Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yorkshire dialect

My Halifax-born mother, 89 with all faculties and iPad intact, found this on the internet, JP Hartley’s Yorkshire dialect greatest hits. She said I wouldn’t understand a word but it all seems clear enough to me. For example:
As aw hurried throo th’ taan to mi wark, 
(Aw wur lat, for all th’ whistles had gooan,) 
Aw happen’d to hear a remark,  
At ud fotch tears throo th’ heart ov a stooan—
It wur raanin, an’ snawin, and cowd, 
An’ th’ flagstoans wur covered wi’ muck, 
An’ th’ east wind booath whistled an’ howl’d, 
It saanded like nowt but ill luck; 
When two little lads, donn’d i’ rags, 
Baght stockins or shoes o’ ther feet, 
Coom trapesin away ower th’ flags, 
Booath on ‘em sodden’d wi th’ weet.— 
Th’ owdest mud happen be ten, 
Th’ young en be hauf on’t,—noa moor;
As aw luk’d on, aw sed to misen,
God help fowk this weather ‘at’s poor!
Next time I have lunch with Peter Bland I will ask him to read this aloud.

Fun fact (I have made up but is possibly true): New Zealand has more name writers born in Yorkshire than from anywhere else in the UK: Peter Bland, Chris Else, Russell Haley, Craig Harrison, Philip Temple, Paul Thomas. Let’s not restart the War of the Roses but can Lancashire say as much? Looking at you, Dorset, Cornwall, East Anglia.

So here is “On Ilkley Moor baht ’at” sung at Ilkley, West Yorkshire, on Yorkshire Day, 1 August 2010:

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