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THE GOOD OLD DAYS ©

JOHN DOUGLAS
CORNWALL, England
unknown

They talk about the good old days they used to have in Brumwell
They might have been for toffs and such but they weren't so good for some
There were those who slogged their guts out for a measly thirty bob
And others who were worse off, who didn't have a job
Three times a week at Lench Street we'd stand in patient line
Or Selly Oak by the tram sheds come rain come snow come shine
Most of us had walked it, no money for the fare
But for twelve and a tanner, or fifteen bob, somehow you must get there

The good old days they called em, when poverty was rife
When dole queues and the pawnshops, were just a way of life.
In the bull ring late on sat`days, we stood in patient manner
When legs of lamb went for a bob and we only had a tanner
But we were in no hurry, we waited for our treat.
And patience was rewarded with a bag of stewing meat.
There wasn't much assistance then, for the very old or sick.
They had to be real down-and-out to get the treacle stick

That was the board of guardians, if you could walk that far
They'd give you a note for a loaf of bread, or treacle in a jar
We kids were dressed in reach-me-downs, from the local jumble sale
And boots that were quite strong and tough, given by the mail
The streets were safe to play in then, `ackey` was the game
The posh kids called it `hide and seek` but the rules were just the same.
With whip and top and tip-cat, and other games more rough
We played for hours and hours and never got real tough

We might have broke a street lamp, perhaps a pane of glass
We never mugged old ladies; it was safe enough to pass
I remember once in Franklin Street, a wedding did take place.
The bridegroom in a borrowed suit, and the bride in borrowed lace.
And all the neighbours gid their bit to mek the do a treat
With cakes and jam and sandwiches and some had real meat!
Folks turned up from everywhere, relations friends an` all
We dragged the old 'joanna' out and we dain arf have a ball.

Those days I still remember, when I was just a lad
I know there were some good times, not all of `em were bad.
But now I'm so much older, and me working days are done.
And if I had to really choose, I'm glad those days are gone!!



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