Leaving Geordieland

This is dedicated to Mark H., who has plenty to say about Maggie

Even here where we live, in the middle of Beyond, there are a few Geordie lads. Or maybe they’ve gone home by now…a few Dutch and Swiss, too.

Migration back in the 80s with lyrics below the fold

We had no way of staying afloat
We had to leave on the ferry boat
Economic refugees
On the run to Germany
We had the back of Maggie’s hand
Times were tough in Geordieland
We got work tools and working gear
And humped it all from Newcastle to here

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

We’re the nomad tribes, travelling boys
In the dust and dirt and the racket and the noise
Drills and hammers, diggers and picks
Mixing concrete, laying bricks
There’s English, Irish, Scots, the lot
United Nation’s what we’ve got
Brickies, chippies, every trade
German building, British-made

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

Nae more work on Maggie’s farm
Hadaway down the autobahn
Mine’s a portacabin bed
Or a bunk in a Nissen hut instead

There’s plenty deutschmarks here to earn
And German tarts are wunderschoen
German beer is chemical-free
Germany’s alreet with me
Sometimes I miss my river Tyne
But you’re my pretty fraulein
Tonight we’ll drink the old town dry
Keep work spirit levels high

Why aye man, why aye, why aye man
Why aye man, why aye, why aye man

10 thoughts on “Leaving Geordieland

  1. Completely AGREE! TE is #1 and the great Mark K is #2. His lyrics are profound.
    Best concert memory…Dire Straits in Ottawa, CA July 2005.
    What a summer to remember!
    BEST BAND EVAH- Dire Straits.

    TY music and everything else at GoV.

  2. Thanks Dymphna! My Dad’s family came from Geordie-land, though he was born near Carlisle to quite well-off parents (at least financially).

    I’ll say this for Maggie: she had convictions, even if you hated them; Theresa M, not so much.

  3. I don’t know enough to pick up the political undercurrents of the song. But, as far as the feeling of loss of home to follow economic necessity, it makes me think of the ballads of Gordon Lightfoot, Ian and Sylvia, Liam Clancy, who were great personalizers of the individual caught in currents not of his own making.

    Going a little further astray, the novel “The Death Ship” by B Traven immerses you completely in the perspective of the rootless sailor, caught in a doomed situation, understanding it perfectly well, and unable to change his fate.

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