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Flibbertigibbet

The Lambton Worm

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The story of the Lambton Worm is told in the following traditional song. The most recent sighting was apparently in 1987.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambton_Worm

The Lambton Worm

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.

cho: 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 aboot

The 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 aboot

Te 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.

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Interesting legend. Sounds similar to countless other "if you don't go to church" legends that were told to young boys. My Great Grandmother used to tell me that I'd catch the devil if I skipped church and went fishing on Sunday.

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Doh!.... always thought the Lambton Worm was an ailment.

:blush:

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Is the song written in Olde English? I didn't know some of the words. :blush:

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Is the song written in Olde English? I didn't know some of the words. :blush:

It's written in Geordie dialect.

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It's written in Geordie dialect.

Hiya,where did you pick this up ? ha ha ,I used to go to Penshaw Hill which has a 1st world war monument on the top,and believe it or not you can see where the worm wrapped its self roond the hill.Its essentially a Mackem song and not Geordie (spit),Their song is the "Blaydon Races"..and never the twain shall meet.I actually sang it thru when I was reading it as I understand Mackem and Geordie having been born near Sunderland..Carry on the good work Bonny Lass,cheers

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Not the best version I've heard, but the best I can find on Youtube

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Hiya,where did you pick this up ? ha ha ,I used to go to Penshaw Hill which has a 1st world war monument on the top,and believe it or not you can see where the worm wrapped its self roond the hill.Its essentially a Mackem song and not Geordie (spit),Their song is the "Blaydon Races"..and never the twain shall meet.I actually sang it thru when I was reading it as I understand Mackem and Geordie having been born near Sunderland..Carry on the good work Bonny Lass,cheers

Lol ok I stand corrected. They're quite similar though. :)

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Lol ok I stand corrected. They're quite similar though. :)

No apology needed its just that Mackems and, Magpies or Barcodes (Geordies)as we call them are a different species,its much like oil and water,they dont mix..But divvent fash yersell its awreet (dont worry its alright) ha ha bye 4 now

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Here's some pics.

ph_gallery_lambton%20worm.jpg

worm2.jpg

lambton_worm.gif

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According to this site, the Lambton Worm tale may be a mangled re-telling of the "Dragon of Rhodes" story. It seems plausible as it seems Sir John Lambton was a member of the Knights of Rhodes and quite possibly knew/heard the story.

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According to this site, the Lambton Worm tale may be a mangled re-telling of the "Dragon of Rhodes" story. It seems plausible as it seems Sir John Lambton was a member of the Knights of Rhodes and quite possibly knew/heard the story.

That's interesting, I hadn't heard of the Dragon of Rhodes.

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See? That's what happens when you don't worm your dog regularly!

s12205.gif

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I feel sorry for worms. In ancient times they were huge scary beasts, dragon-type creatures and fire-breathing serpents. Now they just wriggle around in the dirt.

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Could be interpreted as some kind of metaphor for some kind of "evil". Because St.George fought a dragon, the dragon symbolizing paganism. Do you know was there some kind of a threat or something at that time there :)

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Could be interpreted as some kind of metaphor for some kind of "evil". Because St.George fought a dragon, the dragon symbolizing paganism. Do you know was there some kind of a threat or something at that time there :)

It's thought to date from the 14th century and I guess it's possible that the Washington area was in danger from Scottish border raiders at that time, who sometimes came down quite far. Don't know of anything specific though.

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So an ancient word for a worm was a dragon? They look more serpent like than dragon like to me. But what do I know? I'm a Yank.

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So an ancient word for a worm was a dragon? They look more serpent like than dragon like to me. But what do I know? I'm a Yank.

Worm is Old English for both dragon and serpent I think, which were thought of as more or less the same type of thing.

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I can imagine given the limited world experience that they thought they looked alike. I know the difference though- :tu:

Great topic Flibber. One I haven't seen before- :w00t:

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I can imagine given the limited world experience that they thought they looked alike. I know the difference though- :tu:

Some dragons are legless, which are serpents. Some have 2 legs, called wyverns, and some have 4 legs, the standard dragon. Perhaps only one type was native to England...

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The welsh flying serpent called the Gwiber is a legless dragonish creature as well.

The Gwiber of Penmachno

I have always seen the Lambton Worm as a religious metaphor rather than a documented account of contact with a real creature.

Now you have me wanting to go off and do research, damn you, to cross reference dragon stories from Britain and see how many fall into the legless category as opposed to legged (and perhaps further broken down by number of legs and if wings are present).

