The Lancashire Bell Ringers

Ring ye the bells of the brave old land
Men of the North, with the strong right hand,
Ring us the tunes of our distant home,
Dear to our hearts where’er we roam!
Ring out clear, and loud, and strong,
Ring all night and the whole day long –
Ne’er would we tire of your cheery bell,
Men of the land that we love so well,
Ring for the rich, and the weak and poor;
Ring bad luck from the good man’s door;
Ring each maiden a home of joy;
And ring hard work for each sturdy boy.
Ring success to the land of gold –
Labour for youth, and rest for the old.
Lancashire heroes, ring out well,
Everyone but the tavern bell.
Ring from our country all sighs and tears:
Ring for its people long happy years;-
Chase all care from each anxious brow,
And cheer our heart with your brave “Tow Row!”
Ring for aye on our sunny shore;
Make up your minds to depart no more.
For “the girls you left behind you” send,
And heartily ring for the times to mend.
Ring for Coppin, the brave and bold;
Ring his pockets quite full of gold!
Of hearts like his we should all be proud,
Ring him speedily out of the cloud.
Ring that all, ’neath their fig and vine
May live in clover in every clime.
And ring for me, till departing breath
Shall bid ye toll the rhymer’s death!

Title:The Lancashire Bell Ringers

Author:W. Stitt Jenkins

Publication:Stockport and Cheshire County News

Published in:

Date:June 27th 1863

Keywords:emigration, poverty


First published in an Australian newspaper, and presumably written by an expatriate Lancastrian, this poem calls on people from the region to ring bells in celebration, commemoration and nostalgia. The third verse appears to obliquely reference the current state of financial hardship which millions of Lancastrians were suffering at the time, but the general register of the poem is optimistic, and functions to create a sense of solidarity between those who have taken the path of emigration and those who remain in the ‘old country’. – SR