OUR BLACK COUNTRY lingo, and in particular the use of local words, expressions and dialect to produce a lighthearted slant on the alphabet, has been in the news recently. This interest was sparked in the media by the lads from the t-shirt shop in Cradley Heath, who specialise in producing Black Country sloganed clothing. They made a video of themselves singing their Black Country alphabet song, and put it on the internet, and also on to a DVD. We featured them in Bugle No. 851.
However, they are by no means the first to use a little Black Country humour to produce a local version of the alphabet, and here Doreen Collins of Bradley, Bilston, tells us of her her own efforts years ago, which she presented to local audiences. We hope that you are amused...
Doreen writes: "Many years ago, thirty approximately, I belonged to a drama group attached to Bilston Ladies Guild. Our group of about twelve met once a week to do our rehearsals and we entertained the elderly and disabled etc. We performed comedy sketches, mostly Black Country humour. It had to be visually funny to suit the type of audience we played to. Any donations went to the local churches.
"Our poems and sketches were mainly made up by members of the group, of which enclosed is a piece of my own. It was relayed in a broad Black Country accent and always raised a few good laughs. It was very uplifting to bring a smile to those less fortunate than ourselves. If you can include this piece in any future appropriate article, you are very welcome to do so, I would be truly honoured".
A is an 'at, wot yow wear on yer yed
B is for berkun wi' fried egg un bread
C is for code wen yo'm kuffin un sneezin
D is for derty, when yow aye very pleasin'
E is for 'elp, which we all need each day
F is for ferce, sum pretty, sum bay
G is the gaffer, this means he's the boss
H is for horse but we always say 'oss
I is indoors which means we'm inside
J is for jed when yow tek yer last ride
K am for klarrds when it aye very sunny
L is for loffin when yo think summat's funny
M is for mooer when yow want sum mooer dinner
N is for narrt when yow aye backed the winner
O is for 'orrid like them unslightly maggots
P is for pays wot yow ayte with yer faggots
Q is for querkers, them best porridge oats
R is for rercin 'osses, pigeons or boats
S is for saft, is wot we all bin
T is for terters, mashed, chipped or them in a tin
U is for 'ungry when yower belly starts callin
V is for vermin, all crapin' un crawlin'
W is for wum, that's the best kind o' plerce
X us for kisses, on yer 'onds, lips or ferce
Y is for yed, it's just med for yer 'at
Z is for zilch, there's narrt less than that.
Doreen went on (poetically)...
I hope yow've enjoyed the alphabet rhyme,
Yow better 'ad done, it took a long time.
About our spakin' they say it sounds queer,
We cor help the way we say it raand ere.
If yow cud 'elp me wi' sum werds that am new,
Ar maaght just rite the alphabet t'you.
If yow cor, dow get in a tizzy,
I know sum on yow folk am sometimes quite bizzy,
Cuz eny rode up, if yow elp me or not,
I'll get on wi' me writin and say thatz ya lot.
Naar that yav errd me aphabet rhyme,
I'd like to thank ya for tekkin the time,
Cuz it aye very aisy this poetry writin,
I 'ope that sum on ya find it excitin.
I'm glad that yo've erred it, but I dow know abaat yow,
Arr think arm' quite cleva, az me poem ull show.
Rememba last time when yow saw us last,
Ya know, me, them, un the rest of us cast,
We asked ya to find sum werds that wuz new
So arr cud write me poem part two.
Arr bet yo've forgot, un I asked ya sa nice,
It looks as if arr shud av asked twice.
It's a good job I'm plassid and dow tek afence
But to ask yow poor lot, shud av ad moor sense.
Now if yarall nice and comfy, settled un that,
I'll start recitation or else ate me 'at,
Naa cum on, be quiet, tek in and yow lern,
Yow dow know it yet, but ar'm the star tern.