October 15th, 2012

Inspired by Wartime Farm, episode 4

It's the segment about the Bevin Boys that got me from this one... I have a tune for this, and it's a cracking tune too, but in absence of ascratch track yet, I'm catching up by sharing the lyrics...


THE CINDER ROCK

Got my marching orders in the morning post today

When the brindled pups arrive, I’ll be long miles away

Don’t expect a postcard from the desert or the Rhine

Mama’s youngest gets to go where no sun ever shines

John and Jack and James and Joe get called up and off they go

Peter, Eric, Sam and Ned learning how to shoot men dead

George, he gets a piece of sky, has the knack and loves to fly

Bevin says – god rot his soul – I must go and fetch the coal.

The King gives you a uniform to make you look a man

I get told to turn up in the oldest clothes I can

Strangers think I’m conchie and this copper wants to know

Why I’m out of uniform – I’ll tell him where to go.

John and Jack and James and Joe get called up and off they go

Peter, Eric, Sam and Ned learning how to shoot men dead

George, he gets a piece of sky, has the knack and loves to fly

            Bevin says – god rot his soul – I must go and fetch the coal.    

Out of ten conscripted men the Army’s taken nine

Last one out the bag gets told he’s working down the mine.

Take your shot at glory then stand your battleground

Mine’s a different story where the cinder rock is found

John and Joe and James and Jack – went to fight and won’t be back

Peter, Eric, Ned and Sam don’t remember who I am

George, he got his piece of sky, died the way that heroes die

And Bevin says – god rot his soul – I must keep on fetching coal...

John and Jack and James and Joe get called up and off they go

Peter, Eric, Sam and Ned learning how to shoot men dead

George, he gets a piece of sky, has the knack and loves to fly

Bevin says – god rot his soul – I must go and fetch the coal.

            Take away the Fuhrer’s toys; with coal you got from Bevin’s boys.

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Words & music by & © Talis Kimberley 5th October 2012

Inspired by Wartime Farm, episode 5

This was last week's episode - the segment where it was made clear that every bit of food the rats ate was one more bushel that the beleaguered merchant navy needed to bring ashore... no tune yet but I haven't gone looking yet.


MRS RAT

I charge you all good yeomen

That live on England’s farms

Take arms against the rats before

They do us all much harm

For every single bushel

The villains dare to eat

Is one more bushel added to

The burden of the fleet –

And it’s one more run in the teeth of Hitler’s guns

And it’s one more crew takes the risk for me and you

I charge you all good yeoman

That fight upon the land

The enemy are many and

The battle is at hand

Set traps, lay down the poison

Don’t let them settle, please

We don’t work night and day so Mrs

Rat can take her ease –

Set your traps, train your dogs, lay your poison, do your best

To rid England’s farms and granaries from this unwelcome guest.

I charge you all good yeomen

Whose brothers are at sea

Take arms against the rat before

They eat our hope of victory

For all the spoiled bushels

And all the eaten grain

Means one more merchant crew must

Run the gauntlet once again –

And it’s one more run in the teeth of Hitler’s guns

And it’s one more crew takes the risk for me and you

Set your traps, train your dogs, lay your poison, do your best

To rid England’s farms and granaries from this unwelcome guest.

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Words by & © Talis Kimberley 15th October 2012 

Inspired by Wartime Farm, episode 3

At least, I think it was episode 3 - the farmers dreading the visit by the man from the Min of Ag, who could take their land from them if he felt they weren't farming it well enough. We heard of the farmer who stayed put, was besieged and shot, and died later in hospital of his wounds. I wonder how many stories of that nature never got widely told? 

Tune's playing silly beggars on this one. Will catch up with scratch tracks soon, truly!

THERE’S A WAR ON

I walked the farm this morning as I’ve done these forty years

It’s not the bombs and bullets that inspires this sense of fear

And the fellow from the Ministry // he’s headed here

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

I spent the night out ploughing while he spent the night in bed

We’ve culled our cherished herds, done every damnfool thing they said

And if they mean to take my farm they’d better shoot me dead 

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

They said: ‘Plough!’ I said: ‘It’s marginal land, far too wet to turn.’ //

Too late now; they’re grading us today, that bridge is burned

            We’ve sown flax – though goodness knows if that will thrive, we’ve done our best //

            Bent our backs – jumped through all the hoops for this unwelcome guest

They don’t sow the crops, they don’t work the land but it’s them as calls the

Shots and it’s out of our hands         

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

You’ll find me in the farmyard with my dogs and with my gun

I’ve worked as hard as any since this bloody war’s begun

Here he comes to grade me... and tell me how I’ve done

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

Don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

I said don’t you know there’s a war on, don’t you know there’s a war on

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Words by & © Talis Kimberley 1st October 2012