I have a long history of following this fantastic club of ours. It started in 1970 and I attended my first away game in February 1974 on the run to the FA Cup final.
Last weekend I celebrated(!) my 49th birthday and I’m still in love with the black and white stripes.
Next year I will hit the half century and in the same year something almost as beloved to me as my team, will celebrate its one and a half century anniversary. I am of course talking about the dearest song to my heart, The Blaydon Races.
There are very few things more heartwarming than the sound of thousands of Geordies, either in defiance or victory, communally belting out the first verse and the chorus to this magnificent anthem. It is our song, there can be no mistake about who’s in town when you hear it but there is a small problem.
In the distant past, the song would be belted out almost word for word as it was originally written. Unfortunately, this has now changed and a bastardised version is now sung.
To me this is sacrilegious, what on earth is happening to the education of our Geordie youth? Please can I make an appeal in this first piece for the new website that we reclaim Blaydon Races and return to the days when it was sung correctly?
To help us all along, the original words are supplied below. Have a look at them and then go through in your mind the way you sing it now. Hopefully the difference should be obvious. Let’s all reacquaint ourselves with the anthem of our birthright and at least try to get it right.
Aw went to Blaydon races, ‘twason the ninth Joon,
Eighteen hundred an’ sixty-two, on a summer’s efternoon;
Aw tyuk the ‘bus frae Balmbra’s, an’ she wis heavy laden,
Away we went alang Collingwood Street, that’s on the road to Blaydon.
Ah me lads, ye shud only see us gannin’,
We pass’d the foaks upon the road just as they wor stannin’,
Thor wes lots o’ lads an’ lasses there, all wi smiling faces,
Gawn alang the Scotswood Road, to see the Blaydon Races.
There are of course many more verses but even I wouldn’t expect us to sing our way through them at the match. We’ll leave that to the excellent and expert Graeme Danby.