The January Man

The January man he walks abroad
In woollen coat and boots of leather
The February man still shakes the snow
From off his hair and blows his hands
The man of March he sees the Spring and
Wonders what the year will bring
And hopes for better weather

Through April rains the man goes down
To watch the birds come in to share the summer
The man of May stands very still
Watching the children dance away the day
In June the man inside the man is young
And wants to lend a hand
And grins at each new comer

And in July the man in cotton shirt
He sits and thinks on being idle
The August man in thousands takes the road
To watch the sea and find the sun
September man is standing near
To saddle up and lead the year
And Autumn is his bridle

The man of new October takes the reins
And early frost is on his shoulder
The poor November man sees fire and wind
And mist and rain and Winter air
December man looks through the snow
To let eleven brothers know
They're all a little older

And the January man comes round again
In woollen coat and boots of leather
To take another turn and walk along
The icy road he knows so well
The January man is here for
Starting each and every year
Along the way forever

£3.50 The complete book of
lyrics to accompany
the "January Man" cd is
also available to order.


Cold Kestrel

Oh, the falcon and the farmer’s son both sat down to eat their fill
But neither saw the poison on the kill. – Now the farmer’s son has fled,
To ease his aching head, and the falcon on the fell is newly dead.

Cold Kestrel lying on the ground under the sharp November rain
Rise up and climb into the wind again.
Who left you lying there? Were you murdered in the air
Or a victim of the cruel and cunning snare?

Cold Kestrel, out up on the moor – why should you be lying dead,
When yesterday you hunted overhead? How could you understand
The poison on the land, or the man who holds your slaughter in his hand?

Cold Kestrel in the afternoon, we saw you as you sought and slew
The fieldmouse and the cockroach and the shrew.
But fate has brought you down to the saturated ground,
To lie until your feathered bones are drowned.

Cold Kestrel – dead upon the moss. The cost of ignorance is clear.
Your requiem is for the world to hear.
We’ll spike the madman’s gun. The murderers will run
And we’ll hound them till their persecution’s done.

Oh, the falcon and the farmer’s son both sat down to eat their fill.
But neither saw the poison on the kill. Now the farmer’s son has fled,
To ease his aching head, and the falcon on the fell is newly dead.


Lakes Weekend

When a man is chained to his trade he gains but little pleasure.
Through the working week he’ll only speak of the hours of leisure,
And every day in the urban grey just seems to hang suspended
Till the whistle blows and the gates are closed, and the week is ended.

So you pack your bag from the hills of slag to the hills of heather,
And head for where there’s fresher air and fickle weather.
Maybe to laze in the summer days when all the fields are yellow,
Or to stand alone on half a mile of stone, and feel the wind blow.

On the crooked arm of Ullswater, with the hills before you,
You hump your load on the open road – but the cars ignore you.
You stop to eat, and sometimes meet the men who scorn and doubt you,
Who then, pallid faced and belly braced, drive on without you.

Oh, to join a band of mountain men – is for the wary;
But with a friend on the Gable’s end is a private glory
To know the feel of rope and steel secure and safe behind you.
But you turn and face the empty space – just to remind you.

And when the wind comes howling down the glen to freeze the marrow,
You blow your hands and shelve your plans until tomorrow.
But with the dawn, the hills are gone; and the mist is in the hollow.
So you drink your fill at the Dungeon Ghyl with the other fellows.

Ah, but time is short, so you seek your sport between the showers,
Tied to a spike on the Scafell Pike in your final hours.
At Applethwaite you leave your mate to scramble on the Blencathra.
He’s a lucky sod; and you wish to God you could follow after.

Oh, forget your pay and your work, and stay for another morning.
Too much to lose – so you’d better choose to be returning.
You hesitate at the station gate, and wonder who’s mistaken.
But the whistle blows, and the doors are closed – and the choice is taken.


