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Dol-li-a

[ Roud 2611 ; Ballad Index StoR086 ; trad.]

J. Collingwood Bruce, John Stokoe: Northumbrian Minstrelsy John Stokoe: Northumbrian Minstrelsy

Louis Killen sang Dol-li-a unaccompanied in 1962 on the Topic EP of songs from the North-East and the border, Northumbrian Garland. This was also included in 1968 on the Topic LP (and in 1998 CD) of old and new Northumbrian songs, Along the Coaly Tyne. Louis Killen noted:

A Newcastle street song. It was first published in the Northumbrian Minstrelsy (1882). The Black and Green Cuffs were two regiments of foot, stationed at Fenham Barracks, Newcastle.

The Tees-side Fettlers sang Dol-li-a in 1974 on their Tradition album Ring of Iron; this track was also included in 2002 on the Fellside anthology of the soldier in song from the English Civil War to the Falklands, Enlist for a Soldier.

The Wilson Family sang Dol-li-a 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.

Martin Carthy recorded Dol-li-a in 1987 for the BBC charity cassette The Children in Need Album.

Bob Fox & Stu Luckley sang Dollia in 1997 on their Fellside CD Box of Gold.

Ushna sang Dol-li-a in 1998 on their Fellside CD of music and song from the heart of Northumbria, Twice Brewed.

Graham Pirt sang Dol-li-a in 2008 on his and his son Sam Pirt's Fellside CD Dance ti' Thee Daddy.

The Queensberry Rules sang Dol-li-a in 2008 on their Fellside CD Landlocked.

Terry Conway sang Dolli-a at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival, Collessie, Fife, in May 2010. This recording was included in the following year on the festival anthology Hurrah Boys Hurrah!

Old Songs & Bothy Ballads Volume 7). The album's booklet noted:

The song refers to a situation where one British regiment left town and nother replaced it, with the Black Cuffs (the North Yorks Militia) and Green Cuffs (23/rd Ulster Dragoons) being references to their uniforms. Dolly pawns her sark to become a camp follower while her friends hang around the Quayside waiting for the next regiment to come in.

Hannah James and Sam Sweeney sang this song as Dolly in 2012 on their second duo album, State and Ancientry. They noted:

Dolly, often known as Dollia, is a popular Tyneside song from the eighteenth century about a girl from Sandgate called Dolly Coxon. Whether she is of a dubious profession or merely happens to fall for a soldier is never quite made clear. The two regiments referred to in the song are the North Yorks Militia, “The Black Cuffs”, and the 23rd Ulster Dragoons, “The Green Cuffs”.

Jez Lowe sang Do Li A on his 2017 CD The Dillen Doll.

Lyrics

Louis Killen sings Dol-li-a

Fresh aw cum frae Sandgate Street, dol-li, dol-li,
My best friends here to meet, dol-li a

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Dol-li the dillen dol, dol-li, dol-li,
Dol-li the dillen dol, dol-li a

The Black Cuffs is gawn away, dol-li, dol-li,
And that will be a crying day, dol-li a

Dolly Coxon's pawned hor shart, dol-li, dol-li,
For to ride the baggage cart, dol-li a

The Green Cuffs is coming in, dol-li, dol-li,
That'll make the lasses sing, dol-li a

Martin Carthy sings Dol-li-a

I've come by Sandgate Street, Dol-li, Dol-li
My best friends I did meet, Dol-li-a

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Dol-li de-dillen-dol, Dol-li, Dol-li
Dol-li de-dillen-dol, Dol-li-a

Black Cuffs is gone away, Dol-li, Dol-li
That'll be a crying day, Dol-li-a

Dolly Coxon's pawned her socks, Dol-li, Dol-li
To ride upon a baggage cart, Dol-li-a

Green Cuffs is coming in, Dol-li, Dol-li
And that'll make the lasses grin, Dol-li-a

I've come by Sandgate Street, Dol-li, Dol-li
My best friends I did meet, Dol-li-a

Hannah James & Sam Sweeney sing Dolly

Fresh I've come from Sandgate Street, Dol-li, Dol-li
My best friend for to meet, Dol-li-o

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Dol-li de-dillen-dol, Dol-li, Dol-li
Dol-li de-dillen-dol, Dol-li-o

The Green Cuffs is coming in, Dol-li, Dol-li
That'll make the lasses sing, Dol-li-o

Dolly Coxon's pawned her socks, Dol-li, Dol-li
For to ride the baggage cart, Dol-li-o

The Black Cuffs is gone away, Dol-li, Dol-li
That'll be a crying day, Dol-li-o