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lambtonworm.jpg

The Lambton Worm

A portion of the hide of the Lambton worm was supposedly kept on display at Lampton castle. It was said to resemble cow's hide. The specimen was lost when the castle was demolished in the 18th century.

A dragon skin was once said to hang in the church in Sexhow, North Yorkshire. The forest dwelling worm was slain by a knight and the skin kept as a relic hung on pegs in the church. The skin has long since vanished. The Parliamentarians probably destroyed it after the Civil War in the mid-17th century.

There have been many instances of dragons terrorising people in British history.

St_Andrew%27s_Church%2C_Wormingford_-_geograph.org.uk_-_860376.jpg

St Andrew's Church, Wormingford, Essex. The village is supposedly where St George killed the dragon.

The dragon of Wormingford (worm's ford, worm meaning serpent or dragon) in Essex is a good example. It is said to have been a "cockadrill" brought back from the crusades by Richard the Lionheart for his zoo in the Tower of London. Breaking free it made its way through the county to the river Stour. Here it killed and ate Shepherds and sheep. No arrow or spear could penetrate its scales. Finally it disappeared into a marsh and was never seen again. There can be little doubt that this dragon was a Nile crocodile.

In fact, Wormingford has THREE dragon stories. The first story says the village is the location where the patron saint of England, St. George, famously killed his dragon. A mound in the village is said to cover the body of the legendary dragon.

407318_1745c673.jpg

St Leonard's Forest, West Sussex

In August 1614 some strange reptile was at large in Saint Leonard's forest Sussex. At nine feet long it was not large as dragons go, but it was very dangerous. It was a limbless, serpentine, creature with a bulge in the middle the size of a football. Whenever animals or humans approached him, records a contemporary pamphlet, he raised up his head and looks around in an arrogant manner. He was said to have killed men and dogs by casting forth poison, but he did not eat the bodies. Instead he fed on the local rabbit population. This dragon sounds like a cobra, rearing up its head in a threat posture when disturbed, killing with poison, and eating rabbits. It seems that this creature escaped from an early private menagerie.

The Laidly (Northumbrian for loathsome) worm was once a beautiful princess named Margaret, who lived in Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. Her stepmother was a witch who, due to jealousy, cast a spell changing the princess into a huge worm. The worm’s breath caused vegetation to shrivel, and it demanded the milk of seven cows every day.

Bedd-yr-Afanc means "the monster's grave" in Welsh, the Afanc being a name commonly given to a water monster in Wales. The grave is actually the only Bronze Age Gallery Grave in Wales and dates from around 1500BC. Just two rows of parallel stones survive. According to legend the Afanc used to dwell in a pool by Brynberian Bridge, and was captured and killed then buried in this mound on the hillside.

‘A mighty dragon made its lair under the roots of an ancient yew tree and wrought havoc in the surrounding countryside. Piers Shonks, Lord of the Manor of Pelham, fought it accompanied by three huge hounds. He finally triumphed by thrusting a long spear down the dragon’s throat.

In fact, no other country on earth has such rich dragon lore as Britain.

Our tiny little homeland is crawling with legends of these beasts. If you have ever wondered if there is a dragon legend close to where you live, then take a look at the following list: http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/legends/british-dragon-gazetteer.html

No wonder the church wanted St George as it patron saint!

Was that place called Wormingford before Richard the Lionheart brought the crocodile back? If it was, and it sounds Anglo-Saxon, it would be a weird coincidence.

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Posted (edited)

This is it sang by a naked dude with the accent from here. It's pretty grim listening..

I live in Sunderland and Penshaw monument is not where the worm wrapped itself round. It's a smaller hill nearer to the Biddick pub direction. I've been sledging on it when I was a kid, it's dead steep.

EDIT. It's on the wiki, called Worm hill, DOH!

Edited by bulveye

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The welsh flying serpent called the Gwiber is a legless dragonish creature as well.

The Gwiber of Penmachno

I have always seen the Lambton Worm as a religious metaphor rather than a documented account of contact with a real creature.

Now you have me wanting to go off and do research, damn you, to cross reference dragon stories from Britain and see how many fall into the legless category as opposed to legged (and perhaps further broken down by number of legs and if wings are present).

I wonder if there are any dragons with more than 4 legs?

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St Andrew's Church, Wormingford, Essex. The village is supposedly where St George killed the dragon.
In nearly every account of the St. George story I have read he killed the dragon in "Lybia" (ie North Africa some place).

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