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Sally Wheatley

[Joe Wilson]

Bob Fox and Stu Luckley sang Sally Wheatley on their 1978 album Nowt So Good’ll Pass and in a new recording on their 1997 Fellside CD Box of Gold. Bob noted:

The Bonny Gateshead Lass and Sally Wheatley were written by Joe Wilson, a great 19th century Tyneside Music Hall artist (whose most well known song is probably Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinny) and are both love songs of sorts, the former telling of a young man’s calamitious attempts to start a relationship with a girl in a pub and the latter’s warning not to be dilatory in matters of the heart, or as we say in the North East ‘shy bairns get ne broth!”

Many other artists have recorde our version of Sally Wheatley which uses a variont of the tune written by Alex Glasgow.

A live recording of Bob Fox singing Sally Wheatley was released in 2014 on the anthology Folk Legacy: The 40th Girvan Traditional Folk Festival. Unfortunately no recording date is shown. And Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox sang Sally Wheatley in 2015 on their CD Five Stsr B&B.

Jim and Anni Mageean and Alan Fitzsimmons sang Bonny Sally Wheatley on the 1981 Greenwich Village anthology of songs about the women of Tyneside over the past two centuries, Aall Tegithor Like the Foaks o’ Shields.

Bram Taylor sang Sally Wheatley in 1984 on his Fellside album Bide a While. This track was also included in 1994 on Fellside’s anthology Banklands.

Terry Docherty amd Robin Dunn sang Sally Wheatley on Fellside’s 25th year celebration, the 2001 anthology Flash Company.


Bob Fox and Stu Luckley sing Sally Wheatley

Now I’m most depressed and sad, when I once was blithe and glad,
I could trip around the town both trim and neatly.
I was happy night and morn, but of all such joys I’m shorn,
Since I fell so deep in love with Sally Wheatley.

Chorus (after each verse):
And oh dear me, what am I ganna de,
Sally’s taken me heart away completely,
And I’ll never get it back,
’Cos she gans with Mr Black,
And they say he’s gan te marry Sally Wheatley.

Well I’ve never seen such a lass, and I know she liked her glass,
She could toss a pot of whisky over sweetly.
Well it’s right to take a drop, if you know just when to stop,
That was just the very way with Sally Wheatley.

How I felt I diven’t knaw, the first time I Sally saw,
In a threesome reel she hopped about se leetly.
And I might have had a chance, if I’d asked her up to dance,
But I was ower shy to speak to Sally Wheatley.

So, as often is the case, you’ ll find others in your place.
If you diven’t shove ahead and fettle reetly.
For I’d scarcely turned me back, aye and there was Mr Black,
He was jigging round the room with Sally Wheatley.

Well, he must have made it right, when he set her home that night,
’Cos after work, dressed up, he goes to see her neetly.
Well there’s great danger in delay, or I wouldn’t be sad today,
If I had a heart, I’ d break it for Sally Wheatley.


The lyrics are from the Nowt So Good’ll Pass album sleeve.