Down and Deeper

Drawing us down and deeper and drowning 
Drawing us down and deeper and finally 
Rising and still hard working 
Cutting ground where once we played 
Playing and dancing, skating and singing, 
Drawing us down below, the wash calls 
Cutting and digging, farming, the cycle 
Of the years has changed. 

Our wealth has always dwelt below us 
I’ve heard tell 
Hail to the land that raises 
those with whom we dwell 
Always lived and shared with 
Those we’d welcome last 
I’ve heard stories of odd things 
Dwelling in the marsh 


Cries in the night, they wake us 
Shrieking their sound 
Boggarts, bogles child, they own this 
Old, sodden land 
Don’t go out, after nightfall 
Don’t follow lights 
These are the fen men 
Lamenting their might

Don’t go down below, its dark there 
Misty and cold 
Still foreign people gather seeking what they can 
Banking, fishing, sifting, digging 
the rich land keeps you 
the fens draw you in 


When the wars range and muskets 
rattle their cry 
The people do rise to fight for 
Their common land 
Shared by the hated, the feared, misunderstood 
Against you drainers 
Doing no good 

Industrial surgeons 
Cutting more wounds 
Holland cries dry tears 
As gangs dig down 
Men from the west come seeking 
Wages to buy food 
The land does rise 
The land does fall


Coming from afar                     
We follow those before
Bound to cross the land 
To man your fields and factories
Missing homes, and wives, and children
Told to go home
The land needs these hands
To feed you on your thrones


Poverty Knock 

Up at every morning at 5 
It’s a wonder that we’re still alive 
Standing and yawning, in the cold morning 
It’s back to the dreary old drive. 

We’re never going to be late 
The bus is from door and to gate 
It pays to be quiet, just head down and take it 
Commerce employs by the crate 

Poverty poverty knock 
The engines are saying all day-o 
Poverty poverty knock 
The masters too skinny to pay us 
Poverty poverty knock 
With always one eye on the clock 
My thoughts can collect, with the day’s final check, no more 
Poverty poverty knock 

Oh dear my poor head it rings 
To loud to talk, joke or to sing 
The clamour of voices, the clanking of noises 
Oh lord how I wish I had wings 

David he’s on shift again 
He’s tired but he’s chatting to Ken 
Suspicious looks and obvious head jerks 
Aimed towards Piotr and Len 


Sometimes a motor it breaks 
Health & Safety close down the place 
All officers fawning, sincerity scorning 
We know it’s all show, saving face. 

When the employers above 
Come round with a clap and a laugh 
With enrichment sessions and free English lessons 
Division’s enforced with a glove 


I spose we should all count our luck, 
Clean floors when before they were muck 
Though it is tedious we know it’s convenient 
That’s the bargain that we all have struck 

Vesta’s been courting our Steve 
She’s so big, you wouldn’t believe 
(but) She’s a gang worker, and they’re not together 
More kids who think fathers all leave

Chorus x2


You should see the skies round here 
Towering over all 
And while the mist may fall 
The air is clear 
From my little house 
That guards a view so long 
I see the difference in all 
And that we all belong 

The world is covered up 
A simple concrete ball 
Suspended in the sky 
Where people feel like 
They yearn to see that sky 
A simple stretching blue 
Working down the wash 
It’s here for me and you


More faces I don’t know 
Less tongues I understand 
Less communal work 
Less living off the land 
But what would my old man say 
He’d take me by the arm 
They’re working just like us 
They’re not doing any harm 

Old ways not going strong 
Farms favour machine parts 
No lines of working men 
It’s farming without hearts 
The land’s not on the mend 
The people coming in 
Continuing our might 
South Hollanders all 


I think back to that time 
Endless spendless days 
Playing in the wash 
That was my everyday 
The deep dug dykes 
To hold back the tide 
Afforded us the play 
Lit by streetlights 

Like the temper of man 
The waters rise and fall 
I see more people coming in 
Different languages to call 
They’re doing jobs our fathers did 
Taking care of the land 
While we disconnect ourselves 
On tarmac we stand


Pigeon End

Pigeon end where I was born 
That little house where I was born 
Past the pub, where the beggars call 
Old Ron, and Charlie Dorn 
Playing with me on the back room floor 
I was in that pub, since I could crawl 
It was the centre of the universe, and 
We didn’t know it was Fulney at all


Water lapping at the edge of the door
I thought floods like these didn’t happen anymore
That damp old school with the fire never on 
I got my warmth from the beer bottle cup

The bobbys always came on a double beat 
We paid them scorn as they walked the streets
but we didn’t care we had the world at our feet
Pigeon End held all we could ever need.

