One of my favourite songs is by the Arctic Monkeys called Black Treacle taken from their fabulous album Suck It and See…
Now it’s getting dark and the sky looks sticky
More like black treacle than tar
Ah, ah! I know what you are thinking! Black treacle and Lord Byron?
Well, let me explain for over 202 years ago, our noble Poet had enjoyed his honeymoon with Annabella Milbanke at Halnaby Hall, a Milbanke ancestral abode in Croft-on-Tees after their wedding at Seaham Hall, the other Milbanke abode on Monday January 2 1815.
However, to sound a note of caution and in the light of the varying recollections, scandals and innuendo that have surrounded Byron’s fated marriage throughout history, perhaps my use of the word ‘enjoyed’ should not be taken too literally for in a letter to his friend Tom Moore, Byron had written:
…the treaclemoon is over, and I am awake, and find myself married. My spouse and I agree to – and in- admiration. Swift says “no wise man ever married”; but, for a fool, I think it is the most ambrosial of all possible future states.
I still think one ought to marry upon lease; but am very sure I would renew mine at the expiration, though next term were for ninety and nine years.
I wish you would respond..
As it is hardly the missive of an enamoured bridegroom, it is perhaps not surprising that the celebrated author of Irish Melodies struggled to respond.
However, as I have no problems with my response to treacle, either to eat nor to listen to, I shall bid you an adieu for now!
Does it help you stay up late?
Does it help you concentrate?
Does it tune you in when you chew your chin?
Am I ruining your fun?
Black Treacle Arctic Monkeys (EMI Music Publishing Ltd 2011)
Byron’s Letters and Journals Vol 4 (1814-1815) Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1975)