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Off the Dole
By Ken Edgar
 
I started mi new job just this morning,
The boss said 'ow 'appy he were.
To see a young fella look 'appy,
To work for so little pay.

Well, when you get down to your uppers,
An' everythin' starts looking bleak,
There's a time when you take a step back'ards,
An' 'appen you turn t'other cheek.

It's not what I'd hoped for I tell you,
For me I 'ad better things planned,
A doctor, a lawer, a surgeon,
Or somethin' as equally grand.

But I do get a free brush an' shovel,
Tho' mi cart 'as a wobb'erly wheel,
I get a cap an' a pair o' green wellies,
An' when I've done I get a free meal.

An the boss is treating me kindly,
He said as 'ow I were new,
The first job he'd decided to give me,
Would be one, an' most folks get two!

I just 'ave to clean up the gutters,
Along a particular road,
Mi map and bags are strapped to the cart,
Which should sort of balance the load.

The map says I start at Scotch Corner,
An' sweep down the left to the end,
I've to pick up bottles wi' brass back,
An' 'alf what I find I can spend.

He'd said as when I got finished,
An' I'd swept to the end of the road,
I'd to empty mi bin, an' clean it wi' Vim,
Swop sides an' begin a new load.

I cleaned up the signs at the road top,
Left 'em all sparkling an' new,
Trimmed off the grass at the bottom,
An' polished the metal posts too.

There were summat in mind that were bothering,
Summat I'd missed that were there,
It were summat that didn't quite feel right,
An' for a minute I just stood standing there.

Still, I'd just about got mi'sen ready,
I'd read t'map an' got out mi brush,
It were then when it suddenly hit me,
It came in a sort of a rush.

The gaffer 'ad given me just one job,
An' I must say he didn't lie,
But nor was he being so kindly,
An' I'll tell you real the reason why.

He told me to go down the left side,
"An' just 'cos I like you, old son,
Stop for some tea when you get there,"
But the road was the ruddy A1.
 
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