MORLA CARNIVAL by Peter Walsh
In a tahn o muck, in a tahn o moil,
Some folk call it Morla Oil
A lang time sin’, before t’last waar,
T’procession began at Tingla Bar.
Morla Carnival this peepshow wor called,
Summat to liven us when we wor stalled,
Held once a year t’ aid Medical Charity,
It wor allus a day for much hilarity.
Buzzers had blahn fra t’ Prospect to t’ Glen,
It’s nobbut fer t’ weekend ye weyvers an’ men.
So traipse up t’ fish oil fer t’ dinner todaay,
Tha mun get into t’ sink an’ wesh t’ millmuck away.
Sho’s thrang wi’ er fettlin, it’s bahn to be fine,
It wor spittin’ o’ rain but na ther’s sunshine.
Lets festoon ahr ginnel wi’ streamers an’ flegs,
Then off for ahr clothes ‘at were popped at Sam Cleggs.
Sithee lad. Can tha hear it? Its Morla Brass Band,
Get aht onto t’ causa, t’ processions at ‘and.
T’ mahnted policemen are ridin’ i’ view,
Boxes all jinglin’, the’ll sooin fill a few.
Clap thi een on yon’ landau wi’ t’ carnival queen,
A weyver frew t’ city, just risin’ sixteen,
While t’ Mayor an’ ‘is missis they ride by i’ state,
Posh car’ll be makkin a rise in t’ tahn rate.
Ah’m splittin’ me sides at Scahrin’ Stone Lizzie,
Its nobbut a chap an’ he’s being kept busy.
He’d goan to t’ owd lass to borrer ‘er stuff,
For ‘er pram full o’ ruddle ten bob made er’ chuff.
Lads dolled up like lasses an’ lasses as men,
Ah’ll be capt if iver they feel t’ same agen.
Glimpse yon’ doazy ha’porth wi’ long ‘air fer a coit,
Sho’s Lady Godiva, the gert brazen stoit.
If tha’s heeard a commotion, it’s Parrock Nook Band,
Hed so much to sup, they ‘ardly can stand,
All blahin’ abaht wi’ ther tin tommy talkers,
An bashin’ther drums like brussen pot’ ‘awkers.
Wi’ t’ hobby hoss leadin’ it’s backards roard facin’,
[Ah’ll noan put mi shirt o’ that creaatur’ in t’ racin’]
They’ve all hed ther dinners along at Cross Keys,
Noggins o’ wallop, cowd tripe an ‘ot peas. †
In a tahn o’ toil, in a tahn o’ dams,
Carnival’s ‘oddin up t’ Fahnten Street trams.
Nah lads up tor Bruntcliffe, it’s theere we’ll all stop,
To gawp at t’ ox roastin’ an hev a dipsop.
A carnival mooin’s gotten aht up on high,
Ower mucky owd Morla it’s peerked up in t’ sky.
Spangles o’ mooin-glow frer t’ Prospect to t’ Glen,
It’s ower this lang sin, all t’ fun we hed then. †
In a town of dirt, in a town of hard work
Some folk call it Morley Hole
A long time since, before the last war
The procession began at Tingley Bar.
Morley Carnival this peepshow was called
Something to enliven us when we were fed up
Held once a year to aid Medical Charity
It was always a day for much hilarity. …
Buzzers had blown from the Prospect to Glen (mills)
It’s only for the weekend you weavers and men
So trek up to the fish shop for the dinner today
You must get into the sink and wash the mill dirt away
She’s busy with her housework, it’s bound to be fine
It was trying to rain but now there’s sunshine
Let’s decorate our pathway with streamers and flags
Then go for our clothes that were pawned at Sam Cleggs
Look lad. Can you hear it? It’s Morley Brass Band
Get out on the pavement, the procession’s at hand
The mounted policemen are riding into view
Boxes all jingling, they’ll soon fill a few.
Fix your eyes on the carriage with the carnival queen
A weaver from the city, not quite sixteen.
While the Mayor and his wife they ride by in state
The posh car will be making a rise in the town rates…
I’m splitting my sides at Scouring Stone Lizzie
It’s only a man and he’s being kept busy
He’d gone to the old woman to borrow her stuff
For her pram full of rubbish ten shillings made her happy.
Boys dressed up like girls and girls as men
I’ll be surprised if ever they feel the same again
See that silly person with long hair for a coat
She’s Lady Godiva, the great brazen clumsy girl
If you’ve heard a commotion, it’s Parrock Nook Band
Had so much to drink, they hardly can stand
All blowing about with their tin tommy talkers*
And banging their drums like common pan salesmen
With the hobby horse leading, backwards way facing
(I won’t put my shirt on that creature in the racing)
They’ve all had their dinners along at Cross Keys
Jugs of ale, cold tripe and hot peas. …
*musical instrument aka kazoo
In a town of work, in a town of (mill) dams
Carnival’s holding up the Fountain Street trams
Now lads, up to Bruntcliffe, it’s there we’ll all stop
To gaze at the ox roasting and have a dipsop.
A carnival moon’s come out up on high
Over dirty old Morley it’s parked up in the sky
Spangles of moon-glow from the Prospect to Glen
It’s over this long since, all the fun we had then. …