Ripyard Cuddling
(Jack Davitt)

It was built for the Romans, way back in the past;
They built it with stone, and they built it to last.
Quite a change for the locals from digging for coal
And it kept a large number of men off the dole.

It was the Emperor Hadrian who started it all
When he ordered the peasants to build him this waall.
Just what it was for there was neebody sure
And the reasons he gave were a little obscure.

"This waall," said the Emperor, rubbing his chin,
"Is to stop aall the Picts and the Scots getting in;
Aa'm used to the Geordies, Aa knaa aall their tricks,
But Aa just cannit stomach the Scots and the Picts".

They started the Waall on the banks of the Tyne
And they tried very hard for to keep a strite line.
There were thoosands of Geordies with shovels and picks
And the rate for the job was eleven and six.

The stones for the Waall came by bogie and barrow;
They were cut from the quarries at Hebburn and Jarrow.
They floated them over the Tyne on a raft,
(Them owld fashioned Geordies could certainly graft).

They travelled to Byker with nivver a spell
But they stopped for a pint when they reached the "Bluebell".
Then on across meadow and valley and dyke
With nivvor a murmur of trouble or strike.

Onwards they went, heading West all the time,
Still trying their best for to keep a strite line.
In summer they struggled through bracken and heather
And they plodged in the clarts during inclement weather.

They laid the last stone on the second of June
and Hadrian said, "Lads, Aa'm ower the moon,
Aa would like you to knaa that Aa'm proud of you aall,
And Aa thank you aall kindly for building me waall".

A big celebration was held at Carlisle;
They had a grand neet and they done it in style.
The picks and the shovels were aall put away
And the workers were given an extra week's pay.

The Picts and the Scots were a little bit vexed
And voices were raised and muscles were flexed.
But their yelling and shootin' did nee good at aall;
It takes more than taalkin' to get past a waall.

And that is the story, believe it or not,
Of how they defeated the Pict and the Scot;
How the Waall was constructed for one man's enjoyment
And the North-East was rescued from mass unemployment.
The end