jingle jingle!

jingle jingle!

25.7.13

NEWCASTLE IS PICARDY

































Grainger Street hums
and bakes
in the peeling sunshine;
this walled, world weary city
adopts a certain Latin glow:
car drivers swear more brilliantly,
girls giggle louder
and trap my eyes
in the flash
of their hair.
The world is simply
passing us by.
And who cares,
in this haze
of a burning Empire?
So long as
the sunbeams 
swim
in our beer
and the roses
are blooming
in Picardy.


Keith Armstrong

14.7.13

MINING WORLD


11.7.13

JACK COMMON (1903-68)








































I've just donated a selection of material from my researches on Newcastle writer Jack Common (1903-68) - interviews with family and friends; posters and leaflets for Jack Common events etc - to this collection at Newcastle University Library: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/specialcollections/collections/handlists/common_papers_handlist_current.pdf

7.7.13

TELL ME LIES ABOUT NORTHUMBERLAND


















(in honour of Adrian Mitchell)

Say this land is ours, 
these pipe tunes do not cry. 
The birds all sing in dialect,
old miners breathe like dukes.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Tell me it isn’t feudal,
that castles were built for us.
We never touch the forelock,
bend to scrape up dust.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Your pretty girls don’t stink of slaughter,
your eyes don’t blur with myth.
You’re as equal as a duchess,
saints never smell of piss.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

Your roots are in this valley,
you were never from doon south.
You never hide your birthplace,
you’re a real poet of the north.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

The churches are not crumbling,
the congregations glow with hope.
We are different from the foreigner,
our poetry rhymes with wine. 

Tell me lies about Northumberland. 

There is no landed gentry,
no homes locals can’t afford.
There’s no army on the moors,
the Romans freed us all.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

That the hurt is in the past,
the future holds no war.
Home rule is at our fingertips,
the Coquet swims with love.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.  

‘The Garden’ is our children’s,
Hotspur spurs us on.
The seagulls are not soaked in oil,
the cows are not diseased.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

This Kingdom is United,
‘Culture’ is our God. 
Everyone’s a Basil Bunting freak,
there’s music everywhere.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

We will have our independence,
we’ll get the Gospels back.
We live off museums and tourists,
we don’t need boats or trades.

Tell me lies about Northumberland.

We’re in charge of our own futures,
we have north east citizens here.
In this autonomous republic,
we’re free as dicky birds.

So shut your eyes.

And tell me lies 

about Northumberland.






4.7.13

OLD NEWCASTLE





HERITAGE OPEN DAYS: OLD NEWCASTLE

Sunday 15th September 12-3pm, Castle Keep, Newcastle – hear poetry inspired by Old Newcastle written and performed by local poet Keith Armstrong accompanied by piper Ann Sessoms.

3.7.13

JOSEPH SKIPSEY: PITMAN POET (1832 -1903)



HERITAGE OPEN DAYS 2013.


NORTH EAST ODES AND PIT POEMS.

Thursday September 12th 2013 7.30pm in the Red House, Sandhill, Quayside, Newcastle. Poetry and folk music event featuring poems and songs about Newcastle and the North East, with an open mic session combined with a Joseph Skipsey ('The Pitman Poet of Percy Main', 1832-1903) anniversary celebration featuring: readings by and about Skipsey by Keith Armstrong, Catherine Graham, Dave Alton and Steve Brown, settings of Skipsey's poems sung by his great great grandson Chris Harrison, songs by folk group 'Kiddar's Luck' and by Whitby's Tony Morris, with a set from Ann Sessoms on Northumbrian Pipes.

NORTHERN VOICES COMMUNITY PROJECTS presents:

THE PITMAN POET OF PERCY MAIN ― An event to mark the 110th anniversary of the death of Joseph Skipsey (1832-1903), the Pitman Poet of Percy Main. Featuring new settings of Skipsey's poems by great great grandson Chris Harrison, including his famous Hartley Calamity ballad, with readings from 'Still The Sea Rolls On', the recent NVCP Hartley commemorative book, by local poets and by Whitley Bay poet Keith Armstrong who also reads a selection from Skipsey, together with his own new poems on Skipsey and on Edward Elliot of Earsdon, the stonemason for the Hartley Memorial as well as a local people's poet. Also featuring a performance of the New Hartley Pit Disaster song (Brothers, Sons and Dads) by The Sawdust Jacks and The St Alban's Church Choir and Ann Sessoms from Shiremoor on Northumbrian Pipes.

Performed at the Hartley Memorial, Earsdon Churchyard on Saturday 14th September 11am to 12 noon (in St Alban's Church, Earsdon, in the event of bad weather).

The Northern Voices Community Projects' display about the Hartley Calamity of 1862 will be in the church on the day.

the jingling geordie

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whitley bay, tyne and wear, United Kingdom
poet and raconteur