I heard about Byker Hill
back in the early eighties from Brian Kelly
and he always raved on about it but I never actually heard him sing it. He gave me the lyrics however but we never got around performing it. Quite recently (October 1998) I eventually found the melody on the net and so after all these years have been able to include it in my repertoire.
It's a jolly Geordie
ditty on the delights of being a collier.
Since writing the above in 1998 and moving to Newcastle in 2011, a whole 13 years later, being a resident of Heaton (which borders Byker) this song has taken on a completely different meaning. It appears to be the Geordie national anthem and hear it regularly, actually ranted and roared, in particular at the The Cumberland Arms
in Byker itself. Great stuff! The oldest version of this song that I have found so far (May 2013) can be found in Rhymes of Northern Bards
(1812) under the title of Walker Pits