Besides songs designed for general currency, dialect songs with primarily local interest were always popular in the drawing-room. Few such bodies of songs are of richer quality than those of Tyneside, containing such classics as ‘The Blaydon Races’, ‘Blow the wind southerly’ and ‘Bobby Shaftoe’. In ‘The Water o’ Tyne’ the singer awaits a ferryman to take him to his beloved across the river that separates County Durham from Northumberland. The song’s origins go back at least as far as The Bishoprick Garland, an 1834 collection of songs of County Durham.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2003