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Any old village

Daddy was a Coal miner


The Bateman's Boys


Now I was down in London town when I fancied me an ale.

So I sauntered to a tavern to see what was for sale.

The landlord plied me with his best, twas a headless watery mess.

I says 'you want to go to Lincoln if you think like your drinking, coz there you’ll  find the best' mate!





Give me a Batemans  )

I want a Batemans  ) first verse only

Mines a Batemans  )


If it's a good 'n' it's a good 'n'

If it's bad we think we'll pass

But there's nothing like a pint of tripple XB in your glass.

So wang it down your neck mate, and holler out with joy.

And that’s all that you need to do to be a Batemans boy.


George Bateman gave up his farm in 1874

And took up brewing beer, its the one that we adore

He gave it all to Harry, now Harry bought the mill

Who passed it on to his son George, the family’s brewing still.



The Aussies they have Fosters, the Irish have their stout

But for us lads from the fens “well we can do wi’ out”

Our tipples in a windmill, in Wainfleet up by Skeg.

On a Friday night we’re on our knees and finishing a keg.




Now some folk like to fantasize of girls and fancy cars

But you know you can find better things by hanging round in bars

Come October feast time, there's one thing that's divine.

In my right hand there's a Batemans  in my left I’ve got stuffed chine

(not a good combination for the next morning mate)




Combined harvest

Summer Swallow

Rosey Nosey

Hop bine beer

Salem porter

Tripple XB

It’s a good and honest beer

It’s Hooker and miss whiplash they're the ones that we enjoy........

If you've tried them all you're surely......  Truly a Batemans boy....


Slurp... Aaaah      I’ve ‘ad Woss

Any old village

It was late on August the post office closed

The date always stays in my mind

I was talking to a good friend who’d lived here for years

Does this mean our village has died


I took him across to church lane for a beer

And he started with stories of old

Of when there was three pubs two shops and a blacksmiths

What ever you wanted they sold




All the deals and the pacts that were sealed with a beer

That are still holding so strong today

Go to work on the fen just to earn a few quid

For a beer at the end of the day

We’ve got to keep this place alive

Yes a village it dies when the pub dies



We’ve had landlords with no name, who’ve lasted just three days

Who come here to hide from their debts

Oh its more a refuge for drop-outs and has-beens

Who look for a roof for their heads


With all good intentions of Knock-throughs, extensions

And visions that no man can dent

But it all comes to nothing when after 6 months

The brewery they double the rent




It’s moved away from a respectable trade

Of a man and his wife who took time

To note all that was said, of the comings and goings

In a small fenland village called Kyme


We’re on the slippery slope to a ghost town

The school playground has seen its last game

He said people moved in who came from the towns

They still worked there and played there the same



As I looked around I believed what he said

At the grime in the carpets without any thread

With just us two the landlord and two passing trade

And an atmosphere fit for the dead


No matter where in the county you come from

This story will ring in your ears

I guess everything changes, we’ve got to face up

Its been happening around us for years.




Beyond The Bridge



Sitting on the bridge writing songs

Waiting for a tune to come along

Greatest county in our nation

Is all I need for inspiration


Friday nights we’d have a ball

Take our guitars down from the wall

Playing to faces we all new

Stumbling home in the morning dew




We’re on our way to America

We’re going to play in America

This is our day…..

In the USA

We’re in America..



Autumn wind then came a call

Early morning flew long hall

Pouring our songs out line by line

35th and 79


Astoria, broadway, open mics

Sun shone bright on Jackson Heights

Played Manhatten, played the fen

New York London , home again


Bridge and chorus


In the city we made our stand

The Christmas market, drill hall band

Jingles on the radio

We were reaching beyond the bridge


Chorus Bridge and Chorus


It’s a long, long way from Billinghay to America



The Billinger Ruff


Long time ago in the land of the big sky

  Men would work the land till the day that they die.

  On our island rising out of the fen

   Billinger roughs would fight ‘till the end.




   And we all drink our ale in the pub wi’ our ‘mayats

  Then end the night wi’ a playat filled wi' tayats

  We'll all raise a glass to a life that is tough

  Cheers! to ya mayats,  yer a Billinger Ruff!



  As fortune would have it, the rain it did pour

  The fowl they flew in, we were straight out the door

  I picked up old Bessie, and sat there in wait

  Had twenty two brace that I hung on me gate.


   If  people poach our fowl , they are looking for a fight

 We’ll chase em, we’ll ‘ave ‘em, down by the old car dyke

 With pikes and forks, back they all are driven

 Past labour in vain they flee back o’er the Witham



 Now Amos and me we are sons of the earth

 We sweat on the land and bath in the skirth

 If we say it!  Hey!!! we'll do it!

