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The Blaydon Races - History, Lyrics & MP3 Download

By Matthew Jones
March 1 2007

The Blaydon Races, probably the best known of all the Geordie songs and sung at many a football match. Here is a bit of brief history, FULL LYRICS and a link to download an MP3 of the song!

The Blaydon Races


The Blaydon Races, probably the best known of all the Geordie songs and sung at many a football match. It was first sung by Gateshead born Geordie Ridley (1835 - 1864) at Balmbra's Music Hall in Newcastle back on 5 June 1862 at a testimonial for Tyneside's sporting hero, British oarsman, Harry Clasper.

The race meetings were held on an island in the middle of the Tyne. Rumour has it that at low tide, there are places on the Tyne at Newcastle where the water is shallow enough to walk across it (but I don't think I'll be trying it!)

The last Blaydon race meeting was held on 2 September 1916, a riot broke out when a winning horse was disqualified, and the races were never held again.


I went to Blaydon races
Twas on the 9th of June
Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two
On a summer's afternoon
I took the bus from Balmbras
And she was heavy laden
Away we went along Collingwood Street
To see the race at Blaydon

Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin
Passing the folks along the road
And all of them were starin'
All the lads and lasses there
They all had smilin' faces
Gannin along the Scotswood Road
To see the Blaydon races

We flew past Armstrong's factory
And up by the Robin Adair
But gannin ower the Railway Bridge
The bus wheel flew off there
The lasses lost their crinolenes
And veils that hide their faces
I got two black eyes and a broken nose
In gannin to Blaydon races


Now when we got the wheel back on
Away we went again
But them that had their noses broke
They went back ower hyem
Some went to the dispensary
And some to Doctor Gibbs
And some to the infirmary
To mend their broken ribs


We flew across the Chain Bridge
Reet into Blaydon Toon
The barman he was calling then
They called him Jackie Broon
I saw him talking to some chaps
And them he was persuadin'
To gan and see Geordie Ridley's show
At the Mechanics' Hall in Blaydon


Now when we got to Paradise
There were bonny games begun
There were four and twenty on the bus
And how we danced and sung
They called on me to sing a song
So I sang 'em 'Paddy Fagan'
I danced a jig and I swung me twig
The day I went to Blaydon


The rain it poured down all the day
And made the ground quite muddy
Coffee Johnny had a white hat on
The old wife stole a cuddy
There were spice stalls and monkey shows
And old wives selling ciders
And the chap on the ha'penny roundabout
Saying 'Any more lads for riders?



- The History of The Blaydon Races (PDF Document)
- Blaydon Races Ring tone

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