Mudcat Café message #2739482 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #124118   Message #2739482
Posted By: Mick Pearce (MCP)
06-Oct-09 - 08:04 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Oller Boller (Bill Caddick)
Subject: Lyr Add: OLLER BOLLER (Bill Caddick)
David - here's my transcription. I had a listen again and only changed about two words in my ancient transcription (I could decipher my handwriting once I heard the song again). It's a particularly clear recording and must have been easy to get the words even before access to modern digital technology.

There's only one word I'm not sure about, in the second line of verse 2, which I've transcribed as fodes. I had Spodes in my original transcription, but it definitely sounds like fodes. Whether that's should be a maker's name or some Black Country arcana I don't know (they'm a leery bunch), but I've no doubt yourself or some other native may be able to fix it up.

The only slight problem I had is in the last verse, 3 lines from the end. I can't decide if it's Jack rap the door as another game name, or Jack rapped the door as an action. I favour the first, but I'm not quite sure.


(Bill Caddick)

This is the place I was born,
Though little is left of the life that we had.
Caddick Street's all been pulled down
But seeing it now still makes me think how
We had good times when I was a lad:
Gaslight dim and moonlight bright,
The corner kids were out at night,
Hide and seeking out of sight
And shouting "Oller, Boller".

  Oller, Boller.
  If you don't come then I must foller.
  Oller, Boller.
  Oller, Boller.

We shared a muddy backyard
With its lavatory fodes(?) and a tumbledown well;
Out playground most of the day,
But when gaslight glowed it's into the road
We rushed like the bats out of Hell.
Running, walking, slip and sliding,
Hide-and-seek with the gaslight guiding
And creeping deeper into hiding
I'm hearing the "Oller, Boller".


I remember the brewing days
When the smell from the bruces was filling the air.
There were riddles and mash in the yard
And at night each man had a glass in his hand
And we played for as long as we cared.
Happy, dirty, half-asleeping,
In the darkness children creeping,
Hide your face and don't get peeping,
Then come with your "Oller, Boller".


  Where's Hobson's funny dog? They couldn't take it in a flat.
  Is Alf the barber singeing heads? No, there's no longer call for that.
  Is old Lucy on the step? No, she died so long ago.
  Is The Druid selling home-brew? No, they come and laid it low.
  Pop along to Hardmill's shop? They pulled it down in Sixty-Eight.
  Well let's go down to the old fields. No you can't - it's an estate.
  Well, where's The Rifle? Where's Aunt Charlotte's? Where's the house where I was reared?
  Where's St.Mary's? Where's old Lime Street? Where's the whole world disappeared?

  'Cause I'm standing on this corner where we used to meet before
  And I'm shouting "Oller, Boller", but I can't find you any more.
  Oh, I can't find you any more.

The gas lamp was taken down.
The bright new light laid suddenly bare
The patched up place where we lived:
The shadows were gone, the new night shone,
And childhood hid from the glare.
Tip-cat, Queenie, I kicked the can,
Jack rap(ped?) the door and off you ran,
Gone are the nights and games so grand.
I can't find you. "Oller, Boller".


Source: Bill Caddick, LP, Rough Music