 The water calls in the shape of the shilling
Charlie and me off to war and off to killing 
Navy boats gliding on salt water
They’re so different from our Spalding skimmers

 Charlie’s gone with a bullet in the brain
Home on leave back to Spalding again 
Kiss your daddy goodnight darling 
Lipstain smudge on the photo frame 

So I chose life and came home to mend
but its hard when you leave and return again 
The fens are there but the pub’s closed down 
It’s all moved into folklore now. 


Pigeon end where I was born 
Past the pub where the beggars call 
I see boys with Ron’s nose and Charlie’s call 
They’ll never know it was Pigeon end at all

Ready Hands 

Community is shattered here no ones out about 
The rich folk from the south that come 
Its them that need the shout 
And every house they buy with southern gold 
Is one less here for us 
The young are off for jobs and (of) course 
It’s us misunderstood

Some fly the nest and some chose to come 
And here they land a lot 
From town and port at sky at night 
It’s here they’ll gain a plot 
How and why they do here just isn’t my concern 
I want them gone before closing time 
Whichever way they turn 

And if no-one knows my name no more 
Then what really is the point 
Of living here at all anymore 
Putting noses out of joint 
There’s no sticks left for me to up 
No leaves left to turn 
No point in living in homeland (if) 
I’m the last one left to burn 

But there’s nothing new about newcomers 
They’re just the latest ready hands 
In this fertile land of picking food 
And sending to other lands 
From the mythical to the magical 
To the straight and to the known 
We all landed here at some point and 
Made it feel like home 

So it’s community not an ism 
We think that we deserve 
A right to feel at home without 
Touching other nerves 
Don’t aim displeasure at your fellow friend 
But at the source of harm 
But it’s getting them, and knowing them 
And finding the right arms

Seas End

 A long way from home 
But these familiar four walls 
I live in the house, that I was born 
But do I belong? 

We’d play games on a Friday 
A real village thing 
Keep the Grays away on a Saturday 
An early morning trim 

Go the pub with mum and dad 
But wouldn’t get in 
I was too young to hold a big old pint glass 
Far too soon to begin 

Only two reasons for town 
For doctors or wedding gown 
My wardrobe that came, was a portal to life 
My first gift to me 

Where the seas used to end 
This place a relic of the past 
Robbed of its identity, by grand old plans 
No thought for community 

So if I stay will you allow me? 
I just want words spoken in this town 
And spoken freely, whatever the tongue 
It’s all our home now 


A long way from home 
But still close to the sea 
There’s no great need for me to go back again 
To see the changes in me 

I just need someone to know me 
For me to settle in 
A quick hello, a word of advice 
A small pot of tea 

More houses being built 
Less laughter in the streets. 
Eyes pour scorn, on the new folk like me 
Time earns courtesy 

So if I stay will you allow me? 
I just want words spoken in this town 
And spoken freely, whatever the tongue 
It’s all our home now

The Boggart and the Farmer 

There was a young farmer, in South Holland did dwell 
Who spied some drained land to grow crop for to sell 
So gather round people his story I’ll tell 
How the new met the old and the new it prevailed 

This ambitious young farmer enclosed the new land 
With thought to gain wealth and to take a fair hand 
When from out of a drain, a creature did jump 
Who snarled and who spat, and did fury command 

A squat little man, body bound in grey hair 
With eyes full of rage, and a menacing stare 
His arms long as bean poles, hung down by his sides 
His sinews as strong as a six-year old mare 

The farmer, though scared, was a keen businessman 
Who thought with some cunning he might gain the top hand 
He welcomed the boggart, with a calm and an ease 
‘Lets share in the bounty that comes from this land. 

