The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128690   Message #2892042
Posted By: Jim Dixon
22-Apr-10 - 09:39 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Ballad of Joe Brown (Tom Patey)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE JOE BROWN SONG (Tom Patey)
From One Man's Mountains: Essays and Verses by Tom Patey (Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 1997), page 270:

[Words: Tom Patey] Tune: NORTH TO ALASKA

1. Many tales are told of climbers bold
Who perished in the snow,
But this is a rhyme of the rise to fame
Of a working lad named Joe.
He came from good old Manchester,
That quaint old-fashioned town,
And his name became a legend—
The legend of Joe Brown.

CHORUS: We've sung it once. We'll sing it twice.
He's the hardest man in the Rock and Ice.
He's marvelous. He's fabulous.
He's a wonder man, is Joe.

2. He first laid hand upon a crag
In the year of forty-nine.
He'd nowt but pluck, beginner's luck,
And his mother's washing line.
He scaled the gritstone classics
With unprecedented skill.
His fame soon reached the Gwryd,
Likewise the Dungeon Ghyll.

3. In the shadow of Dinas Cromlech,
Where luckless leaders fall,
The corner it was towering high
And Joe uncommon small;
But his heart was as big as the mountain
And his nerves were made of steel.
It had to go, or so would Joe,
In a monumental peel.

4. He crossed the sea to Chamonix,
And to show what he could do,
He knocked three days off the record time
For the west face of the Dru.
On the unclimbed face of the Blaitiere,
The crux had tumbled down,
But he cracked the crux by the crucial crack
Now known as the fissure Brown.

5. When Evans raised his volunteers
For faraway Nepal,
'Twas young Joe Brown that hurried down
To rally to the call.
On mighty Kanchenjunga
His country's banners blow,
And the lad that raised the standard
Was known by the name of Joe.

6. In the cold, cold Karakorum,
Where crags are five miles high,
The best in France had seen the chance
To pass us on the sly.
You may talk of Keller, Contamine,
Magnone, and Paragot.
The man of the hour on the Muztagh Tower
Was known by the name of Joe.

7. With Colonel Hunt on the Russian front
He paved the paths of peace
And helped to bridge the gulf that lay
Between the west and east,
That climbers all might brothers be
In the kingdom of the snow,
And the lad who led the summit talks
Was known as Comrade Joe.

8. He's happy as an eagle
Soaring up the face,
Swinging his étriers
On a thousand feet of space.
You should see him grin where the holds are thin
On an overhanging wall.
He's known to every nig-nog
As the man who'll never fall.

9. He's like a human spider
Clinging to the wall—
Suction, faith and friction,
And nothing else at all;
But the secret of his success
Is his most amazing knack
Of hanging from a hand-jam
In an overhanging crack.

10. But now Joe Brown has settled down
To raise a family.
He's wedded to a local lass
By name of Valerie;
But he sometimes takes his exercise
On Cloggy's gentle heights
When he isn't exercising
His matrimonial rights.

11. Some say Joe Brown is sinking down
To mediocrity.
He even climbs with useless types
Like Dennis Gray and me.
He's lost the pace to stay the race
And keep up with the van,
And Baron Brown, that tragic clown,
Is now an also-ran.

CHORUS: They sung it once; let that suffice
For the faded flower of the rock & ice.
What's he doing? He's canoeing!
Old long-gone hand-jam Joe.

12. Thus said Martin Boysen
And young Bas Ingle, too,
Ranting Allan Austen,
And Peter "Motley" Crew,
When from the outer darkness
A voice like thunder spake,
As Baron Brown, with troubled frown,
From slumber did awake.

CHORUS: He showed 'em once. He'll show 'em twice,
The grand old man of the rock and ice.
He's marvelous. He's fabulous.
He's a wonder man, is Joe.