Seven Summers

It was a long wet year
But still she looked for summer
Grown weary waiting for the sun
She saw the sodden fledglings fasten to the trees
And corn lie flat in fields
Each of her seven years
Had summers to remember
Long afternoons in waterfalls
Journeys over Minches; scrambles over hills
And nights spent out of doors
But March stayed around till June
And April passed un-noticed
July hurried in grey holidays
Wellingtons and raincoats, friends would call around
And play at winter games
Clouds stirred around by wind
And sun was framed in showers
Eager to run in summer sand
She never bared her body, never shed a sleeve
Her paths are lost in weeds
No chance of summer now
She saw the geese returning
Fieldfares are in the swallow skies
Not a lot in sense in hurrying from school
When all the light is done
It was a long wet year


The Carpenter and the Sexton

In the month of July when the weather was fair,
The carpenter’s lady was taking air.
She never looked back, oh she must have been blind.
Her husband was there, her husband was there;
He was creeping behind.

Down to the churchyard and in through the gate,
The lecherous sexton was lying in wait.
He crept up behind her and tickled her chin;
And both of them knew, and both of them knew,
It was time to begin.

So there on the tombstone they fumbled and played;
The husband looked on as his missus was laid.
He sat and he watched till the passion was past;
‘Twas not for the first time, not for the first time;
But surely the last.

The sexton was sleeping, his arse in the air.
The carpenter quickly abandoned his lair.
He took out his razor and made up his mind,
And was carving his name, was carving his name
On the other’s behind.

O the sexton cried out, as he scrambled in vain
Over the tombstones, away from the pain.
He cursed at the ground and insulted the sky;
And each of them swore, and each of them swore
That the other should die.

So the carpenter went for his chisel and blade;
The sexton was honing the edge of his spade.
And driven by jealousy, anger and pain,
They hacked at each other, hacked at each other
Like butchers insane.

The sexton was missing a nose and a toe;
The carpenter’s bowels were beginning to show.
But there with the dead at the edge of the town
They fought till the blood, they fought till the blood
Was like dew on the ground.

They were found in the morning. The sexton was slain,
But his spade had divided the carpenter’s brain.
His widow, she heard of his death by a chance,
Amusing the bishop, amusing the bishop,
Upstairs in the manse.


The Easter tree

Rain falls upon the Easter Tree, the squirrel shakes his head
And shivers in his red and sodden fur
The wind and water flatten out his ears and force his streaming eyes to close

The smell of death is heavy in his nose

The sun dries out the Easter Tree, the rabbit looks around
Sees a shadow on the ground and runs for home
A songbird finds a strange and novel perch to shout his challenge to the day

The hair beneath his feet is turning grey

Yes a man hangs from the Easter Tree, his death bed is a rope
Or strong nails have killed his hopes of climbing down
His jaws are locked in agony, or open for the flies to come and go

His eyes are in the belly of the crow

A dog sits by the Easter Tree, beneath the naked heels
His master or his meal will surely fall
When the rope is broken by the wind, or the rusty nails release their withered load

Then the dog, well fed, continues down the road

Bones lie beneath the Easter Tree, the skulls now full of sand
Could never understand the reason why
The thread of life was broken by a hand that never cared to know their names

They played and lost in someone else’s game

The leaves upon the Easter Tree are red with human blood
Since justice chose the wood to make a sword
For when a man was hanged at Tyburn Tree, or crucified along the road to Rome

His blood and tears have stained the face of stone


These Dry Stone Walls

These miles of dry stone walls
That hold in ploughed brown fields and kingly halls
The dead of centuries in hills of sand
The stones that bind them
Are proud as what lies behind them
And varied as the counties in this curious land

In Cumberland they built them
On hills that surely must have killed them
Through broom and juniper and stunted ling
Two thousand feet over
With just a tarpaulin cover
They sat through wind and rain and waited for the spring

