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Eawr Sarah’s Getten A Chap


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Eawr Sarah’s Getten A Chap

by Sam Fitton

This must be one of the best-known and best-loved Lancashire dialect poems - I enjoyed reciting it when still at primary school. There is much in it that paints a picture of life in the cotton-towns of the later part of the nineteenth century.

Sam Fitton is one of the favourite Lancashire dialect writers. He lived from 1868 to 1923 and though born in Congleton, Cheshire, is mainly associated with Rochdale. He started work in the cotton industry but then went to art school and developed his skills as a writer, cartoonist and reciter of dialect poems and prose. He wrote of towns and people, not the countryside.




Eawr Sarah’s Getten A Chap, by Sam Fitton.


Eh, dear; there’s bin some change in
Eawr heause this week or two;
Wheer once there used to be a din
It’s like a Sunday schoo’;
We never feight for apple pie,
We very seldom frap;
An’ what d’ye think’s the reason why?
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.

Eawr fender shines just like a bell,
We’n had it silvered o’er;
An’ th’ cat appears to wesh itsel’
Moor often than before;
Eawr little Nathan’s wiped his nose,
Eawr Jimmy’s brushed his cap;
An’ o this fuss is just becose
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.

He’s one o’ thoose young "nutty" men,
They sen he’s brass an’ o,
My mother’s apron’s allus clen,
For fear he gives a co;
We’n polished up th’ dur knocker, too;
We’r swanky yo’ con tell;
But Sarah says it winno do,
We’st ha’ to have a bell.

We bowt a carpet t’ other neet,
To wear it seems a sin;
My feyther has to wipe his feet
Before he dar’ com in;
He never seems a’whoam someheaw,
He says he’s noan on th’ map;
He allus wears a collar neaw
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.

We’n serviettes neaw when we dine;
A brand new bib for Ben;
Eawr Fanny’s started talkin’ fine,
Wi’ lumps in neaw an’ then,
Sin’ Sarah geet her fancy beau
Hoo fairly cocks her chin;
Hoo has a bottom drawer an’ o
To keep her nick-nacks in.

Hoo’s wantin’ this, an wantin’ that,
Hoo thinks we’re made o’ brass;
Hoo goes to th’ factory in her hat,
Hoo says ut it’s moar class;
Hoo’s bucked my feyther up shuzheaw,
He darno’ wear a cap;
He gets his bacco chepper neaw
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.

He comes o’ courtin’ every neet,
He fills eawr cat wi’ dread;
He’s sky-blue gaiters on his feet,
An’ hair-oil on his yed;
He likes to swank about an’ strut
An’ talk abeawt his "biz";
He’s "summat in an office," but
I don’t know what it is.

His socks are crimson lined wi’ blue,
I weesh he’d do a guy;
I weesh he’d pop the question, too,
Or pop his yallow tie,
My feyther darno’ raise a row,
An’ th’ childer darno’ scrap;
We feel to live i’ lodgin’s neaw
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.

He’s put eawr household in a whirl,
He’s sich a howlin’ swell;
I weesh he’d find another girl,
Or goo an’ loose hissel’;
Eawr parrot’s gone an’ cocked its toes,
Eawr roosters conno flap;
We’er gooin’ daft an’ o becose
Eawr Sarah’s getten a chap.




Getten - got

Chap - man, bloke, here boyfriend

Frap - hit (fight)

Fender - hearth-surround

Nutty - brainy

Brass - money

Noan on th' map - not in it, unimportant

Collar - shirts were worn with detachable collars

Bottom drawer - where a bride-to-be kept things for her new home

Shuzheaw - anyway

Biz - business

Summat - somthing, someone important

In an office - i.e. not a manual worker, therefore 'posh'

Do a guy - push off, disappear

Pop the question - propose marriage

Pop his tie - give up his tie at the pawnbroker's shop

I' lodgins - the house is no longer our own

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Brilliant, having been dragged up in lancashire afor they swapped the lines about that is, I can say that I knew most of the expressions used. after all me gran and grandad tawked like that and to this day my greeting is "owdo".


Funny thing is in all my years I have only ever spoke to one person who has asked me if I come from lancashire because of my accent. (surprising how many ask if I come from liverpool but that comes from marrying a lass from that area and spending a lot of time working with liverpudlians)

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Thanks for these poems, it's all the entertainment I have, and need.  I read Warrykin Fair, couldn't understand a word,  but I'm confident that if I could have understood it then it would have been just as entertaining as the rest of the poems I've read. I'm thinking I've been out of contact for far too long.

Verse three of this one;  not mentioning any names, but, we had a family down our street, the first, and only in my memory, to intall a doorbell, you could hear it even over the tele.

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