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Bowton's Yard by SAMUEL LAYCOCK


At number one, i' Bowton's Yard, mi gronny keeps a skoo,
Hoo hasna' mony scholars yet, hoo's nobbut one or two;
They sen th' owd woman's rayther cross,-well, well, it may be so;
Aw know hoo boxed me rarely once, an' poo'd mi ears an' o.

At number two lives Widow Burns, hoo weshes clooas for folk;
The'r Billy, that's her son, gets jobs at wheelin' coke;
They sen hoo cooarts wi' Sam-o'-Neds's 'at lives at number three;
It may be so, aw conno tell, it matters nowt to me.

At number three, reet facin' th' pump, Ned Grimshaw keeps a shop;
He's Eccles-cakes, an' gingerbread, an' traycle beer an' pop;
He sells oat-cakes an' o' does Ned, he 'as boath soft an' hard,
An' everybody buys offhim 'at lives i' Bowton's Yard.

At number four Jack Blunderick lives; he goes to th' mill an' wayves;
An' then, at th'weekend, when he's time, he pows a bit an' shaves;
He's badlyoff, is Jack, poor lad! he's rayther lawm, they sen,
An' his childer keep him down a bit, aw think they'n nine or ten.

At number five aw live misel', wi' owd Susannah Grimes,
But dunno like so very weel, hoo turns me eawt sometimes;
An' when aw'm in ther's ne'er no leet, aw have to ceawer i' th' dark;
Aw conno pay mi lodgin' brass becose aw'm eawt o' wark.

At number six, next door to us, an' close to th' side o' th' speawt,
Owd Susie Collins sells smo' drink, but hoo's welly allus beawt;
An' heaw it is, ut that is so, aw'm sure aw conno' tell,
Hoo happen mak's it very sweet, an' sups it o hersel'.

At number seven ther's nob'dy lives, they laft it yesterday,
Th' bum-baylis coom an' marked the'r things, an' took 'em o away;
They took 'em in a donkey-cart-aw know nowt wheer they went-
Aw reckon they've bin ta'en an' sowd becose they owed some rent.

At number eight-they're Yawshur folk-ther's only th' mon an' th' woife,
Aw think aw ne'er seed nicer folk nor these i' o rni loife!
Yo'll never see 'em foin' eawt, loike lots o' married folk,
They allus seem good-temper't like, an' ready wi' a joke.

At number nine th' owd cobbler lives, th' owd chap ut mends mi shoon,
He's gettm' very wake an' done, he'll ha' to leeov us soon;
He reads his Bible every day, an' sings just loike a lark,
He says he's practisin' for heaven-he's welly done his wark.

At number ten James Bowton lives, he's th' noicest heawse i' th' row;
He's allus plenty o' summat t' ate, an' lots o' brass an' o;
An' when he rides or walks abeawt he's dressed up very fine,
But he isn't hawve as near to heaven as him at number nine.

At number 'leven mi uncle lives, aw co him Uncle Tum,
He goes to concerts up an' deawn, an' plays a kettle-drum;
I' bands o' music, an' sich things, he seems to tak' a pride,
An' allus maks as big a noise as o i' th' place beside.

At number twelve, an' th' eend o' th' row, Joe Stiggins deols i' ale;
He's sixpenny, an' fourpenny, dark-colour't, an' he's pale;
But aw ne'er touch it, for aw know it's ruin't mony a bard,
Aw'm th' only chap as doesn't drink 'at lives i' Bowton's Yard!

An' neaw aw've done, aw'll say goodbye, an' leov yo' for a while;
Aw know aw haven't towd mi tale i' sich a fust-rate style;
But iv yo're pleas't aw'm satisfied, an' ax for no reward
For tellin' who mi neighbours are ut live i' Bowton's Yard.