“It’s a lullaby really with just two verses and an interval. It takes me back to being eight or nine years old. I am born and bred Whitburn. I’m from a big family- three girls and eight lads- two football teams and two reserves. There wasn’t a lot to go round but we had a good life.
We lived in a council house with a big range in the kitchen. It spanned the length of the room. My Mam used to sing this song around the house, when she was cooking and that. She was a little woman, five foot but dainty on her feet. She was tough mind- she had to be. But you know what they say? Good stuff comes in little packages. She worked in the fields tatty picking and turnip snagging.
At home she would wear a long pinny, white, flowery whatever anyone had given her. In them days we were on rations so Sunday dinner was the only time you really ate good food. The rest we would eat ‘Lap’ – the belly of lamb, the cheapest cut. You could do all kinds with it. She would make stews and the fat would rise to the top. When it went cold we would spread it on bread- delicious! And with salt and pepper on- to kill for! Bread would never go to waste. If it went stale she’d soak it in milk and put it back in the range.
My Dad could play the piano. He was really musical and it passed on to me. I can’t read music or anything but I love to play instruments. I’ve got a banjo, a mandolin, a dobro and a guitar. I play this song and remember those happy times.”
Photo: Whitburn, South Tyneside