One of the things I've been doing lately has been converting my old vinyl records (that's the precursor to CDs for the youngsters amongst us) into MP3 format (that's the successor to CDs for the oldies amongst us). And I've been discovering some really old gems.
One of these gems is an album called Songs for Humberside by Christopher Rowe & Ian Clark which was a follow up to a 5 track EP in the 1960s (pictured) also called Songs for Humberside. I can't find an image of the cover for my album so the EP will have to do.
In short, it is a very humorous and folksy album of songs about Hull and the surrounding area and really reminds me of home.
The track listing is as follows:
* Humber Bridge - Lamenting the lack of a Humber Bridge
* Poor Mrs Jones - about the rivalries between the two Rugby League sides
* The Abercrombie Plan - The rejected plans for the redevelopment of the City after WWII
* King Billy's Lament - The Statue of William of Orange (see below)
* The Man who put the Halt in Haltemprice - The perils of Commuting into Hull from the suburbs
* O.H.U.2 - The original telephone dialling code for Hull
* Gloria Victoria - About the Statue of Queen Victoria in Hull City Centre
* Keep your Hands of Haltemprice - The 'friendly' rivalry between the City Council and the adjacent (then) borough of Haltemprice (now part of the East Riding Unitary Council)
* Land of Green Ginger - One of the more famous Streets in Hull
* Hull's Best Friends - Hedon to the East of the City and Hessle to the West and their economic rivalry with Hull
* The Moving of the Wilberforce Monument - the Memorial to William Wilberforce, Hull's abolitionist MP, was moved when the Queen's Dock was filled in and the move was in some ways quite a farce in itself
* King's Town - the history of the City itself from it's founding in 1293 by Edward I right through to the present day (er, present in 1973 at least) including it's strategic importance in the English Civil War.
As I suspect the album is now out of copyright I'm going to occaisionally share the lyrics of these songs, and as today is the 'Glorious' Twelfth, I thought I would start with King Billy's Lament.
King Billy’s Lament
Christopher Rowe & Ian Clark
"Of William of Orange, men once walked in fear
But I’ve had no respect since they put me up here.
The fruits of my labour I’ve lost willy-nilly
And now they’ve the cheek to call me King Billy
"I’ve been thinking it out, and it’s not really fair
Victoria’s got a whacking great square.
And for giving the white man’s burden a pardon
Wilberforce got a lovely big garden.
"And me, you know how I hated that Westminster lot
I used to avoid them, but now all I’ve got
Is my back to New Holland, a lav at my feet
And a permanent view of Parliament Street.
"And thousands of folks bring a car to the market
And drive round and round me trying to park it
While I sit up here with a rod in my hand
Like a gold-plated excerpt from Custer’s Last Stand.
"For my fame as a leader they put me up here.
So I’m sorry to have to bring up the rear
But if you think ingratitude cuts to the bone
Try a hundred year trot on a horse made of stone.
"There’s only one thing that really does spoil it
Every damn night they lock up my toilet!
I don’t want to pull rank but it’s not very good
When a king and his horse have to pray for a flood.
"Now down the road is Trinity Church
But I’m the one who’s been left in the lurch.
So robbed of my title, I sit looking silly
King of the fruit market, Jaffa Juice Billy."