The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128515   Message #2878126
Posted By: Reinhard
02-Apr-10 - 11:30 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Moses of the Mail (not MacColl)
Subject: Lyr Add: MOSES OF THE MAIL
Ewan MacColl's version on the 1957 LP "Shuttle and Cage" (reissued in 1964 on "Steam Whistle Ballads") and Tony Rose's version on the Broadside LP "Steam Ballads" are nearly the same; only a few word differ. The latter album cites MacColl's book "Shuttle and Cage" as source, too.

This is my attempt at a transcription; you will probably want to correct some mis-hearings:

It was a dark and stormy night and snow was falling fast
I stood on Thorpbridge Junction while the reckless Moses passed
His hair was widely waving as through the air he sped
He'd never had such doings since he started up the shed

The signals sat at mute and heath the shed was close at hand
He sent his mate for some more oil and a couple of bags of sand
At Mostom's dreary cutting the struggle was extreme
Both front tenders failed to work and the engine wouldn't steam

On passing up Wood Cabin he heard the engine growl
And reaching for the tallow pot He broke his collarbone
When Castleton appeared in view he shook his weary head
And stepping over to his mate this is what he said

I've worked upon the L&Y for forty years or more
But such a wretched night as this I've never had before
At Hepton Bridge they stopped the train some wagons to reload
And Moses shouted to his mate, We're off the blooming road

Up came old Moses sticking hand, his head hung down with grief
He viewed the scene contemptuously, then wired for relief
Pray don't lie iron hands on me poor Valentine did exclaim
I know you've done your very best, I know you're not to blame

Now flowers may bud and boom in spring and memories fade away
But they will not forget that night until their dying day.
But when I'm dead and laid to rest place on my grave sweet roses,
These were, I'm told, the very last pathetic words of Moses.