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The Last of the Salopians?

by Doug Pugh

Ahreet jockey, ’ow bist me lad,
Shropshire tones to make the heart glad.
Great if you know but not if you dunner,
easy to learn, but not if you wunner.
Me Grandad was best at the local twang,
wonner too bad wi’ a hommer either ‘bang, bang’.
I had to laugh at Jiggers Bonk,
an’ if summats tight yer give it a yonk,
the missus scowls, prefers the BBC,
theyn furriners from the South, conner she see.
Me kids are growin’ costner see,
dustner know when I’m tekkin’ the pee.
They’ll do berrer at school if they talk posh,
hope when they leave its for plenny of dosh.
But munnys nowt at the end of the day,
when unner Salop dirt I hope to lay.
Conner tek it wi’ ya, conner do wi’ owt,
bit like a wummen, but mebbe not as loud
(Shunner moan really, they do us real proud).
Still, conner werret on all day out loud.
Work to be done, no more in t’ pit,
now it’s stockin’ shelves an’ barcode Sanskrit.
We inner thick, we anner daft,
but talking real Salops becomin’ a craft.
Wuss things no doubt ha’ come to pass,
but I’ll be the fust to blart at Salops’ last gasp.

[Author’s note] Here’s a poem written in good old-fashioned Shroppy (aka Salop), a sort of derivative of ‘Black Country’ language used in the U.K. My grandpa used it totally. I think it spread to Shropshire possibly because of the local mineworkings, etc.

It’s the birthplace of industry. If ever you do get to the area, check out The Ironbridge Gorge Museum; it’s a U.N. world heritage site. Quite amazing to think a quiet country folk like us Shroppies were the founders of the Industrial Revolution!

According to a couple of websites I’ve checked out about Black Country dialect, it’s amazingly similar to the way the medieval Brits spoke in the period between Chaucer and Shakespeare.

Copyright © July 26, 1995 by Doug Pugh

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