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(Dave Goulder)

When the signals were green, did you sit by 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 drivin' wheels under your feet
And shovel a mountain of coal?

Well, they've silenced the whistle, the coal is all burned
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 a smouldering back
Runs away at the sound of a train

Oh Britannias and Jubilees, 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 steam racer'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
Their story is over, the giants are dead
And the jackals are pickin' the bones

Source: 'From the album Dave Goulder and Liz Dyer 'January Man'.

Britannias were post-war 4-6-2 express engines, built by the nationalised
British Railways. Oliver Cromwell was one of the Britannia class
Jubilees were 4-6-0s, introduced in the mid-1930s by the LMSR
Compounds probably means the 4-4-0 Midland Railway compounds (pre WW1)
Crabs were powerful (for UK) 2-6-0 mixed traffic locos introduced about 1930 on
the LMSR
Mallard was a streamlined A4 Pacific (4-6-2) of the LNER

@train @railroad
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