From the album Full Circle
Word & Music by Phil Drane
I wrote this seemingly endless ditty after I guested at the Ryedale Folk Weekend in Yorkshire in 2008. I suspect a few pints of Black Sheep bitter and a weird dream or two concocted the rest of the story. Not much of it is true, but it could have been. And Richard Grainger? Well, back in 2008 he was a guy who gave me an opportunity when no-one else would. He is also more connected with his English roots and English folk-heritage than any other musician I have ever met.
Word & Music by Phil Drane
Well, Ah got a booking this year tha knows as a proper festival turn,
Twenty quid, cash in hand for a half hour spot somewhere in Yorkshire.
Man, it doesn’t get much better than this -
Anyroad up, Ah decided Ah’d save a bit of brass and itch a lift to this ere concert, as you do, wi my geetar strapped to me back. Ah’d gerra buzz as far as it went then stick out me thumb ....
Well it only went as far as Settle so Ah decided to walk,
And it all started going pear shaped when Ah reached t'first fork in't road
Ah flipped up a coin and it landed on its edge, And Ah shoulda forked off right, but Ah forked off left instead.
In me head Ah knew Ah was buggered, well an truly, utterly, completely buggered
‘Cos sense of direction have I none, and here Ah was lost in deepest, darkest Yorkshire with no map, no compass, not even a phrase book
Well Ah Staggered up hill and Ah staggered darn dale
And everywhere Ah went, Ah seemed to fall in't River Swale,
Then Ah sees a bloke coming on an old black Raleigh bike,
Wi’ a basket on't front for 'is bread and the like,
Aye, he were a Yorkshire lad, from t'flat cap on his yed, to his black plastic covered metal cycle clips.
Ah thowt this lad's a Tyke if ever there was one, so Ah flagged him down
Ah says hey up lad. does't know where we are
He says, Ah know where I am, has thee cum far,
Ah says from t'other side o't Pennines where t'sun allus shines
He says tha's suffrin from delusion lad Ah recognize the signs
Aye well I ignored that, just a little Yorkshire wit, from a little Yorkshire twit,
Ah says I'm headin for Rydale, he says is that right
Ah says aye, an I'll get there if it takes me all night
Well it might, says he cos yer goin t'wrong way
And if you starterd out from Settle you've been goin t'wrong way all day.
Ah said bollo....derdash, bloody norah and other gradely Lanky dialect stuff.
Time to try a subtle bit of name dropping.
Ah says dus't know Richard Grainger, he's famous in these parts
He says Richard who? Ah said Grainger .... he says, does he play darts?
Ah said ... no... he's just a folkie, one of Yorkshire's favourite bards
Says he if he dun’t chuck darts, is he any good at cards?
Crikey bobs, it's like talking to a grid. Count to ten, draw a deep breath and resist the temptation to stick his bike …… anyroad
At that he became quite taciturn, laconic if you like,
He says “strictly I'm not local, I've only borrowed this ould bike
In fact Ah cum from far away, from Otley to be precise
Ah'm persona non grata when it comes to giving advice about Rydale
Or Wesleydale or Chippendale or anywhere further north than, well, here really”.
He says, “Ah can show thee the road to Otley, there's another grand festival theer”
Ah said “no thanks” but he says “why Notley? Darn in Otley there's fun and good cheer
There's fifteen pubs ana chippy or two, and a topless girly bar,
And though you still won't know where you've bin, At least you'll be sure where you are”.
Aye, now he's getting all tricky.
Ah said you can't cod a Lanky Lad and Ah looked him reet it th'eye
Ah said tell us where we're at reet nah, don't prevaricate or lie
Tha's not as smart as this Lanky Lad as you'll find out to your cost.
Says he ould son tha might be right, but Ah'm not the one who's lost
Aaaahh. Well he had a point o'course, but nobody likes a clever dick and this one was gettting me dander up, rapid like.
Time to try diplomacy.
Ah says listen pal, I've been here in your lovely county for a while,
but it's time for me to wend my weary way another mile.
But before Ah venture on the path to God knows where again Pray share with me geographically exactly where Ah am.
Well he waves his scrawny arms about, the skin like old cracked leather
Just take a look around you lad, tha canna see nobbut heather,
So what's your point says I, says he, at the risk of being boorish,
Even a Lanky clod should spot, this is all very lkley Moorish.
You’re on Ilkley Moor …. (bar t'at), on Ilkley Moor …..(bar t'at) ….on Ilkely Moor … (bar tat)
And that’s that. D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so grey , da de da de da …..