Black Country Flag put to Song

The Black Country flag has become what could be the first sub-national flag in the country to have a song dedicated to it.

Noted local poet and academic Brian Dakin (pictured to the right of the photo along with Steve Welch of Black Country Radio and Gaz Sawers, organiser of Black Country Day & Festival 2014) has written a song all about the flag, completely in the famous YamYam dialect. Brian’s resarch work involves notions of identity through language and in particular the varieties of the Black Country which connects with his own journey as a writer and performer. He says that having a day and a flag gives both physical and emotional focus for the people of the region.

Incidentally it was some of Brian’s poetry that helped inspire the Flag Institute’s own Communities Vexillologist, Philip Tibbetts, to begin his campaign for a regional flag which was ultimately successful following a competition he organised with the Black Country Living Museum. Following this Philip was able to get the museum and the Black Country society to agree July 14th as the ongoing Black Country Day for which this song has been written.

Black Country Day events can be found here. Brian’s academic profile can be seen at this link. and a taster of his dialectic poetry can be heard here.

A recording of the song will be made soon but in the meantime here are the lyrics to the countries first vexillographical song!

The Flag

The black an’ red cone on white
Black by day an’ red by night
Link on chains mark on life
Stond afoowa the flag

Stories ‘eld we in aiche fold
Mill lines an’ back t’ back fodes
Lezzers, bonks pride teks ‘old
Stond afoowa the flag

Fly the flag fly the flag
‘igh above our Black Country
Fly the flag fly the flag
It’s a part on all on we

Markin’ time threw centuries
Mines an’ cuts, factories
Seggs on toil ‘eld in the weave
Stond afoowa the flag

Struggles kep in warp an’ weft
Poundin’ feelin’ grips our chest
Like chainwimmin we march in step
T’ stond afoowa the flag

Fly the flag fly the flag
‘igh above our Black Country
Fly the flag fly the flag
The unity on family

In every town come join the crowds
Mothers fathers daughters sons
Come t’ sing let voices ring
F’ ‘ere we dun belong

Colliers miners men on steel
Men on glass boatmen there
Chainmekers cort in the breeze
Stond afoowa the flag

Babbys they con grow an’ ‘no’
‘istrys ‘ere the seed is sowed
A tear falls as there it rose
Stond afoowa the flag

Fly the flag fly the flag
All across the Black Country
In all the towns the sound resounds
Ketch it f’ it’s part on thee

Fly the flag fly the flag
‘igh above the Black Country
Fly the flag fly the flag
Unity in ‘istry

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