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28 October 2014
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Actor Colin Blakeley in Son of Man

Ay up me Lord!

By Jessica Rose
Poet Graham Kilbourne has produced his own version of the Christian Gospels – in Leicestershire dialect! His 40 verse poem recounts the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Read the poem below:


A Leicestershire grandfather has re-written part of the Bible in the dialect of his county.

Graham Kilbourne, aged 64, from Oadby, has produced his own 40 verse version of the Gospels, which describe Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Mr Kilbourne, who is retired and has three children and seven grandchildren, says he was inspired by his grandfather Harry Herbert.

He said: “The poem is based on my grandfather's dialect, which was the really old-fashioned way of speaking in Leicester.

“For example, he used to say ‘frit’ instead of ‘frightened’.”

Listen to Graham reading his poem.....
audio Graham's Gospel >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer

The Leicestershire Gospel

Mi granddad told mi this story
Bowra bloke called Jesus, yu see
‘E wurrony a nordinry fella,
Summat like you an’ me.

‘E wuz born in a stable a’ Chris’mas,
God i’ musta bin thin,
An’ iz mam ‘ad ‘im there on the stable floor
Cuz the want no room a’ thee inn.

Iz dad want nowt special,
A chippy when the wu wook.
Idd weark when ‘e could tu feedum
Burry wu usually down on ‘is luck.

Iz mam wuz sor’a special though,
Prayed a lo’, yu know the sor’.
Took ‘im to chairch on the sabath,
Med sure e’ lairnt wo’ ‘e or’.

‘E lairn tall ‘e cud abough’ tistry,
Thee ‘ard time the Jews ‘ad ‘ad,
An’ lairn ta bi’ abough’ wood wairk,
So’s ‘e cud airn a cruss like ‘is dad.

‘E growed up ta be a good preacher,
Iz mam wuzz ever su chuffed,
Cuzz ‘e want allus an angel,
More un wunce ‘eed ‘ad tu bi cuffed.

Idd ‘ad a chance tu bi rich once,
The devil promised the lo’,
Burry telled ‘im tha’ want thu righ’ way
An med ‘im goo back werritts ‘o’.

‘E want a poplar fella a’ fairse
Cuzz ‘e ‘ad some funny idears.
‘E reckoned ‘ow all uz wuz equal
An’ ‘elpt tu drive away fears.

‘E go’ some ma’es tu welp ‘im,
A dozen ‘e ‘ad a’ thu star’,
An’ called um iz twelve disciples
An’ taughtum tu preach from the ‘ar’.

A’ fairs thu big nob zignore dim,
An’ lerrim wander free,
Said ooze gunna believe warree sez,
A thicko from Gallilee.

E wannid tu welp thu poor un oppressed,
Thu sick un thu lame un thu blind.
Teached um all abou’ thu luv o’ God,
‘Ow e’ luvved all o’ mankind.

‘E wen alluva thu place furra bi’,
‘Ealin’ an doin’ good’
Teachin’ thu righ’ way tu pray an tha’,
An’ ‘elpin’ wherever ‘e cud.

I’ wuz one orriz ma’es wha’ dun furrim,
Shop tim furra few lousy quid;
Judas thu disciples treashrer,
Kissed ‘im, then ran off an’ ‘id.

‘I’ wuz thu signal fu thu soldiers tu gerrim’
Th’ took ’im off tu be tried;
Bu’ Judas dint keep no money,
Cuz ‘e ‘ung on a tree an’ died.

A bloke called Pila’e tried ‘im
An’ sed ‘e cun’ find nowt wrong,
Bu’ thu priests all sed eed committed a sin
An’ ought tu be dead afore long.

Blasphemy wuz wha’ thu called i’,
Sed Jesus wuz claimin’ tu be,
God’s own son the Messiah
Sent to set all of uz free.

