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Lyr Add: New song about trolleybuses

Steve Parkes 07 Nov 02 - 07:02 AM
Train Guard 07 Nov 02 - 11:44 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BALLAD OF NEIL WILLIAMS
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 07:02 AM

This is a true story that really happened. Only the name of the driver has been changed to protect the guilty. Well, maybe the date and the route are a bit inaccurate too (after all, I made them up); but the fundamentals are true and correct: this really happened in Walsall some years ago (even the repeat performance!). And friends, I know, for I was that trolleybus. Oh, and it goes, more or less, to the tune of "The Wreck on the C&O".

Steve

THE BALLAD OF NEIL WILLIAMS
or, "Bang! Bang! Bang!" went the trolley

Come all you bold bus drivers and hear my tale of woe
Concerning of an incident that happened long ago.
My name it is Neil Williams, to you I will reveal;
A story I will tell to you of my days behind the wheel.

'Twas for Walsall Corporat-i-on, in the year of '72.
I was driving semi-dies-i-els along route 32,
From Walsall via Bloxwich, and on to Lower Farm;
Never thinking that a bus driver could come to any harm.

Then one day at the bus depot the boss he sent for me.
He says to me "Young Williams, we've a job for you," says he;
"There's three men sick and no relief, and no end in sight I see,
So I'm putting you on the trolleys with effect immediately."

If you've never seen a trolleybus, it's a wonder to behold:
Overhead are two stout wires, to each a sturdy pole.
The trolleybus rolls on its route, be they straightly roads or bendily,
No noise and no pollut-i-on, environment'lly friendily.

'Twas on one Friday morning my Nemesis awaited.
The clouds were slowly parting, the rain it had abated.
As we pulled into Stafford Street, the road was damp and grey,
It was a day no different from any other day.

When we turned round at Lower Farm we were making very good time,
Though when we got to Bloxwich we were starting to fall behind.
But when Pratt's Bridge we crested we'd no passengers to alight;
It was all downhill on the homeward straight, and I thought we'd be alright.

I picked up speed along the slope and we began to fly,
When up ahead at the bus stop a trolleybus I did spy.
No time to lose, I swung the wheel the bus to overtake;
That was when, I think you'll agree, I made a big mistake.

It seemed for an awful moment that the lid had come off Hell:
With a crash and a bang the trolleys came off, the poles flew up as well!
We ground to an ignominious halt in the middle of the street;
The terrified passengers had to finish the journey on their feet.

I came to work next morning, a sadder, wiser bloke.
The drivers and conductors thought it all a very fine joke.
I carried out my duties with a chastened air and meek;
But damned if I didn't go and do it again the very next week!


Words (C) Steve Parkes 2002


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Subject: Lyr Add: MEMORIES AND METROLINK
From: Train Guard
Date: 07 Nov 02 - 11:44 AM

And in return......a song about trams (in Manchester!).

    Memories and Metrolink

   I'll sing you a tale of some heroes,
   Who proved a great boon to man,
   But heroes now barely remembered,
   Who gave you the gift of the tram!

   Chorus
   Sing toury aye oury aye annie,
   Sing toury aye oury aye eh,
   Sing toury aye oury aye annie,
   Now Metrolink's here for to stay!

   We'll start with old John Greenwood,
   In Salford he made such a fuss!
   With his guide rail laid down the posh Crescent,
   The inventor of the 'five wheeled bus'.

   Chorus

   The next one's the first real promoter,
   But he often did argue in vain,
   For a 'streetcar' a quaint yankee notion.
   His name it was George Francis Train.

   Chorus

   Let's hear it for James McElroy,
   As the Manchester track map unfurled,
   His motormen, guards, and trolleyboys,
   The best system in the the whole damn world!

   Chorus

   A pause while we think of a future,
   A future that was never to be.
   Henry Mattinson's tramway ambitions,
   Died in Devon, with him, by the sea.

   Chorus

   A man saws away with a hacksaw.
   His life to us all was a gift,
   Just like his collection of tram rail.
   We'll remember you Stanley swift!

   Chorus

   Now their ghosts begin to assemble,
   By Lewis's, atop Market Street,
   And as the first set turns the corner,
   The 'Metrolink' future they'll greet!

   Chorus


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