Workington way, when lads left school,
'Twas just the pit or foundry beckoned,
Young Joe went down to hew the coal,
But not for long, so some folks reckoned.
For Joe could tackle hard and Joe could run,
He only needed time for growing,
And sood he'd signed his name to play,
And to the city moved away.
Now on the sports page he'd appear,
The idol of the local lasses.
Out on the field he played it fair,
While all the girls made forward passes.
Until another match turned all the heads
Jarrow lads v ruling classes
And with no future in it now,
It's home again and up The Brow
Back underground to hear no lark
For thirty years from dawn till evening
Until the coal had left its mark
And to the bank the earth returned him,
No more to sweat his days out in the dark.
Some years on top the dust had earned him,
And all the while the sickness grew,
Still he'd ask what he could do for you.
He'd do odd jobs for one and all,
Though snow was thick or rain was teeming
And all the world would seem to call.
The kettle never finished steaming.
'Reach up' He'd say 'by God you're looking thin'
While mischief in his eyes was gleaming.
'If Lizzie thinks you're hungry still,
They'll be nowt for us in her will.'
The day you left,I stayed outside
With scalding tears no comfort knowing.
We all turned up to say goodbye.
The church was filled to overflowing.
You'd never have believed it if you'd seen
How many people mourned your going,
And just how lucky folks could feel
To say they knew Joe Peel.
Words and music by Peter Bond.