 In Digby we're feared

 We're not ones for small talk

 We call a spade a speeard


 The feast it is coming, the chine’s on the stove

 From Anwick and Kyme they stream down the drove

 If they try for our girls, they'll meet with their fate

 We don't care for outsiders, this is Billinger ma’et !!!




The Black Grass Blues


Just when you thought you’d never see it again

There’s a 5 o clock shadow all over the fen

On all the front pages of the farmers news

The whole of the fen, has got the black grass blues


Persistence, resistance, I’m down on me yield

The world is never good when you’ve got black grass in you field

Its no good for me, no way of containment

I guess ill make it up with my single farm payment



We got the black grass, the black grass blues

We got the black grass, no time to loose

Were at the end of our tether

My fields all black

We even thought spraying it with paraquat



Weve tried Atlantis, Parcifica and Broadway star

Fluoxopire, liberator, diesel from my car

At a hundred quid a litre, Blame it on inflation

When all you really need is crop rotation



Looked at my wheat, I gave it so much love

But what the hell is that sticking up above.

I’ve got a purple haze that shimmers on my robigus

Turned away at Padley’s, they don’t want the stuff


It  used to be that wild oats, the bane of my life

You could hide ‘em in the trailer, you’d still get a price

I’ve pulled it, I’ve snipped it I’ve yanked it right out

Hold my head in my hands and I just want to shout


We got the black grass, the black grass blues

We got the black grass, no time to loose

Were at the end of our tether

My fields all black

We even thought spraying it with paraquat



Weve tried Axial, Parcifica and Broadway star

Fluoxopire, liberator, diesel from my car

At a hundred quid a litre, Blame it on inflation

When all you really need is crop rotation



Crying outside the Co-Op



Its 3 degrees, spitting rain and my collar’s getting tight

I’ve been half an hour on a 3 foot lead and my owners not in sight

Well I see my mum join the end of the queue, you’d think I’d get all sprightly

But half an hour in a Co-op queue and you know you’ve got of lightly


Here comes someone I don’t like. I know she don’t like me

She sits upon her scooter, for her mobility.

Oh you can’t hear her coming as she’s giving it full power

The gin’s on sale, She’s over my tail at seven miles an hour


Give me a treat, drop it at my feet, bring me something that I’d like

Coz it ain’t much fun for a little dog when I’m wrapped around a bike

Yapping, tugging pulling panting, waiting patiently

You’ll see me outside Co-op stores across the whole county


It’s getting dark, there’s a lot of noise, As the Hoodies start to hoard

Misunderstood, all well and good, they say they are ignored

Cigarettes,  turn them away, coz they don’t look twenty one

They’re smoking joints forget the double points

If only I could run


Crying outside the co-op sitting in a pool of tears

Coz the range of pet food’s not that great and the rest is full of beer

With puppy eyes its no surprise you always will admire

Between you and me, I’d rather be

Sat down beside a fire.


So finally the doors they slide, my tail it starts to wag

It’s a face I know, its time to go,  and she’s carrying a bag

Is it sausage,  is it chops, a tub of co-op lard

(No) it’s a book of stamps, 20 Malborough Lights   and a lottery scratch card   (DOH!)


So off we go back to my home, oh If a little dog could grin

Cause I left a package by the co-op door, That a hoodie might just tread in.

So next time you see me sitting there outside a co-op door

Please bend down, pat me on head and shake me by the paw





Don't Wear Yello in August



Harvest time down in the fens

There’s some thing that’s a stirring

That little wheat fly says to him self

Hey what’s that there occurring

Calls his friends, heads to the sky

There aint no stopping those thunder flies

Thrip Thrip going on a trip

Over the wolds and down the dip


See him there at the Heckington show,

The chap who’s where in yella

Covered in thrips from head to toe,

He’s not a local fella.

Shows his shirt turns his back

Next thing you know that yellow shirts black

Thrip Thrip going on a trip

Over the wolds and down the dip




Don’t wear yellow in August

You know that colours to gay

No don’t wear yellow in August

You’ll be

Slapping itching scratching brushing shaking scrubbing flicking rubbing

Wiping turning Squirmin’ all day


Double glazing, picture frames

There’s nowhere they cant get

One got in my computer screen

Is that a virus, no, a thrip

In your ears and in your eyes

You’re never gonna stop those thunder flies

Thrip Thrip going on a trip

Over the wolds and down the dip


Ride my bike on a summers day

Up on Nocton heath

Give a smile to a pretty gThere’s a thrip between my teeth



She’s my girl, my romance

Together we’ll do the fenland dance.


Dad a dad a dad a dad a dad a da


Thrip Thrip going on a trip

Over the wolds and down the dip


Inbred and Proud


Living in the Lincoln fens as happy as can be

Townsfolk tend to ridicule

We do things differently.

