Ballad of the Lambton Worm

The Lambton Worm

Words by C.M. Leumane (1867)


One Sunday morn young Lambton went

A-fishing’ in the Wear;

An’ catched a fish upon he’s heuk,

He thowt leuk’t varry queer.

But whatt’n a kind of fish it was

Young Lambton cuddent tell.

He waddn’t fash te carry’d hyem,

So he hoyed it doon a well.


Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,

An Aa’ll tell ye’s aall an aaful story

Whisht! Lads, haad yor gobs,

An’ Aa’ll tell ye  ‘boot the worm.

Noo Lambton felt inclined te gan

An’ fight i’ foreign wars.

He joined a troop o’ Knights that cared

For nowther woonds nor scars,

An’ off he went te Palestine

Where queer things him befel,

An’ varry seun forgat abootT

he queer worm i’ the well.


But the worm got fat an’ growed and’ growed

An’ growed an aaful size;

He’d greet big teeth, a greet big gob,

An’ greet big goggle eyes.

An’ when at neets he craaled abootT

e pick up bits o’ news,If he felt dry upon the road,

He milked a dozen coos.


This feorful worm wad often feed

On caalves an’ lambs an’ sheep,

An’ swally little barins alive

When they laid doon te sleep.

An’ when he’d eaten aall he cud

An’ he had had he’s fill,

He craaled away an’ lapped he’s tail

Seven times roond Pensher Hill.


The news of this myest aaful worm

An’ his queer gannins on

Seun crossed the seas, gat te the ears

Ov brave and’ bowld Sor John.

So hyem he cam an’ catched the beast

An’ cut ‘im in twe haalves,

An’ that seun stopped he’s eatin’ bairns,

An’ sheep an’ lambs and caalves.


So noo ye knaa hoo aall the foaks

On byeth sides ov the Wear

Lost lots o’ sheep an’ lots o’ sleep

An’ leeved i’ mortal feor.

So let’s hev one te brave

Sor John That kept the bairns frae harm,

Saved coos an’ caalves by myekin’ haalves

O’ the famis Lambton Worm.

(Final chorus)

Noo lads, Aa’ll haad me gob,

That’s aall Aa knaa aboot the story

Ov Sor John’s clivvor job

Wi’ the aaful Lambton Worm.