I was introduced to "Aa Could Hew" by John Cram
when on Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2012. We made an arrangement to accommodate two voices along with vola and concertina to be sung at the 2012 Festival Maritim
We based our arrangement on a version found in Singing Hinnies Book 2
and it was duly performed in Laden 38
and in the Old Papageienhaus
with great gusto.
The song is all about a miner remembering with a perverse pride his better days when still a fit young man. The final verse laments that his final mining days have come due to accumulated coal dust in his lungs. In sentiment, it is not unlike the Australian One of the Has-beens