Pila’e then sed, “will ‘ave ‘im flogged
Wi’ one of aar special whips.
Ones wi’ bitsa flintin,
Tu tear ‘is flesh in strips.”

Pila’e thoug’ ‘e ‘ad cracked i‘,
An’ the Jews ‘ad bin satisfied,
Bu’ thu crowd wuz gerrin stroppy
An’ wannid ‘im sacrificed.

‘E gorra bi’ frit un decided
Thu best thing tu do wu give in,
Then asked furra bowl o’ water
Tu wash ‘is ‘ands o’ this sin.

Thu dressed ‘im in a pairple cloak
An’ called ‘im King o’ thu Jews.
A crown o’ thorns wuz purron iz ‘ead,
Thu crowd wannarf amused.

Thu thorns wu several inches long,
Thu rammed it on ‘is ‘ead
Thu spat in ‘iz face an’ cairsed ‘im
‘An laffed a’ thu way ‘e bled.

In spite o’ this ‘e luvved um
An’ ‘e knew where ‘e ‘ad tu goo,
An’ ‘e asked God , “please forgive um,
Cuz thu doon know what thu do.”

Thu nailed ‘im to a wooden cross;
Tha’ must uv airt annall,
An’ ‘iz poor ol’ mam wuz watchin’
An’ cun’ du nowt attall.

‘E died tha’ day a’ Golgotha,
But just tu mek qui’e sure,
Thu speared ‘iz side an’ outa thu wound
Cum water clear’n pure.

Thu took ‘im away tu be buried
An’ sealed the tomb weeya rock.
When thu went back nex’ mornin’
Thu dintaarf gerra shock.

Thu tomb wu completely em’ty,
Only ‘is shroud wu left.
Mary thu fairce one tu see i‘
Jus’ stood there an’ openly wept.

She though’ some rogue ud pinched ‘im,
An’ asked some bloke standin’ by,
If ‘e’d seen anyone tek ‘im,
Though she cun tunderstan’why.

The bloke jus’ sed, “Mary!”,
An’ she knew be thu way i‘ wu said ,
‘Er very own Lord an’ Master
‘Ad rizz up from the dead.

“’Av gorra tell thee uthers,” she said,
An’ rushed back tu thu town’
“Izz alive , izz alive,” she toldum,
Burrall thu did wu frown.

Then all a’ once ‘e wuz there
Tu prove them wairds of iz,
Cuz three days after dyin’
‘E ’ad surely riz.

‘E stayed weeyum furra a bi’,
fu forty days in fact
An’ teached um ‘ow tu preach thu truth
An other things thu lacked.

Thu time ‘ad cum furrim tu goo
An all uf um wuz sad,
Bu’ jesus said i‘ wurreye time
‘E went back to iz dad.

“When av gone,” ‘e toldum,
“Yu woon’t av tu wai’ long,
Al send thee ‘Oly Spiri’ down
An ‘E’ll ‘elp everyone.”

An’ sure enough, later on,
When thu wu feelin’ rough,
Anoise like a howlin’ wind cum down
From thu sky above.

Tongues o’ flame touched um all,
The room rearly shone.
Then thee ‘Oly Spiri’ filled um all,
Each an’ every one.

Thu started talkin’ all a’ once,
Each in a different tongue,
An all an’ sundry understood
No matter where thu wu from.

Thu preached thu Gospel faar an’wide
An’ many souls thee wun,
An’ dun a lo’ more miracles
Than even Jesus dun.

When a think o’ Jesus,
Tha’ ‘e gev ‘Iz life furrall,
‘E paid furraar sin in agony,
Fu mine un yorze anal.

‘I’ meks mi feel like roarin’
A feel thu tears release,
Yu see, ‘e did i‘ cuz ‘e loves us,
Then a feel a sorta peace.

Am glad me granddad told mi this,
i‘ meks mi feel more free,
Cuz ‘e wuz only a nordinry bloke,
Summat like you an’ me.

last updated: 30/08/05
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