Henry's Songbook

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No Use For Him

  • (Eric Bogle)

    They took away his job when they'd no use for him any more
    After nearly thirty years they kicked him out the door
    But they let him keep his Railway jacket, overcoat and cap
    And a pension of nine bob a week, he was lucky to get that
    But they nearly broke his heart when they'd no use for him

    My father was a big strong man, he worked hard all his life
    He was always in a whisky-glass, he was never out of strife
    A proud and stiff-necked man he was, he'd never bow nor bend
    He called no man his master, and very few his friend
    But they broke him in the end when they'd no use for him

    I spent much of my childhood time up in the signal box
    High in my father's castle, twenty feet above the tracks
    And crash!, would go the signals as he flicked them with his hand
    And the mighty cars of steam and steel would stop at his command
    And oh, but it was grand, when they had a use for him

    When you're fifty-five years old and you're looking for some work
    Nobody wants to know your face, no one gives you a start
    So I watched him growing older and more bitter every day
    As his pride and self-respect were slowly drained away
    There was nothing I could say, they had no use for him

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1975:] To my surprise [John Peyton] did not agree with my high opinion of Dick Beeching, but did not give his reasons. Over the railways, for which he is responsible, he says you can cut out lines that lose money and thus uncover more lines that lose money. It is like peeling an onion. You would end with no losses - and no railway. (Cecil King, Diary 1970-1974, Feb 26th, 1973, p 266)

  • [1977:] Written in February 1975. - After working for British Railways for nearly thirty years, my father was made redundant during a big economy drive to make the railways profitable [the Beeching Cuts, when more than 2,000 local railway stations were closed down]. To show their appreciation for all his years of service they allowed him to keep his railway uniform, which consisted of a jacket, cap, trousers, waistcoat and overcoat. They also gave him a choice of redundancy payment of seven hundred pounds in his hand or a pension of about nine shillings a week until death. He chose the lump sum, which was just as well because he was out of work for two years, which to a proud man like him was almost unbearable. He even refused unemployment pay, said he'd rather starve, which he nearly did. (Notes Eric Bogle, 'Live In Person')

  • [1979:] Vor einigen Jahren gab die englische Regierung einem Dr. Beeching den Auftrag, die britische Eisenbahn zu sanieren. Der Erfolg: Der Eisenbahnverkehr wurde reduziert und viele Eisenbahner verloren ihren "sicheren" Arbeitsplatz. Eric Bogles Song is Resultat dieser bitteren Erfahrung innerhalb seiner Familie. (Notes Iain MacKintosh, 'Straight to the Point')

  • [1981:] And people ask me why I'm a Socialist! (Notes Eric Bogle, 'Plain and Simple')

Quelle: Scotland

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 29.04.2002