Porter Songs 1

by Rusts

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  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Limited Edition of 50 (25 remaining), Hand-made CD recording of Porter Songs 1: Shepherd Wheel to Forge Dam. In a lovely recycled card case and hand numbered.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Porter Songs 1 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

Studio recording of the first in a series of albums exploring and interpreting the story of the Porter River in Sheffield.

credits

released 21 June 2015

Performed, improvised and recorded by Scott Russell. With music composed by Scott Russell, and lyrics by Mike Warnes (track 7)

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Rusts Sheffield, UK

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Track Name: The Grinder's Hardships
To be a Sheffield grinder it is no easy trade.
There's more than you'd imagine in the grinding of a blade.
The strongest man amongst us is old at thirty-two.
There's few who brave such hardships as we poor grinders do.
In summer time we cannot work till water does appear,
And if this does not happen the season is severe:
Then our fingers are numbed by keen winter frosts or snow,
And few can brave the hardships that we poor grinders do.
And few, &c.
And every working day, we are breathing dust and steel,
And a broken stone can give us a wound that will not heal.
There's many an honest grinder ground down by such a blow.
There's few that brave such hardships as we poor grinders do.

There's many a poor grinder who's thus been snatched away,
Without a moment's warning to meet his judgement day.
Before his judge he must appear, his final doom to know.
There's few who brave such hardships as we poor grinders do.

There's many a poor grinder whose family is large,
With all his best endeavours cannot his debts discharge.
When children cry for bread, oh, how pitiful the view,
Though few can bear such hardships as we poor grinders do.
Track Name: The Jolly Grinder
There was a jolly grinder
Once lived by the River Don,
He worked and sang from morn ‘til night,
and sometimes he worked none.

Chorus
And still the burden of his song for ever used to be:
'Tis never worthwhile to work too long
if it doesn't agree with me!

He seldom on a Monday worked
Except near Christmas Day.
It wasn't the labour that he shunned,
For 'twas easier far than play.

Chorus

A pale teetotaller chanced to meet
Our grinder one fine day.
As he sat at the door with his pipe and glass
he to our friend did say:
"You destroy your health and senses too."
Says the grinder, "You're much too free.
Attend to your work, if you've ought to do,
and don't interfere with me."

Chorus

"There's many like you go sneaking around
Persuading beer drinkers to turn.
'Tis easier far on our failings to spout
than by labour your living to earn.
I work when I like and play when I can
and I envy no man I see,
Such men as you won't alter my plan
for I know what agrees with me.”

Chorus
Track Name: The Cruel Mother
There was a lady lived by the Porter
(All alone and a lonely)
A cutler’s son he courted her
(Down in the green Porter Valley)
He courted her for seven long years.
At last she proved in child with him.

She pitched her back against a tree.
And there she found great misery.

She pitched her back against a thorn.
And there she had her baby born.


She took her scarf from around her neck.
She bound her baby’s hands and legs.

Bound in paper, a brick and her daughter.
Bound for an end in Shepherd’s pond.

She watched her sink into the dark.
And as she sunk, it broke her heart.


As she was going to her father’s hull.
She saw three babes a playing at ball.

One dressed in silk, the other in satin, the other stark naked as ever was born.

Oh dear baby if you were mine,
I’d dress you in silk and satins so fine.

Oh dear mother I once was thine,
You never did dress me course or fine.
The cold dark pond it was my bed.
The darkest silt my coverlet.
Track Name: Down the Porter
Above the town
amid the sedges and the peat,
Where gritstones
and poets chance to meet.
Passed the farms
And millstones fallen down,
And churchyard, ruins
To the town.

And so you carry me
Just like your iron-rusted water
So many memories.

Over wears
and dams to turning wheels,
Forging iron and grinding steel.
On the banks
Of the river I feel,
Life was hard, and it was real.

And so you carry me,
Just like your iron-rusted water,
So many memories,
Floating down the Porter

So many lives come and gone,
The mills, but one, all broken.
But as your water flows on,
So life too keeps moving along.

And so you carry me,
Just like your iron-rusted water,
So many memories,
Floating down the Porter
Track Name: A Shot that Failed
He came to Forge Dam a self-made man
Reinvented after a fashion.
Once more the whispers began.
Eyed with suspicion,
met with petition.
A shot that failed
A chance that missed
A lie unveiled a life dismissed
Short of the mark, coming apart before falling.
If ‘not guilty’ was not enough
In trial what verdict would they like to give?
I took no anvil, nor steel, nor file.
There’s nothing I should forgive.

In all his 75 years
He’s struggled to survive
How can he prove his worth, while all Fulwood connive?

Three times applied, each time denied
Where’s the harm in indulging in a while
Music, drink and dancing, by the waterside
What is there to revile?

A shot that failed
A chance that missed
A lie unveiled a life dismissed
Short of the mark, coming apart before falling.