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Thread: Brit -vs- US #2

  1. #31
    Picture Book

    Tak an owld look at this, lads & lasses

    The Blaydon Races

    I went to Blaydon Races
    'Twas on the 9th of June
    Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two
    On a Summer's Afternoon
    We took the bus from Balmbras
    And she was heavy laden
    Away we went along Collingwood Street
    That's on the Road to Blaydon


    Oh me lads, you should've seen us gannin'
    Passing the folks along the road
    just as they were stannin'
    Aal the lads and lasses there
    aal wi' smilin' faces
    Gannin along the Scotswood Road
    To see the Blaydon Races

    We flew past Armstrong's factory
    And up by the Robin Adair
    gannin ower the Railway Bridge
    The bus wheel flew off there
    The lasses lost their crinolenes
    And the veils that hide their faces
    I got two black eyes and a broken nose
    gannin t' Blaydon Races

    Oh me lads...

    Now when we got the wheel back on
    Away we went again
    But them that had their noses broke
    They went back ower hyem
    Some went to the dispensary
    And some to Doctor Gibbses
    And some to the infirmary
    To mend their broken ribses

    Oh me lads...

    We flew across the Chain Bridge
    And into Blaydon Toon
    The bellman he was calling then
    They called him Jackie Broon
    I saw him talking to some chaps
    And them he was persuadin'
    To gan and see Geordie Ridley's show
    At the Mechanics' Hall in Blaydon

    Oh me lads...

    Now when we got to Paradise
    There were bonny games begun
    There were four and twenty on the bus
    And how we danced and sung
    They called on me to sing a song
    and I sung 'em 'Paddy Fagan'
    I danced a jig and I swung me twig
    The day wi' went to Blaydon

    Oh me lads...

    The rain it poured down all the day
    And made the ground quite muddy
    Coffee Johnny had a white hat on
    Shouted 'Whi stole the cuddy?'
    There were spice stalls and monkey shows
    And owld wives selling ciders
    And a chap on a ha'penny roundaboot
    Saying 'noo me lads for riders?'

  2. #32
    Picture Book

    For Yvonne, from Newcastle Upon Tyne

    Come here me little Jacky,
    Now ah've smoked me baccy,
    Let's hev a bit of cracky,
    Till the boat comes in.
    Dance to thee Daddy, sing to thee Mammy,
    Dance to thee Daddy, to thee Mammy sing;

    Thou shalt hev a fishy on a little dishy,

    Thou shalt hev a fishy when the boat comes in.

    Here's thy mother humming,
    Like a canny woman;
    Yonder comes thy fatha,
    Drunk - he cannat stand.

    OK, I'll stop, I'll stop!

  3. #33
    Picture Book

    Re: For Yvonne, from Newcastle Upon Tyne

    hhmm..sounds drug-related. A bit of cracky

  4. #34
    Jason Saunders

    Re: For Yvonne, from Newcastle Upon Tyne

    I tend to get very touchy about writers using a ‘British’ dialect. Sure it’s fine to try and give your characters a different voice, but the danger is you can either get it horribly wrong, or end up infuriating people. The one that had me climbing the walls was in Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising, where he constantly had Royal Marines saying things along the lines of “What’s next Left-tenant”.

    I’m British and a Lieutenant (and contrary to what many Americans think, the true British pronunciation is not Left-tenant). I know that we pronounce tomato, leisure and oregano differently. But so do you, so why dwell on it? What truly makes our voices different is our cultural differences. This can be from calling Fries, Chips and Chips, Crisps. But more over it’s the things like the British love of sarcasm, breaking the ice in conversation by talking about the weather and the hatred of people that dare queue-jump. But equally it’s the British inability to cope with public displays of high emotion, men hugging, working out why you would want a family car with an engine size of more than 2-litres or our morbid fascination that US television generates programmes like the Jerry Springer show.

    I have never had the courage to insert an American character into my plays – although I know it would make them far more commercially viable. But the reason for that is I live in fear of getting it wrong. I have preconceptions of what Americans are like – and I’m sure that many of them are wrong. But so are so many North American impressions of Brits. For a start, very few of us call ourselves Brits. We’re English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish (you’ve only to watch us play rugby to see that).

    I love the fact that many of you want to get Brits and Canadians to look over your work, and I’ll happily volunteer to join the throng. But as I said, let’s not get hung up on how we spell and pronounce words, but celebrate the differences in our cultures.

    Sorry if I give over the impression that I’m on a soap box here, but when we are becoming swamped with American TV, books, and films in the UK, I sometimes think we’re become the 51st State by osmosis. When in truth, the reason that the States and the UK work so well together is because we are different, look at each other differently and act differently. It’s like our lives as writers - after all, why do we get other people to look over our WIPs?

    Let the debate run and let’s celebrate the differences.

  5. #35
    Gary Kessler

    Re: For Yvonne, from Newcastle Upon Tyne

    Bingo, Jason (and I do hope you understand that that's a supportive comment).

  6. #36
    Picture Book


    English actors playing Americans can be pretty bad, too.

    One thing though, Jason. How can many of us say we are either English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish?

    I moved all over England & Wales. I'm not sure where I come from. With a Welsh speaking father & an Irish mother, what am I? So I say I'm British, an envelope for all. (British Isles?) I also say I am from the U.K.

    Or do we refer to where we were actually born? My friend's parents are English. She was born in Singapore. The family returned to England when she was 2 months old. Is she English?

  7. #37
    Jason Saunders

    Re: Jason

    That's always fun. I always refer to myself as British - but people argue that I only say that because I'm English. Such comments tend to come from people that want to differentiate themselves from the English (the Scots being the largest in number). But what, if like you, your parents are from different parts of the Union?

    I suppose it's like the days of the Raj. Service children born in India tended to call themselves English, as that is the nation they identified with most (Roger Moore being a classic example).

    I tend to call myself British to avoid the confusion. But that was the point I was trying to make. Anyone that calls themselves British will have a reason to do so - as in the majority of cases they would be Welsh, English, Scots or Irish. But then you have Gibraltarians, they are very proudly British.

    I wonder aloud, if American have the same sort of thing between states? Are you an American first and a Texan second?

  8. #38
    Gary Kessler

    Re: Jason

    Yes, Jason, except for some in those multitudes in the United States who never leave their neighborhoods, I think "Americans" think of themselves as Americans first and Marylanders second. (I put "Americans" in quotes, because, technically Canadians and Brazilians are also Americans, but I think they've come to think of that term as having been besmerched enough to not want to use it themselves much anymore.)

    Having lived in several former British colonies (more recently colonies than the United States was, that is), I've often received a snappy reply when I've used the term "Brit" as a noun. Never did find a good alternative, though. "British" is an adjective, not a noun, and I even if I researched the person I was talking to or about to be able to know they are from Scotland, Wales, or England (which I consider as much a chore as anyone would to decide whether it is more correct to call me a Virginian, Coloradian, or Californian, or Oregan, since I have a history with all these states). So what's the intersecting noun for someone from Great Britain?

  9. #39
    Picture Book


    A Briton?

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