Up the Raw

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UP THE RAW. English, Air (6/8 time). England, Northumberland. E Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB.

Up the Raw, down the Raw,
Up the Raw lass, ev’ry day,
For shape and colour, ma bonny hinny,
Thou bangs thy mother, ma canny bairn.
Black as a craw, ma bonny hinny,
Thou bangs them a’, lass, ivry day,
Thou’s a’ clag candy, ma bonny hinny,
Thou’s double japanded, ma canny bairn.
Up the Raw, &c. ...

For hide and for hue, ma bonny hinny,
Thou bangs the crew, my bonny bairn;
Up the raw, down the raw, ma bonny hinny,
Thou bangs them a', lass, every day.

The comic song was said by The Living Age (vol. 198, 1893) to have been a great favorite with the collier's wives of Northumberland.

There are several uncouth local terms in these verses which certainly require interpretation. The word hinny in Northumbrian parlance is an epithet of extreme endearment; it is a corruption of 'honey'. "Canny" has not the same significance in the coal district as it has in Scotland, for over the Tweed it means nearness, and sometimes even niggardliness, whilst this side of the Border it stands for something very nice. "Clag-candy" is a sticky compound much in request among the juveniles of the pitmen's country; and "double-japanded" is an expression which, although it may "be understanded" of most people, has yet a special meaning in the north, where the large kitchen fireplaces are rendered lustrous by means of japaning every day. [p. 377]

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bruce & Stokoe (Northumbrian Minstrelsy), 1882; pp. 116-117.

Recorded sources:




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