Welcome to michaelburns1 music.

All these songs and tunes are there to be sung and played, so feel free to do so; copyright applies to their performance or recording in a commercial context, all rights reserved.

Lyrics, links to recordings of the songs and tunes, and background information on the music is to be found further down the page, not in the list of contents.


‘The Swan Necked Maid’ A tune that came to me in Whitby.

‘Joseph Emidy’ A song about a largely forgotten black composer.

‘From the Low Mown Meadows to Los Llanos’ – song Jack Greenwell, Durham miner & international football coach

‘Ganders on the Green’ – tune

‘Melangell’ A song about a legendary Saint, us and the treatment of animals.

‘Two Voyages’ A song about immigrants at sea, then & now.

‘Will Reed’s Barn’ song – a Harvest Home in 1880s North West Durham

‘Dr Laura Bell’ tune a tune for another of my nieces

‘Walking in the Steps of Michael Davitt’ song – An Irish nationalist who grew
up in Lancashire

instrumental – Rise up John Gordon (with Bruce Rafeek)

‘The Maryport Mystery’ Song, an immigration ballad (B Rafeek on accordion)

‘Little News from Dunamore’ a song of famine and exile

‘Rise up John Gordon’ song – justice after 160 years, no to the death penalty (B Rafeek on accordion)

‘James Keogh’ song – A lad from Ashton who died fighting Fascism in Spain (B Rafeek on accordion)

1847 (with whistle intro) song, immigration, then & now.

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue), at the bottom of the page)

‘Whittonstall Bank’ tune The first tune I wrote set in a village just over the Derwent from Ebchester

‘The Buck and Dog’ song Observations on Stockport from these two veterans (Kath Ratcliffe on piano)

‘The Blue Mountain’ My interpretation of Cajun Denbo’s interpretation of the
Steve Earl song, ‘The Mountain’. (Kath Ratcliffe on piano)

‘Capricorn’ tune

‘Reynard or Reynardine?’  song Their quarry escaped the North Durham hounds, but was it a fox?

‘Tir na nOg’  – (The Land of Youth) song – we need to respect the past and build a future for young people

‘Seraphino Pino’ a tune inspired by an Italian street musician

‘Letter from Guantanamo -’Shaker Aarmer’ as someone once wrote, ‘an innocent man in a living hell’.

‘Tony on the Wall’ – a tune about a Celtic North Eastern god

‘Paddy on the Railway’ the second of two pieces on the site not written by me, I’ve added a Pete Morton chorus (with Pete’s permission) to the traditional song

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue) at the bottom of the page)

‘Dim Problem’ a song about a wonderful inclusive place in Wales.

‘Honest Tom Duncombe’ a tune about a model MP (from the 1840s!)

‘Christmas Day’ – my birthday, A polka? – I must learn to catagorising tunes!

‘’The Little Count’ a tune about Joseph  Borulaski, an early Polish immigrant to Durham, this won the James Hill composition prize at Sedgefield, 2011.

Burn Hall song, my memories of a Durham Seminary in the 1960s

Oh Marie’ song a traveller funeral in Gorton

‘Miss Joan Shorrocks’ Waltz

‘Mottram Wakes’ A traditional song from the area where I live.

‘The Ballad of Bart Monaghan’ The true story of a distant relative of mine who met a sad end in the River Tees.

‘Denton Train ‘ song – a green song with a bit of town history – also you Tube

‘Tameside Lads’ song rescues old and new

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue) at the bottom of the page)

‘Back in 1847’ song –immigration, then and now

‘Oh Marie’ song  You tube – a traveller funeral in Manchester

‘Here’s to the Women of the Working Class’ song

‘Happyland’ hornpipe tune

‘The Dish ran away with the Spoon’ tune

‘¼ to 4’ tune

‘The Naked Rambler’ song – the persecution of an eccentric

‘Picnic at Edmundbyers’ hornpipe

‘All  As for Alex’ A jig for one of my beautiful nieces

‘The Convoy’ march

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue) at the bottom of the page)

‘The Basket of Figs’ tune – exotic fruit in 1840s Shotley Bridge

‘Different Paths’ song – the Lough brothers of Greenhead, Shotley Bridge

‘Allensford’ tune about a beauty spot on the Durham Northumberland border.

‘The Belles of Cookstown’ tune

The Cullercoats Cobles’ tune – a tune about my cousins, the Shippens’ home town

‘Dooky Apple night’ tune (a schottische?) – It’s what we call Halloween in the North East

‘Barbara and Bill’ waltz – for my good friends, the Scholes of Westhaughton,
for their wedding anniversary

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue) at the bottom of the page)

‘Alex Barrass’ song a pitman poet and mental illness

‘Sean Morgan’  Song a Manchester Republican

‘Cartegena’ Tune – Memories of an expedition to a Spanish wedding

‘Voyage down the Derwent’ tune

‘Harvest Home at Knitsley’ tune, hornpipe – see above

‘The Rats of Morpeth Gaol’ tune

‘Whittonstall Bank’ tune

‘Caitlin’s Ceilidh’ a tune for the eldest of my nieces

‘The Gill Bridge’ – slow air

Go to OLDER POSTS (in blue) at the bottom of the page)

‘The Trolley Bus’ hornpipe –  set in the incomparable Newcastle

‘Gannin’ for the Pink’ hornpipe I won the James Hill composition prize at Sedgefield with this tune in 2012

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