and the CD can go on sale, thanks to the kind permission of the authors and copyright holders as credited on the titles page.

Gerry Jones. August 2005

This disk is recorded on a CD/R, and as such it may not play on older CD-players,
but will be fine on modern CD-players and through computers.
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1. In my Liverpool Home. Original verses; Pete McGovern ©.Tune; trad;"Strawberry Roan"
2. Johnny Todd. A local folk skipping song,(used as the "Z-cars" tune.)
traditional tune, arranged by Gerry Jones.
3. The Leaving of Liverpool. Trad; collected by W. M. Doerflinger from Dick Maitland
4. Liverpool Ladies. Words and music by Joe Orford of Crosby.
5. Liverpool Lullaby. Vocal solo; no instruments, as it should be.
Lyrics © by Stan Kelly.Tune; "Dollia" trad.arr;Stan Kelly ©
6. Maggie May. A lively local song, about a local character. Traditional., arranged by Gerry Jones.
7. Seth Davy. Words & music © by Glyn Hughes. Publ; Tro Essex Music.
the "Whisky on a Sunday" song about a real Liverpool busker.
8. If you ever go across the sea to...Liverpool. a "Galway Bay" parody.
collected by Gerry Jones from an old lady in a nursing home.
9. Whip Jamboree. A traditional sea-shanty with many local references.
10 I wish I was back in in Liverpool. Words Stan Kelly ©.Tune; Leon Rosselson ©.
11. Liverpool Blues. Wally Whyton © Vipers Skiffle Group.(Southern/Essex Music)
12. Rent collecting in Speke. original words and music © by Pete McGovern
13. Blow the man down. A local version of a local shanty. Traditional.
14. The Lyver Birds song. Our world-famous landmarks tell their tale.
Tune, Liverpool Home (© Pete McGovern) words by Gerry Jones ©.
15. Back Buchanan Street. A nostalgic view from the 60's New Towns,
using the original words & tune from Harry & Gordon Dison. ©
16. Wallasey Ferries. words by the" Wallasey Wreckers." a "Sloop John B" parody.
17. The Liver Birds; a poem. by Michael Walsh of Liverpool 6.,in the "Liverpool Echo."

All sources have been cited to the best of my knowledge, and where possible permission has been sought from authors and publishers. Please advise me of any omissions or errors so that future editions can be corrected.

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It is now on sale at the "08 place" in Whitchapel, and The Williamson Tunnels.
It may later be available at Tourist Offices, Ferry Terminal shops, and similar outlets, at whatever price they feel like asking.

The CD ' Liverpool Lyrics ' is available for purchase online, through these routes:
John Haines is also selling, on my behalf, UK produced hard copies of the CD via his own Josh Rogan website, for members of Paypal, although other payment options may be added in time.
Please go to his own Josh Rogan website, where my CD is featured on John's home page.
Please be patient while you search for it as it is rather a densely packed Home Page! Please use the E Mail address provided to enable you if you wish to pay by Paypal. Your CD will be posted on the day after your order is transmitted to me.

2. If you live in UK, and prefer to order directly through me, I am selling it by post at £9, including £1 p&p., (discount for quantity e.g. for two = £15 & £1 p&p, for three = £20 & £1.p&p). If you email me your postal address, I will pop a copy into the post, and include a bill with my home address for you to send a cheque to. I can only accept cheques or postal orders in £pounds sterling. For any other payment or currency, please deal through John Haines and PayPal. .Payment by Credit Card or though Paypal. Sorry; no Debit Cards accepted outside of their use through Paypal.


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Some other sites that may interest you:

The Mersey Wreckers folk group from Wallasey .
The folksong index from Nottingham Univ. Ramblers.(RamSoc)
The Sailors' Home"a forum for ex-Merchant Navy sailors, hosted by Tony Dwyer.
The Spinners song "Ellan Vannin"history, words and audio.
John Haines' site, and items under his pen-name Josh Rogan
MacLennan Scottish Group (Kent).
LIVERPOOL TALES a miscellany of stories, poetry, and writings about Liverpool and Merseyside.
A Taste of Scouse ( a set of pages on anything to do with Scouseland).

Lyrics and Tune Archives. A resource from many lands by Henry Kochlin from Germany.
The WIRRAL SOUND. the marching band of Moreton (Wirral) Boys & Girls Brigades
"Lancashire Folk" : details of folk activities in Lancashire, inc. bands & callers.

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Here are the other pages of this site:

notes and chords written music for some Liverpool songs.
Liverpool branch of the RSCDS
Liverpool Country Dance Band
Liverpool CONTRA Folk-dance club
Mersey And Deeside folk dance clubs
my two Country Dancing Clubs
IRISH Dancing information.
Lingfield Grove L14 3LG
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Gerry Jones, the handy musician

These lyrics have been dredged up from my memory, or contributed by various composers.
The lyrics on this page may be protected under various owners' copyrights.
Use of these lyrics should not be charged for under any circumstances. For any commercial use you must have owners consent.

While I truly believe the lyrics contained within this site are legal, I cannot guarantee that there are no copyright infringements. To the best of my knowledge I have abided by copyright laws and ethics.
If anyone has a claim to any lyrics on this page, and wish for it to be removed or credited please contact me via e-mail. If there is anyone I have failed to acknowledge please excuse the oversight, & contact me by mail with the necessary details to deal with the situation. GBJ.

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