The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #150286   Message #3501320
Posted By: GUEST,Mick Tems, cookieless
10-Apr-13 - 06:08 AM
Thread Name: Songs About Thatcher
Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF THE M4 CONVOY (Mick Tems)
I was working as a journalist during the year-long Miners' Strike, when colliery workers took on Thatcher in defiant protest at the blatant destruction of the pits. I was late for work one day; police had closed the entire M4 motorway between Port Talbot and Llanwern to outflank the pickets, who were preventing coke being delivered to the South Wales steel industry. As I pulled onto the M4, police flagged me down and forced me to stop. I had an amazing grandstand view as lorry after lorry thundered past me, all laden with coke. I tried to count them, but there were too many - 150? Thatcher's government had even taken on old mothballed lorries destined for the scrapyard. The heavy police presence was startling. I realised that Thatcher was waging war not only against the miners, but the whole Welsh nation. I wrote a song, and called it...


THE BALLAD OF THE M4 CONVOY

CHORUS: Stand up for Law and for Order,
Stand up for our bold Mrs T,
If it wasn't for us brave lorry drivers
Then where would this fine country be?

Well, I'm glad that I voted for Maggie, it's been so hard on us businessmen,
But with enterprise for our watchword it's all getting better again.
For my lorries are all out of mothballs, and the cobwebs swept under our feet,
And we're rolling away from Port Talbot with the sarge in the shotgun seat.

The wheels of our lorries are turning, and the wheels of industry, too,
There isn't much tread, and these old tyres could shred, but what can a poor driver do?
I wish I could stop for a kip now, we've been going for sixteen hours straight,
If the tachograph weren't disconnected I'd be putting my head on a plate.

Well, it's tough when you're earning your living to keep everything just as you should;
The steering could with replacing, and the horn and the lights ain't too good.
The brakes are a wee bit uneven, and these chassis do tend to corrode;
But we're fifteen tons over the limit, so that holds us down on the road.

It's a grind up the hills around Newport, so we use all three lanes as we crawl,
But it's eighty at least down to Coldra, so get out of the way, one and all.
With the money I get from this contract, I could pay off the lorry's road tax;
And this driving means plenty of practice for when I get my license back.

There's a Range Rover packed full of coppers in front of the very first truck;
There's a police car or two right behind us, and a few in the middle for luck.
They don't mind if we don't all act legal, if we did then we'd never roll in
But if a miner should dare wave a banner well it's law and it's order for him!

CHORUS: Stand up for Law and for Order,
Stand up for our bold Mrs T,
If it wasn't for us brave lorry drivers
Then where would this fine country be?


Mick Tems, 1984