The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

Many of us know the tune "Elsie Marley", but from the song Byker Hill it refers to the piper playing "The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill". Does this tune exist, if so can someone post it into this forum!

Phil Heming

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

Byker Hill is at Byker and Walker Shore is at Walker. You can bike from Byker to Walker, but you’ve got to walk from Walker to Byker. It’s a Tyneside song. Here’s one version (though not a very good one), but be warned there’s no "B" part!

X: 1
T:Byker Hill and Walker Shore
S:Linday Marshall
M:4/4
I:speed 250
K:G
B B | B3A B d2 d| d4 z2 AB | A3G A d3 d | d6 c c |
c3B c2 d2 | e4 d3 B | B2A G2 F2 | E8 ||

Good Luck,

Chris B.

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

It occurs to me to add: I don’t know how old the Tyneside version is, but there were strong links between the miners and Northumbrian piping; and you’d need a seven key Northumbrian chanter to play the tune I linked above. It certainly doesn’t fit on the GHB.

Posted by .

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

Yes, it’s definitely a Northumbrian pipes tune, as is the other one in 9/8 which Carthy and Swarbrick used to play. Though I believe that Bert Lloyd had a lot to do with that arrangement. Martin can no doubt correct me of I’m wrong.

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

Nigel Gatherer has a version of the Elsie Marley tune in one of his tunebooks. From memory, it is in D but with a flattened C, and in 6/8, not 9/8. You’ll probably find it on his website under the tunes tab.

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

The High Level Ranters recorded it on one of their classic LP’s - Ranting Lads (Topic 12TS388), 1976.

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

Thank you all for your contributions.
I will pursue all of these leads.

Re: The Bonny Lass of Byker Hill

This thread reminded me to sing the song at our session last night. It went down a storm. Thanks Phil!

Chris B.