The Bonnie Pit Laddie

Here’s the video of The Bonny Pit Laddie, a song/tune from Northumbria, printed in the 1882 Northumbrian Minstrelsy, with earlier versions printed elsewhere in 1812 and 1770.

The Bonnie Pit Laddie.png

 

Click here for the dots in PDF form.

 

In the version I know, each line is sung twice, meaning that you’ll get through the tune twice, but in others I’ve found the second and fourth lines are follow one another making up one B section:

The bonnie pit laddie, the canny pit laddie, the bonnie pit laddie for me, oh (x 2)

He sits in a hole as black as the coal and brings the bright silver for me, oh (x 2)

 

The bonnie pit laddie, the canny pit laddie, the bonnie pit laddie for me, oh (x 2)

He sits on his cracket & hews in his jacket & brings the bright silver for me, oh (x 2)

 

The pit in question would have been a coal mine, and the ‘bright silver’ refers to money earned.  For those of you in education, or for anyone who wants to know more about mining songs, there is a great digital info pack available from the EFDSS website here.

 

Small Coals and Little Money

Here’s Small Coals and Little Money, a tune from the 1882 Northumbrian Minstrelsy manuscript.  The A and B parts are almost identical so we created variation by varying the chord patterns and rhythms, taking out some notes in the melody, and trying out ornamentation.

 

Here are the dots:

 

Small Coals and Little Money

For the PDF, click here.

In the chord part, we used a ‘chugging’ rhythm for the A part, and then a more relaxed rhythm in the B part.

 

Melody instruments created a groove for the A part by switching between A minor and G major notes (click here for the chart, the beats are minim beats, so 2 slow beats per bar).

Geraint has kindly passed on the link to his own recording of our end of night play-through, for some folk class realness: https://soundcloud.com/ger-evans/small-coals-and-little-money/s-olvae