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Man Of The Earth

  • (Bernie Parry)

       The man of the earth, the man of the soil
       In his lonely allotment he labours and toils
       There's not much to do since he turned sixty-five
       So he took to his garden to keep him alive
       And I think it's his joy and his pride

    Every day as I go through the old shanty town
    Where the sheds and allotments all stand
    I see an old man on his land
    With a rake or a spade in his hands
    And he's there in all weather
    In sunshine or rain and I hesitate as I go past
    Is he happy or sad with his task
    Oh I haven't the time for to ask

    Fifty years in the ironworks broke his will
    And his back and his shoulders are round
    There was no other work in the town
    So they had him both fettered and bound
    Then all of a sudden he turned sixty-five
    And his bosses said, Thank you my man
    And they stuck a gold watch in his hand
    And behind him the door quickly slammed

    Every Saturday evening he's down at the pub
    And he stands by himself at the bar
    Slowly sipping a solitary jar
    For the pension won't go very far
    So he sells a few things to his neighbours and friends
    A few of the things that he grows
    But he's got to watch out how he goes
    Or they'll stop all his pension he knows

    Every day as I go through the old shanty town
    Where the sheds and allotments all stand
    I see an old man on his land
    With a rake or a spade in his hands
    But I really can't linger I must be gone
    For I work in the ironworks too
    I started there five years ago
    Only forty-five more to go

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1995:] God willing, when I retire I'm going to live on an allotment. I learned this song from the writer, Bernie Parry, back in the early 70s. (Notes Vin Garbutt, 'Plugged!')

  • [2000:] Bernie was thinking of his father when he wrote it. I remember the first time I saw him, in a singaround, in Whitby I think. "People think Vin Garbutt wrote this song, but I did" he said - and sang Man of the Earth [...]. One thing that always strikes me is that this song is set in its time now, and that's a world away from today: "I work in the iron works too I started there five years ago, only forty five more years to go." No one could write those lines now. The job for life and the ironworks and so forth are gone, for good or ill. It's get-by-how-you-may time now. (McGrath of Harlow, http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=25303#298753 , 16 Sep)

Quelle: England

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