'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tyne


I do like Mark Knopfler and Jimmy Nail, and heard this lovely song for the first time yesterday. So while I'm wandering down Memory Lane, and dedicated to all you Northerners, here are the words and a vid clip.



Big River
- Jimmy Nail

Walking on cobbled stones, little bits of skin and bone,
Jumping on a tram car for a ride.
I can remember then, I was a just a boy of ten,
Hanging around the old quayside.
Now all the capstans and the cargo boats
And stevedores are gone
To where all the old ships go -
But memories, just like the seas live on.

'Cause that was when coal was king
The river was a living thing
And I was just a boy but it was mine
The coaly Tyne.

For this was a big river,
I want you all to know
That I was proud.
This was a big river
But that was long ago -
That's not now, that's not now.

My father was working man
He earned our living with his hands.
He had to cross the river every day.
He picked up a union card, out of the Neptune yard,
Mouths to feed and bills to pay.
There came a time for him to sail across the seas and far away
And finally when that war was won
They brought him home and home he stayed.

And when his days were done
Under a golden sun,
They took him back to where he longed to be,
Back to the sea.

For this was a big river,
I want you all to know
That I was proud.
This was a big river
But that was long ago -
That's not now, that's not now.
That's not now.

The Neptune was the last to go,
I heard it on my radio,
And then they played the latest number one.
But what do they do all day
And what are they supposed to say.
What does a father tell his son?
If you believe that there's a bond between our future and our past,
Try to hold on to what we have.
We build them strong, we built to last.

'Cause this is a mighty town,
Built upon solid ground
And everything they've tried so hard to kill,
We will rebuild.

For this was a big river,
I want you all to know I'm so very proud.
This was a big river,
But that was long ago,
That's not now.
And this is a big, big river
And in my heart I know it will rise again
The river will rise again.


2 comments:

  1. Thank you. I didn't know that song but it has special resonance for me as my step-grandfather Jock was a Geordie and was apprenticed at the age of fourteen to become a Tyneside shipwright. One of the regrets of my life is that I never located his handwritten apprenticeship indenture papers which he promised I would have after his death.

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  2. Hmmm, they would have been lovely to have.

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