Brass Band Poems

Rishworth & Ryburn Valley Band

Over the years several bands have been immortalised in poetry. From those lauding their heroes to the ones which are critical or even insulting. From the earliest days poets have found something in the music of the bands and the people who play in them to inspire their muse. An example of praise is seen in the postcard on the right, which celebrates Rishworth and Ryburn Valley Brass Band‘s success at the Crystal Palace National Brass Band Championships in 1906, when they won first place in the Junior Cup (equivalent to today’s 3rd Section)

Camelon Brass Band
In the Falkirk Mail of 16th November 1907 a poem appeared entitled “Auld Camelon Band“, of which the first verse is:

There’s Auld Camelon Band they’re aye tae the fore;
They started wi’ flutes in the year ’34,
If you had only heard them their music you’d adore,
For always their number was less than a score,
Their auld flutes ha’e been turned into brass
Three cheers tae the friends that gave them the cash,
For we’ve all joined together to gi’e them a hand,
and try and make good members tae the auld Camelon Band

Slaidburn Band‘s tour of the outlying farms and hamlets above the village around Christmas 1903 is documented in the poem “Success To The Slaidburn Band“, by Ellen Cowking. It tells in 34 verses which places were visited and the names of the residents.

The Cup Winners

The Cup Winners

Kate Hall lived in Freckleton at the turn of the 20th century and wrote poems on a wide range of topics. After her death a book of her poems was unearthed which included several about the Freckleton Brass Band. The first few verses of her poem “The Cup Winners” is shown here. For the rest of the poem, and others about the band, see: Kate Hall’s Freckleton Band poetry



Rothwell Temperance Band

Under the heading ‘The Temperance Band‘ in the Rothwell Times of May 5th 1882, a poem of nine verses was printed, of which the following are two:

Last Christmas as you all well know,
We had the one Brass Band,
Now you see we have got two,
And one ’tis said won’t stand

They say that water cannot
Blow a note so clear
But that is false!
I know a man
That’s proved it many a year

For further examples of brass band poems see the following pages in the IBEW:

Brass Band Poems – which include Harrogate Band, Carnwarth Brass Band, Dunnikier Brass Band, Blanchardstown Band and early contests in the 1860s.

Bramley Brass Band

Also, see Stephen Etheridge’s Brass Band Poems and Working Class Culture


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