The Dalesman's Litany

by Mouth of the Void

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released December 25, 2014



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Track Name: The Dalesman's Litany
It's hard when folks can't find the work where they've been bred and born
When I was young I always thought I'd bide 'midst roots and corn
But I've been forced to work in town so here's my litany
From Hull and Halifax and Hell, good Lord deliver me

When I was courting Mary Jane, the old squire he says to me
I've got no rooms for wedded folk, choose whether to go or to stay
I could not give up the girl I loved, so to town I was forced to flee
From Hull and Halifax and Hell, good Lord deliver me

I've worked in Leeds and Huddersfied and I've earned some honest brass
In Bradford, Keighley, Rotherham I've kept my bairns and lass
I've travelled all three Ridings round and once I went to sea
From forges, mills and coaling boats, good Lord deliver me

I've walked at night through Sheffield lanes, 'twas just as being in hell
Where furnaces thrust out tongues of fire and roared like the wind on the fell
I've sammed up coals in Barnsley pits with muck up to my knee
From Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham, good Lord deliver me

I've seen fog creep across Leeds bridge as thick as the Bastille soup
I've lived where folks were stowed away like rabbits in a coop
I've seen snow float down Bradford Beck as black as ebony
From Hunslet, Holbeck, Wibsey Stack, good Lord deliver me

But now that all our children have gone, to the country we've come back
There's forty mile of heathery moor 'twixt us and the coalpits' stack
And as I sit by the fire at night, I laugh and shout with glee
From Hull and Halifax and Hell the good Lord delivered me
(Note that some of the language is, as is typical of many versions set to music, rendered in a more modern form - e.g. 'gone' for 'fligged' in the final verse and place names are likewise rendered - e.g. 'Bradford' rather than 'Bradforth', 'Huddersfield' for 'Huthersfel''