As a creature of muck, used to water all round 
You’ve right to claim half of whatever is found’ 
The boggart he looked the farmer up and all down 
I’ll return in a year and claim what grows above ground 

A year then did pass while the farmer worked hard 
Sowing seeds of potatoes in the rich peaty yard 
He laughed as he planned to fool his hairy landlord 
And thought himself clever to have played the right cards 

The boggart returned and on seeing the pitch 
Was left with nout but the haulms and the twitch 
He said you young rascal have respect for the old 
Next year I will claim what’s beneath the earth’s soil 

A year it passed by and then at the backend 
The boggart returned, his pride for to mend 
And on seeing the field of freshly cut wheat 
He turned on the farmer and a new deal he penned 

‘You’re not rid of me yet, I’ll have what I’m owed 
I’ve lived in this land, and looked after what’s flowed 
Another year will pass and we’ll see who does laugh 
We’ll keep for ourselves what our own hand has mowed’ 

The farmer, he thought himself finally undone 
His wits can’t be beaten by this Tiddy Mun 
He sought out the wise man and asked for his aid 
Thus a curse it was laid on the old by the young. 

At the end of the year, our boggart returned 
Both started to mow and the earth for to churn 
While the farmer kept on, the boggart he tired 
Fell into a sleep and no crop did he earn 

Raging and screaming, he returned down the dyke 
The only remains of his waterlogged life 
The farmer kept all and so its been since 
And all signs of folklore has gone when once rife

Field and Dyke 

Farewell my native land 
Farewell my country 
I can no longer stay, but 
Know that I love thee 

The lowland fields that lure water’s might 
How will I leave thee? 
My father’s dead and the money’s tight, but 
Know that I love thee 

The fox, the hare, the eel, the pike 
South Holland bred in Field & Dyke 
On fenland soil I trod my way 
On fenland soil I lived my days

I will miss my lowland farm 
Though the roofs let the rain in 
And the winds that whistled through the barn 
Now I must leave thee 

The broken machines that I played upon 
With friends, feeling so free 
They’re gone away and I’ll do the same, and 
Now I must leave thee 


A man gave me work and I thought him kind 
Paid me more than I hoped for 
But wages became a deathly bind 
Fields, how I miss thee 

10 to a room and I can’t get out 
The bus (comes) at five every morning 
Taking us to the dreary old drive 
Fields, how I miss thee 


Working to build the bonuses 
For the people above me 
Living our lives in this noisy hell 
Now I want to break free 

I remember my family’s farm 
Why did I leave thee? 
The wealth I had was beyond compare 
Now I want to break free 


Where water meets the lowland fields 
is our home across the sea 
you say ‘ it’s just like Poland here’ 
but I disagree 

We made the journey and came to your land 
To work in your fields and factories 
but you spit at our feet and tell us to leave 
how can we ever be free?

Chorus x2

Water Makes This Land

Water comes from three ways now 
Land and air and sea somehow 
No tide that pushes water in 
But rivers flow from where they begin 
Water made this land somehow 
Water makes this land still now 

The rain it drops down upon the fen 
Allows the land to grow and to mend 
With every cloud that swells above 
The land begins with health and good 
Water made this land somehow 
Water makes this land still now 

And we dig so far down 
And we cut our trees down 
And we drain and we grow 
And we plough and we sow 
And we’ve spoilt the soil that isn’t our own And we’ve 
lost everything now 


Try to cut the sea away 
And try to pump a stream all day 
The drops will run from off the land 
You’ve made your homes and grown your dams 
Water made this land somehow 
Water makes this land still now

There’s peat and silt in this ready land 
More to see and more to raise with hands 
Forces take the food away 
With mouths to feed and hands to pay 
Water made this land somehow 
Water makes this land still now

And we raise the soil 
From water’s cold grasp 
And we feed the country 
By truck and by bus 
And I see all the happy smiles in town 
And we’ve gained something new now 


The height of a man in the life of a man 
Sea is rising faster than the ground 
Down at home the ground is sinking south 
Shrink the height of a man 
In the lifetime of a man 
Water made this land somehow 
Water makes this land still now

And land is still shrinking 
And so is our thinking 
We must band together 
Overlooking our difference 
Extend a hand and welcome in land 
Cos we’ve gained something new now