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Need Help: Band in the Park (Alan Bell)

DigiTrad:
ALICE WHITE
BREAD AND FISHES
FAIR STOOD THE WIND
WHEN FIRST WE MET
WINDMILL


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Joe Offer 30 Jun 22 - 11:48 PM
Helen 01 Jul 22 - 12:29 AM
Harry Rivers 01 Jul 22 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,henryp 04 Jul 22 - 08:58 AM
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Subject: Need Help: Band in the Park (Alan Bell)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 22 - 11:48 PM

I'm transcribing all the songs in Alan Bell: The Definitive Collection, but I'm having trouble understanding some of the lyrics. I'm going to try something new. I'll post what I have so far here in this thread, and hope the rest of you can help me. When we have satisfactory lyrics, I'll delete this thread and post the corrected lyrics in the other thread.

THE BAND IN THE PARK
(Alan Bell)

A young lad went courting one bright afternoon
So smart as he stepped into town;
His boots shone like glass and they creaked as he walked,
And he wore his flat (?) cap like a crown.
In a row of terraced (?) houses, each one swept so clean,
A young lass peeped through curtain lace;
When he turned 'round the corner, she reached for her coat,
A welcoming smile on her face.

CHORUS
For the band in the park played an old-fashioned waltz,
As they strolled through the gate hand in hand;
And they laughed and they chatted to the people they knew,
To the strains of their favorite brass band.
While the kids were so noisy as they swung on the swings,
Men played so quietly at balls;
Old ladies looked on, or just dozed in the sun,
As the band played an old-fashioned waltz.

When they were married, they soon settled down
To a life that suited them both well,
Though times were so hard, and money was scarce,
He did best as he could (with the world???).
Then came all the children, two boys and a girl,
He said they were the light of his life;
And for a treat on a Sunday, if the weather was fine,
He'd step out once more with his wife.
CHORUS - For the band...

Then came the war, he was soon called away
To fight for his country and king;
He fought through the desert, and Italy's rain (?),
And learnt as a soldier to sing.
Of "Lili Marlene" and "The White Cliffs of Dover,"
And all of his mates, "Bless 'Em All";
But when he was lonely, with the letters from home,
There was only one time he'd recall.
CHORUS - When the band...

When it was finished, he laid down his gun,
Six years of his life had passed by;
His kids didn't know him, a stranger to them,
But his wife was so happy she cried.
He soon set about him (?) to build a new life,
For that's what he'd fought for and won;
To watch o'er his children and give them a chance,
Yet as soon they had grown up and gone.
Now, too, he has passed on and his wife lives alone,
In the house where it started, so cold (?)
His boots shine like glass, for she cleans them (at stone??)
And his cap hangs behind the front door.
Her grandchildren cheer her whenever they call,
And she's happy to join in their games;
She keeps herself busy with the old people's club,
But somehow it's not quite the same.
CHORUS - When the band...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65t6a879NXE


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Subject: RE: Need Help: Band in the Park (Alan Bell)
From: Helen
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 12:29 AM

Chorus: 6th line

I think it is "bowls" and not "balls".

Though times were so hard, and money was scarce,
He did best as he could (with the world???)

- "with a will" (i.e determination)

But his wife was so happy she cried.
He soon set about him (?) to build a new life,

- I think it is "him" but it doesn't make sense so someone else might know

Now, too, he has passed on and his wife lives alone,
In the house where it started, so cold (?)

- I think it's "they started so poor"

His boots shine like glass, for she cleans them (at stone??)

- "cleans them up still"

Well, that's what it all sounded like to me, an Aussie.


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Subject: RE: Need Help: Band in the Park (Alan Bell)
From: Harry Rivers
Date: 01 Jul 22 - 05:57 AM

A young lad went courting one bright afternoon
So smart as he stepped into town;
His boots shone like glass and they creaked as he walked,
And he wore his flat cap like a crown.
In a row of terraced houses, each front step so clean,
A young lass peeped through curtain lace;
When he turned 'round the corner, she reached for her coat,
A welcoming smile on her face.

CHORUS
For the band in the park played an old-fashioned waltz,
As they strolled through the gates hand in hand;
And they laughed and they chatted to the people they knew,
To the strains of their favorite brass band.
While the kids were so noisy as they swung on the swings,
Men played so quietly at bowls;
Old ladies looked on, or just dozed in the sun,
As the band played an old-fashioned waltz.

When they were married, they soon settled down
To a life that suited them both well,
Though times were so hard, and money was scarce,
He did best as he could with a will.
Then came all the children, two boys and a girl,
He said they were the light of his life;
And for a treat on a Sunday, if the weather was fine,
He'd step out once more with his wife.

CHORUS

Then came the war, and he was soon called away
To fight for his Country and King;
He fought through the desert, and Italy's rain,
And learnt as a soldier to sing.
Of "Lili Marlene" and "The White Cliffs of Dover,"
And all of his mates, "Bless 'Em All";
But when he was lonely, with the letters from home,
There was only one time he'd recall.

CHORUS

When it was finished, he laid down his gun,
Six years of his life had passed by;
His kids didn't know him, a stranger to them,
But his wife was so happy she cried.
He soon set about him to build a new life,
For that's what he'd fought for and won;
To watch o'er his children and give them a chance,
Yet as soon they had grown up and gone.

CHORUS

Now, too, he has passed on and his wife lives alone,
In the house where it started, so poor.
His boots shine like glass, for she cleans them up still
And his cap hangs beside the front door.
Her grandchildren cheer her whenever they call,
And she's happy to join in their games;
She keeps herself busy with the old people's club,
But somehow it's not quite the same.

CHORUS


In his introduction, Alan Bell writes:

"By listening to the stories told by my parents and aunts and uncles, of their lives in the 1930s, I became fascinated as to how ordinary working people coped with living through such hard time. Not long after the great depression, and then straight into World War Two, my uncle Jack for instance, was called up into the Army in 1939, to re-appear six years later in 1945. Older and wiser, and yet somehow, he hadn't lost his droll sense of northern humour and wit. This song was written for him, Jack."


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Subject: RE: Need Help: Band in the Park (Alan Bell)
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 04 Jul 22 - 08:58 AM

"In a row of terraced houses, each front step so clean"

Housewives were very proud of their clean front-door step!

https://www.silversurfers.com/nostalgia/doing-the-step-with-a-donkey-stone/ Donkey stones


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