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A Collier Lad

[ Roud 16148 ; trad.]

A Collier Lad is a short jingle of a song found in the book of mining songs from the North of England, Doon the Wagon Way, edited by Micheal Dawney. The song was collected in 1966 from a miner called Peter Wright of Methley, Castleford.

The song was popular in the West Riding of Yorkshire and is unique with its accelerated, almost chant-like end. It is related to the North-East song The Bonny Pit Laddie (Roud 3487).

Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones sang A Collier Lad in 2022 on their album of Yorkshire songs, A Year Too Late and a Month Too Soon. They noted:

No Yorkshire album would be complete without a coal mining song! Bryony comes from the former mining village of Flockton which backs onto Caphouse Colliery. It was still a working mine when she was little but is now The National Coal Mining Museum for England. Bryony has taught this little ear worm in schools across the Yorkshire coalfields and underground at the museum. It is from Michael Dawney’s Boon the Wagon Way—Mining Songs From the North of England, collected in 1966 from a miner named Peter Wright, from Methley near Castleford, by A.E. Breen, who was Head of Folklife Studies at Leeds University.


Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones sing A Collier Lad

A collier lad, a collier lad, a collier lad for me.
’E works in ’is ’oil, as black as the coil, an’ gives all ’is money to me.
’E says sithee mi lass, a’ll gi’thee mi brass, a’ll not come ’ome late anymoor.
Mi shoes ah gonna be mended, mi stockins ah gonna dye green,
An’ a’ll be ready for Sunday, an’ a’ll be fit for a Queen.

’Ow d’ye like mi collar mi cuff, ’ow do ye like mi tie?
’Ow d’ye like mi walkin’ stick, mi glass upom mi eye?
’Ow de ye like mi tailer, who med me such a toff?
’E’s doin’ is reg’lar business down the old pop shop.


See also Exploring coal mining through folk song: A Collier Lad by Bryony Griffith at The Full English Extra.