When looking for a likely wife

Well they’re very scarce you see

That’s why we try to keep these things in the family


We're inbred

We're inbred

We're inbred and proud you see

We're inbred

Oh we're inbred

Life is tough for a Billinger ruff

When you’re inbred and proud


In or fenland village  we have a swimming pool

Its where the fenland folk do go, in summer to keep cool.

We won cups in every gala, opposition we did trance.

With pointy heads and our webbed feet, they didn’t stand a chance


In the fens there is no place for genealogy

Coz every bodies ancestors they’re  all the same you see.

It makes an easy Project to draw your family tree

Just ask your mate if you can borrow his, and make a quick

copy  !


Our Brother George gets good reports

At school he is quite able

Some struggle with their adding up

He's doing his 12 x table

Teacher said “But you’re a thicko George

You’re one of those who lingers”

He said, “that’s before I realised

I had these extra fingers”


Now there was a girl that I once loved

She was not the one for me

Coz she came from another village, and that’s no good you see

Stick with your own kind mate, me father said to me.

And he should know, he married his Cousin

That’s why we’re all inbred.


Now from all the names they call us

Its fairly plain to see

That turnip, fennie, yellow belly, swampy

They don’t bother me

That’s coz you don’t realise we are quite posh you see,

As we follow the tradition of the royal family.


Lincoln's Pride



It was along time ago, in ten hundred or so

An architect sat down and planned

And for one hundred years of blood sweat and tears

Our cathedral was built on this land

Every stone as been cut by the mason’s steady hand

And laid with the greatest of pride

And there in the mass stand the windows of glass

Between the lead they are placed side by side




You can hear the echoes trip through the halls

Shadows like talons that run from the walls

There’s no mistaking time passes my friend

Our Cathedral will last to the end


By the end of it all stood a structure so tall

With pulpits and pipes there inlaid

For a thousand odd years through the famine and fears

Lincolns folk have knelt down here and prayed

Through wars of religion great fires and desiese

Through hardship summer and fall

‘Neath the shadows of stone generations did breathe

And an imp sat there watching it all



In the black of the night like a star shining bright

No matter where in the county I roam

To be seen by all through the mist of the morn

Just one look and I know I am home

It was a matter of time before Hollywood called

With a story of codes and a ploy

But the imp never flinched he was four hundred years old

While D’Vinci he still was a boy


And now as I sit by this mountain of stone

I know she bears witness to who’s come and gone

Through it all long after my days

Lincoln’s pride

Lincoln’s pride

Lincoln’s pride and joys stays





An Ode To Michael Strong



On Labour In Vain lived Michael Strong, a quiet farmers lad

He spent his life a riddling tates  and up to his guts in squad.

But Michael was a dreamer, with one thing on his mind

One day he’d find the treasure that King John had left behind.


From books he knew in twelve sixteen John sailed across the Wash

The laden boat was over-turned, the bounty it was lost.

But since that time the Wash had shrunk, So pondering the matter

He was sure it lay on a river bed beneath the murky watter.




He Searched the Witham, the Welland, the Neane, the Baine

Carr Dyke, Skel Dyke, Great Ouse, Foss dyke

Twelve foot, Forty foot, any drain the Wash took.

River, sandbank, dyke and drain.  (repeat)

The old boy’s searches all in vain


When ploughing up on North Kyme fen he heard a shout from dad

“Keep your mind on the job mate, your furrows out of wad!!”

Though Michael made a living from the soil and the sheaf

His mind was always wondering, to what laid underneath.


As time passed by now middle aged, with bairns of his own

On weekends Michael dragged them out, turning every stone.

When came holidays the children asked. “Why aren’t we like the rest”

“Most kids go to Skeggy, and we look for a chest!!”

Aaw!, come on dad


Chorus (we’ve searched)


The years rolled on, we all get old, the land had took its toll

Michael now a frail old man, in the same house all alone.

His wife passed on, ooh, must be twenty years, and the children flew the nest.

He’d given up his childish search.  There was no cursed chest.


It was in the winter of 85 when Michael passed away

In a damp dark room his gathered kin heard the words he chose say

Please bury me where I’ve toiled and ached, upon the land I’ve kept

His skin went pale and his eyes they closed as his children watched and wept


As the next sun rose the boys went out to dig their father’s grave

The frost lay thick on the well worked land ‘til evening they did slave

When 5 ft down the spade hit hard, and snapped the shaft off clean

A silver chest lay in the earth and a coin from 12 16



With pounding hearts but not a word they turned back to their home

And took old Michaels coffin  back to the land he’d honed

They lay the coffin in the ground, til no lower it would sink

It came to rest on an old mans dreams, the grave they then filled in


But as soil rained on the coffin lid a voice began to sing

Twas that of a fenland farmer, laid upon the treasure of a king



(I’ve searched)

(The treasure was his)