The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36669   Message #2875463
Posted By: gnomad
30-Mar-10 - 06:57 AM
Thread Name: Anyone know of Tom Yates
Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNNY MARS THE KNOCKER (Tom Yates)
I have the 1977 LP "Songs of the Shimmering Way" which includes the song "If I Had a Boat", I picked it out of a remainders bin in HMV Hull around 1980. Just ten songs, and an unknown (to me) artist, but a bloody good mystery buy, which I still play occasionally. I knew and liked Capstick's cover of If I Had a Boat (recorded 1978 I see) and I think that was one of my reasons for buying the TY disc.

I never saw him in the flesh, I would have liked to do so.

No time now for a big transcription job (I think I did it once for Raggytash, but I don't have the files any longer) so just time for a short one I particularly like.

JOHNNY MARS THE KNOCKER
Tom Yates

Johnny Mars the Knocker, all his days a window-tapper,
Every working morning, in the hours before dawn,
"Eileen, arise Eileen, it's a frosty morning,
And the spinning room is spinning
And school awaits the childer."

Then off along the cobbles in his rickety-bandy walk,
Clip-clopping on his clog-runners, in his ratter's cap and cowl.
"Eileen, arise Eileen, it's a frosty morning,
And the spinning room is spinning
And school awaits the childer."

Sunrise was his hour, sunset was the time
To find him stagg'ring in the alley
With his Guinness in his hand;
Then speak of England, love of England,
Crying "Hearts of Englishmen!"
Then go dream of English women,
In solitude again.
But what Earthly use is anything?
Of what Earthly use is all this?
One slow fandango, Lancashire tango,
Give Johnny Mars a kiss.

Oh, there's coal lying in the mines,
And England's cold and wet,
But I wish there was an inch I could stand on
That I didn't have to fight to get.
"Eileen, arise Eileen, it's a frosty morning,
And the spinning room is spinning
And school awaits the childer."