In Aberdeenshire valleys
The fields were only open quarries
The stone was gathered up and made to stand
But with every ploughing,
You’d think it was stone they were sowing
The walls grew fatter here than any in the land

The Irish built in courses
Of single stones the size of horses
Of glacial boulders without edge or face
And if you could view them
Above, with sun lighting through them
You’d swear the hills were edged with broken granite lace

When Pict and Viking took
Stone pages from some prehistoric book
Of sandy flagstone under Orkney fields
They lingered a-while, and
Left history in the islands
This is what water, wind and time and toil reveal

From Yorkshire’s limestone dales
Through Derbyshire, to the coast of Wales
Or Shetland’s salty rocks to Devon lanes
Just look and discover
Two walls that lean against each other
You’ll never see them in quite the same way again


Requiem for Steam

When the signals were green did you sit by the line
And watch for the fire in the sky
Then a scream and a roar and the shivering ground
And old Oliver Cromwell goes by
Did you fancy your hand at the throttle and brake
With the steam driven into your soul
Or to stand with the driving wheels under your feet
And shovel a mountain of coal

Well they've silenced the whistle; the coal is all burned
And they've buried the ashes for good
They've torn up the loop, and there's only a scar
To show where the water-crane stood
But the birch and the elder still follow the track
Standing black in the smoke and the rain
And the poor little sheep with the smouldering back
Runs away at the sound of a train

O Britannias and Jubillees, Compounds and Crabs
Have been taken away from the shed
And along with the clipper, the coach and the cab
They speak of an age that is dead
For some are away to be mounted and stuffed
While others are butchered and sold
And the steamraiser's gone for the very last time
And his brazier's broken and cold

Well I've given me kettle and me old tin can
To a lad for a souvenir
And I'd trade in me shovel for twenty fags
Or the price of a bottle of beer
For the Scotsman has come to the end of his run
And Mallard is cold as the stone
The story is over, the giants are dead
And the jackals are picking the bones


I'm the Man who Put the Engine in the Chip Shop

I started as a cleaner back in nineteen forty nine
I planned to spend me life just working up and down the line
Devoted to the company till the driver's seat was mine
I never thought that it would be me downfall
I was working on the night shift with nothing much to do
I sloped off out of the foreman's sight, well really, wouldn't you?
I came across a number four just waiting for the crew
And I clambered on the footplate like a driver

Chorus: I'm the man who put the engine in the chip shop
And wherever I go me legend follows me
But as I watch the trains go by and lean upon me brush
I know I've made me mark on history

She hadn't got much steam up so I filled her up with coal
Released the brake and opened up the 'reg' to make her roll
But she wouldn't budge an inch, and when I heard the foreman call
I left her where she was and ran for cover
The sun was just appearing when the shedman went his round
He was back inside a minute with a puzzled sort of frown
He said, "I've lost a number four; have you seen one around?"
And I nearly filled me trousers when he asked me

'Cos I'm the man who...

Well me stoking was impeccable; the steam had risen fast
With the regulator open she began to move at last
And a guard fell off his bicycle when he saw her rolling past
For he couldn't see a fireman or a driver
She took off down the main line going faster by the yard
The signalman responded to a phone call from the guard
Set the signals all at danger, then he cursed himself so hard
There was no-one on the footplate who could see them

I'm the man who...

She continued on her journey through the morning countryside
Collecting sets of crossing gates, she carried them with pride
Till at last they set the points to get the runaway inside
And she headed for the buffers at the station
The buffers never stood a chance, she wore them like a crown
A wooden fence, a footbridge and a telegraph pole went down
Then she took to the highway and went on towards the town
But she couldn't bring herself to pass the chip shop

I'm the man who...

She entered by the side door, and there she came to rest
They made her safe and then went off to find the guilty pest
It wasn't long before they tracked me down and I confessed
To being the man who put the engine in the chip shop

I'm the man who...

Copyright © by Dave Goulder All Rights Reserved.