I Can Hear A Siren
The earliest mention of this song is in an advertisement for a "chapbook" (an inexpensive book of song lyrics) in 1856. The following recording was made on phonograph around 1914, by an unknown singer, and was featured on a test pressing of "Wor Nanny's A Mazer: Early Recordings Of Artists From The North East 1904-1933↗" (Phonograph, PHCD2K1)
I can hear a siren
A skrike o’er roaky Seaton
A bonny way te end me days
Nothin left but hyem to lay
An feel the kelpie’s fingers ways
Aroun me pow aroun me neck
An slip me slip me doon the beck
An scumfish all me thropple noo
An end me days alone wi you
float; down the stream
The chromatic ostinato is a common theme in many songs and recordings that came out of Seaton Snook, resembling the incessant and inescapable sound of the waves. The sense of inevitable doom, as well, is something that comes up again and again in Snookish music.
* A scream from the sea as a portent of doom, of course, reminds us of Jacob Cox's horse. This song, however, predates the horse incidents, which happened in 1868.
** Edit: roaky was originally mistranslated here as "rocky". Corrected 28.08.2019.