The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #128515   Message #3288781
Posted By: Richard from Liverpool
11-Jan-12 - 12:39 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Moses of the Mail (not MacColl)
Subject: Lyr Add: Moses of the Mail
Reinhard asked for the printed version of this song from The Shuttle and Cage a year and a half ago - well, I'm a bit late to the party, but here it is, together with the acommpanying note

Moses of the Mail
Collated from three versions collected at Newton Heath Loco Shed, Manchester. Moses was the nickname of Henry Poyser, engine driver on the Manchester-Warrington run in the '80s.

It was a dark and stormy night,
The snow was falling fast
I stood on Thorpebridge Junction
Where the reckless Moses passed,
His hair was wildly waving
As thro' the air he sped;
He'd never had such doings
Since he'd started at the shed.

The signals all at Newton Heath,
The shed was close at hand;
He sent his mate for some more oil
And a couple of bags of sand.
At Moston's dreary cutting
The struggle was extreme -
Both front tenders failed to work
And the engine wouldn't steam.

On passing Hopwood cabin,
He heard the engine groan
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. and Y.
For forty years or more,
But such a wretched night as this
I've never seen before."
At Hebden Bridge they stopped the train
Some wagons to re-load,
And Moses shouted to his mate,
"We're off the blooming road!"

Up came old Moses, stick in hand,
His head hung down with grief;
He viewed the scene contemptuously
And then wired for relief.
"Pray don't lay violent hands on me!"
Poor Valentine did exclaim:
"I know you've done your very best -
I know you're not to blame."

The flowers may bud and bloom 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."
Those were, I'm told, the very last
Pathetic words of Moses.