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Title : Cullercoats fishwife. An original song written and sung by E. Corvan at the principal places of amusement in the North.

Format : broadsheet ; song

Composer : Corvan, Ned (b.1830? d.1865)

Production details : publisher : W. Stewart
The Side ; Newcastle upon Tyne

Date : 1854-1865

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Collection name : Tyneside songs - Corvan


The Cullercoats Fishwife was a very popular song in its day and was probably performed by Corvan in drag. Here the song is given in its original format - the modern version, as given in Catcheside Warrington's collection is much shorter.

The song forms part of a selection of broadside songs by Edward Corvan and other Tyneside composers held at South Shields Library. The collection dates to the mid 19th century and consists of some of the region's most popular songs. Although the volume does include material by J.P. Robson and others, the majority of the songs are by Corvan. This is one of the largest collections of Corvan broadsides in the region and is a testament to the composer's popularity.

Edward Corvan, or as he was famously known, Ned was born in Liverpool and moved to Newcastle at the age of four. Following the death of his father at an early age, Corvan was raised by his widowed mother who struggled to feed the family of four on her meagre earnings. After a brief career as a sail-maker Corvan joined Billy Purvis's Victoria Theatre. Here he tried his hand at a number of things, but found most success in the performance of local and comic songs. Ned then went on to join the Olympic were he enjoyed great success with songs such as 'Astrilly'. With this popularity he travelled the North singing his Tyneside songs, eventually settling in South Shields where he operated Corvan's Music Hall. After a number of years he gave up the establishment and returned to local singing. Corvan died on the 31st August 1865 at the age of 35.


Collection description : A collection of broadsides by North-East Music Hall artist Ned Corvan.

Melody used : German song

First line : Aw's a Cullercoats fishwife se cosey an' free

Subject heading : river and sea

Keywords : fishing & women & fishwives

Period : 1841-1860

Place : Cullercoats , Tyne and Wear

Held by : South Shields Library

Copyright : Item reproduced by kind permission of South Shields Library


t :: 0191 433 8430

f :: 0191 433 8424

e :: libraries@gateshead.gov.uk

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FARNE Folk Archive Resource North East