I first heard the Unthanks sing this song, Fareweel Regality, at the Queen's Hall a few months ago. It gave me that particular shiver when a poem or song suddenly appears before you as the real thing. You can find it on the album The Bairns by Rachel Unthank & The Winterset.
And now it's time to say farewell
And though I hope that we may meet again
And all things may be reet again
We've lived and spent the day
We'll cry farewell Regality
And cry farewell to Liberty
To honest friends' civility
To winter's frost and fire
And there's nowt that I can bid ye
But that peace and love gan with ye
Never mind wherever call the fates
Away from Hexhamshire
And what is time that flies so fleet
But just a bird that flies on merry wings
And lights us doon in happy spring
When winter's neet is past
Aye but the curlew sings her sang
And winds her sorrows doon the Rowley Burn
And drear as winds the hunter's horn
The call is all farewell
And as I set the mossy stones
And do me bits of jobs and gap the dykes
I hear the whisper doon the sykes
Farewell they sigh, farewell
Do I remember? Do I dream?
And did we rightly meet in Viewly Side?
For all this and much more beside
Has got me sore beguiled
But on some golden autumn morn
Or when July is hazing Dipton Slopes
By Whitley Mill or Westburnhope
We'll live and spend the day
It is by Terry Conway. Here he is singing his song behind a video showing scenes around Northumberland. If I was a native of that place and was in exile this song would make me weep with homesickness.
When I first heard it I thought it said "fareweel frugality" but it is "fareweel regality". "Regality" is a lovely word and I would bet it has never been used in any other song.
". . .the regalities and liberties of Hexhamshire... were areas of local jurisdiction that were passed between the Archbishops of Durham and York until they finally rested with Northumberland. There were special privileges attached to the title and I overheard Terry saying that one such privilege meant that if you were a villain on the run, being chased, and you got over the border into Hexhamshire then you were safe. This was because your pursuers had to get permission from whoever the regalities and liberties belonged to, and was so used as a bit of a safe place to hide out."