…we’re saying now, yes now is the hour

They marched nearly 300 miles in protest against the ravages of poverty and unemployment, generating enormous public support.  And the diminutive “Red Ellen” was with them every step of the way.  Today’s selection was inspired by a query about  the use of the term, “Geordie” in yesterday’s posting.

That’s a nickname for someone from the Tyneside/Newcastle area of Northeast England and there were quite a few of them on the North Sea rigs.  Perhaps the most famous Geordie, at least in popular song, is the keyboard luminary Alan Price, born in 1942, who went on to form the Animals (perhaps you recall their rendition of “The House of the Rising Sun”) and later the Alan Price Set.

A self-taught musician with a proud working class upbringing, Price was educated at Jarrow Grammar School in the former shipbuilding hub that served as starting point for the great Jarrow Crusade of 1936, when 200 men and their MP, Ellen Wilkinson, one of the first British women to be elected to Parliament (under five feet tall, she was dubbed “Red Ellen” both for her hair color and her Labour leaning politics) marched all the way to London to lobby the Palace of Westminster and call attention to the collapse of Tyneside’s (and much of the North’s) once great industry.

Today’s song was featured on Price’s 1974 autobiographical album, “Between Today and Yesterday” and well and truly, along with those of the bairns (children) he works very hard to “make your heart feel glad.”

  LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Tuesday 13 March

The Jarrow Song

My name is Geordie McIntyre

And the bairns don’t even have a fire

So the wife says “Geordie, go to London Town!”

And if they don’t give us half a chance

Don’t even give us a second glance

Then Geordie, with my blessings, burn them down

 Come on follow the Geordie boys

They’ll fill your heart with joy

They’re marching for their freedom now

Come on follow the Jarrow lads

They’ll make your heart feel glad

They’re singing now, yes now is the hour

 My name is little Billy White

And I know what’s wrong and I know what’s right

And the wife says “Geordie, go to London Town!”

And if they don’t give us a couple of bob

Won’t even give you a decent job

Then Geordie, with my blessings, burn them down

 Come on follow the Geordie boys

They’ll fill your heart with joy

They’re marching for their freedom now

Come on follow the Jarrow lads

The joy’ll make your heart feel glad

They’re singing now, yes now is the hour

 Well I can hear them and I can feel them

And it’s as just as if they were here today

I can see them, I can feel them

And I’m thinking nothing’s changed much today

 Not all came here to stay their way and die

But they would come and hit you in the eye

Now’s the time to realize that time goes on

Nothin’ changes, changes, changes

Now I can feel them, I can see them

And it’s as just as if they were here today

I can feel them and I need them

And I’m thinking nothing’s changed much today

 Not all the people stay their way and die

But they would come and hit you in the eye

Now’s the time to realize that time goes on

And nothin’ changes, changes, changes

My name is little Alan Price

I tried to be nice all of my life

But I’m afraid that up to date it doesn’t work

Because when you lay some money down

The people try to put you down

Now where do I stand, either side or not

 Come on follow this Geordie boy

He’ll try and fill your heart with joy

We’re marching for our freedom now

Come on follow this Jarrow lad

He’ll try and make your heart feel glad

We’re saying now, yes now is the hour

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