Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Sad song...

Just allow a late middle aged old fart a small indulgence if you please...

In 1975, I was working for a firm based in West Bromwich, but most of my work was in London. It was a strange job, with people from a previous age being revered for their strength and fortitude in finishing their working lives after being in the action in WW2, and sprogs like me, newly married, trying to get somewhere before they got us!

This clip was actually in the charts, and as West Bromwich was full of places and buildings like the song, it was a bit of an eye-opener for me; being a Southerner...

The lyrics are somewhere on the net, and I've lost them, so I'll stay up all night looking for them for you!

But the last few words really get me just here.

UPDATE - found the bastards at last...

(Sammy King)

Arthur Edward Pickersgill
Workin' 'ard at mill
Sorting out the bales
The ones to empty and to fill
It's Sat'day night, he's rushing home
To check his football pools
While Chelsea won and let him down
And so did Hartlepool...

So off at dawn on Monday morn
Working for his rent
Money's hard to come by
And half's already spent
'Cause Billy wants a pair of shoes
And Tilly wants a dress
And Freda wants some curling pins
She says her hair's a mess...

And so, where do you go from here
Where in life do you belong
You've worked so hard throughout your life
To make your country great
And now it runs away from you
Leaving you behind and out of date...

Every week your Sunday joint's
No bigger than your thumb
With eight of us to share it
And that's not including Mum.
But first you've got to find it
And the kids are lookin' out
It's there, Dad, in the processed peas
Behind that brussels sprout...

And Freda's getting married soon
You'll 'ave to pay for t'do,
Invitin' all the folks we know
Will cost a bob or two
And after all the toastin'
And the speeches and the gags
It's back to working overtime
And rolling your own fags...

And so, where do you go from here
Where in life do you belong
You fought for King and Country
And your comrades in the war
And is it any different now
You're fighting to exist, just like before...

And so, where do you go from here
Life's inclined to hurry by
Your clogs went out with ration books
But still you carry on, forever if you can
'Cause you're the kind of man who
Can't afford to die...


idle said...

It were reet hard in those days.

Sorry, wrong accent, it's West Brom or Doodlay you're affta.... no, can't do it.

I wish these manual workers would stop bleating in song like disadvantaged black cottonpickers and come and mend the potholes in the drive here.

Scrobs... said...

Ha ha ha Iders - spot on!

My 'boss' then nearly had an embolism when he realised that Michael Foot could well take over from Harold Wilson!

So it wasn't all bad as you can see here.

rvi said...

"Those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end...."

My mum used to tell me to eat my greens as "there's millions of starving kids in India who'd love to have 'em". To which my (unspoken!) reply was, "Yup, and they'd be more than welcomwe to 'em".

Life's a [female canine] innit?

Philipa said...

"You're the kind of man who can't afford to die"

I know that feeling.

Idle: it's not 'Doodlay' dear, it's 'Dudlay'. There's no 'ooh' in Dudley unless you count the wind rattling through the town. (it's on a hill, folks). And even then it's as true a myth as 'Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well'.

I'd say posh folk pronounce it 'Dedlay' but of course posh folk try not to notice it at all.

electro-kevin said...

I don't remember the '70s being shit but our photo album proves otherwise.

Old bangers, bare floorboards, no central heating and scrag ends. But weeee were 'appy !

Like fuck. I remember during one legendary row over the lack of money, my mum trying to murder my dad with the toaster (about the only decent thing we had) He was only saved because it was still plugged in when she tried to throw it at him.

Philipa said...

I remember the strikes and power cuts in the 70's.

But we had central heating and I lived in the country. From my window I could see sheep in the fields. I had a couple of horses and my parents had a big freezer and a calculator and holidayed abroad (without me). At one time they had 5 cars, a speedboat and two static caravans at the coast for weekends.

I don't remember any particular hardship like there is now, with people losing their homes and repossesions rife in the community. I remember strikes and job insecurity but I don't remember that in the 70's.

lilith said...

I remember the power cuts and the gas being changed over and mullets. I remember we had the living room redecorated with a "feature wall" of large orange flowered wallpaper...the woman who lived opposite always had a fag in her mouth, her curlers in and constantly polished her lino to a mirror like sheen with an electric polisher and went to Spain on holiday. Each house only had one car and they hardly moved except to do the shopping..the blokes caught the train into London in their suits and bowlers. So the street belonged to the children and the veg/fish/ice cream vans.

Scrobs... said...

Elecs - so you at least still had the power on then...

Scrobs... said...

\reevers - and I still only eat brussels sprouts when they're on prescription...

Scrobs... said...

Pips, as we're big fans of Auf Wiedersehn Pet, it only takes a line like that to recall Barry (Radish), who kept putting all his 'monnayyy in the (choose Midland Urban Place) Buildeeng Societtaayy'...

Scrobs... said...

Lils, you're right about the gas change over, I'd forgotten that! We had a new gun which could start the cooker at about five feet...

You've rather encapsulated the whole of the seventies in one sentence there, so please accept 'The Scrobs Award for Encapsulating The Seventies in One Sentence'!

Lino did look great when it was polished though...

Philipa said...

Scrobs! Timothy Spall is a Londoner, born in Battersea, and always produced an excruciating Midlands accent. Only slightly more convincing than Dick VanDyke's cockney.

Scrobs... said...

Pips, yes we know that, but he does make a great caricature.

'Barroiy' is the odd one who kept asking Wayne (when he was alive that is), how he could score.

All part of the act and they were all larger than life.

For dreadful Midlands accents by others try 'Crossroads'!

Philipa said...

Scrobs - I prefer the parody of that: Acorn Antiques. Mrs overalls macaroons are legend. And Miss Babbs is strangely attractive amidst all that waving scenery. Funny thing is that Julie Walters midlands accent is real.

I do like Timothy Spall too, btw. And Mary Poppins is a classic.