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MACCOLL, Ewan


The Manchester Rambler

I've been over Snowdon, I've slept upon Crowdon

I've camped by the Waynestones as well

I've sunbathed on Kinder, been burned to a cinder

And many more things I can tell

My rucksack has oft been me pillow

The heather has oft been me bed

And sooner than part from the mountains

I think I would rather be dead

I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way

I get all me pleasure the hard moorland way

I may be a wageslave on Monday

But I am a free man on Sunday

The day was just ending and I was descending

Down Grinesbrook just by Upper Tor

When a voice cried "Hey you" in the way keepers do

He'd the worst face that ever I saw

The things that he said were unpleasant

In the teeth of his fury I said

"Sooner than part from the mountains

I think I would rather be dead"

He called me a louse and said "Think of the grouse"

Well i thought, but I still couldn't see

Why all Kinder Scout and the moors roundabout

Couldn't take both the poor grouse and me

He said "All this land is my master's"

At that I stood shaking my head

No man has the right to own mountains

Any more than the deep ocean bed

I once loved a maid, a spot welder by trade

She was fair as the Rowan in bloom

And the bloom of her eye watched the blue Moreland sky

I wooed her from April to June

On the day that we should have been married

I went for a ramble instead

For sooner than part from the mountains

I think I would rather be dead

So I'll walk where I will over mountain and hill

And I'll lie where the bracken is deep

I belong to the mountains, the clear running fountains

Where the grey rocks lie ragged and steep

I've seen the white hare in the gullys

And the curlew fly high overhead

And sooner than part from the mountains

I think I would rather be dead.


The first time ever I saw your face

The first time ever I saw your face

I thought the sun rose in your eyes

And the moon and the stars were the gifts you gave

To the dark and the endless skies my love

To the dark and the endless skies

The first time ever I kissed your mouth

I felt the earth move in my hand

Like the trembling heart of a captive bird

That was there at my command my love

That was there at my command my love

And the first time ever I lay with you

I felt your heart so close to mine

And I knew our joy would fill the earth

And last 'till the end of time my love

And it would last 'till the end of time

The first time ever I saw your face

Your face, your face


Dirty Old Town

I found my love where the gaslight falls

Dreamed a dream by the old canal

Kissed my girl by the factory wall

Dirty old town, dirty old town

Clouds are drifting across the moon

Cats are prowling on their beat

Springs a girl in the streets at night

Dirty old town, dirty old town

I heard her sigh from the decks

Saw a train set the night on fire

Smelled the spring on the smoky wind

Dirty old town, dirty old town

I'm going to take a good sharp ax

Shining steel tempered in the fire

We'll chop you down like an old dead tree

Dirty old town, dirty old town