LEFT T' MAC IN T' CANTEEN
by
Alan Lavercombe
I'll tell thee t' sad tale of Sam Arkwright
Leavin' work at t' bus depot in town,
'E were 'alf way back 'ome when it started for t' rain,
And from then on it persisted down.

When 'e's got 'ome about appast midnight,
Our Sam 'e were soaked through to t' skin,
An' 'e thought 'This would never 'ave 'appened
If I'd not left me mac in t' canteen.

Well, 'e's made 'imself quick cup of cocoa,
And toddled off smartish to bed.
T' were as well that 'is wife were pretendin' to sleep,
'Cos Sam, poor old chap, felt 'alf dead.

Well, Sam woke up t' next day wi' t' nose drippin',
'Ead spinnin', bunged up, bleary-eyed,
An' 'e would 'ave spent t' rest of t' day kippin',
If e'd not coughed an' sneezed, and then ..... died!

Now, in spite of 'im bein' a bus driver,
Sam weren't a bad lad, an' 'is fate
Were to go wingin' uppards to 'eaven,
Where Saint Peter stood standing at t' gate.

'Sam Arkwright, come in lad, tha's turned up tha toes.
Bah gum Sam, tha's not all that old,
An' judgin' by t' way tha keeps wipin' tha nose,
I' d say that tha'd caught t' death of cold.'

'Aye, I did that.' says Sam, 'It were lashin' it down,
Like stair-rods, tha knows what I mean.'
'Sam, tha should listen to t' weather forecasts.
Let me guess, tha'd left t' mac in t' canteen?'

'Ere, 'ow d' yer know that?' says Sam Arkwright.
'It were luvv'ly at quarter to four.
Come on! 'Ow d' yer know I'd left t' mac in t' canteen?'
'Well, tha see Sam, it's been done before.'

'There's many an 'istoric figure
'As come to an untimely end
From leavin' 'is mac in a canteen.
Tha' s far from the first one, my friend.'

'Now, the first bloke to do it were Adam,
Left 'is mac in t' canteen, next to Eve's.
If they'd caught t' death of cold we'd not be 'ere today,
But they run up some macs from fig leaves.

An' another case was Julius Caesar,
I remember it well, March fifteen.
Alas an' alack, 'e turned back for 'is mac,
An' got stabbed in t' back in t' canteen.

Then, in 1066, aye, King 'Arold,
Stone dead afore 'e's 'it t' floor.
Tha see, 'e'd completely forgotten
They'd a dartboard be'ind t' canteen door.

King Richard the Third were at Bosworth'
If tha can just picture the scene.
'A mac, a mac, my Kingdom for a mac,
I've gone an' left mine in t' canteen.'

Look what 'appened to Sir Walter Raleigh,
Wot done that good deed for 'is Queen.
Wi' no thanks from Queen Bess, it looked a right mess.
Said 'I should 'ave left this in t' canteen.'

1666, down in London,
This fella came in out of t' rain,
'Ung 'is mac up beside t' canteen heater.
'E were baker, worked down Pudding Lane.

Then, t' Grand old Duke of York
An' 'is ten thousand men'
When they got to the top of this bloody great hill,
Why d' yer think they all marched down again?

And in Africa, eighteen 'undred an' somethin',
T' were rainin' just like in t' monsoon,
When Stanley emerged from the jungle.
'Doctor Livingstone, sir, I presume?'

'Aye, that's me, lad, now tell, what's tha want?'
'What do I want? Bah gum, where's tha been?
I've been searchin' all round t' bloody continent, mate,
Since tha picked up my mac in t' canteen.

Sam, umpteen times now the course of world 'istory
'As 'ung in the balance it seems.
T' were not act of God, but some silly sod
Who'd gone an' left t' mac in t' canteen.

When these people all came up to 'eaven,
First they filled up all t' pegs an' 'at-racks,
They were gonna do summat about it,
'Cos t' canteen were packed solid wi' macs.

We never did find a solution
Yer just couldn't get in through the door,
An' the canteen tea's so bloody rotten,
Nobody goes in any more.

As Saint Peter were showin' our Sam to 'is cloud,
After drawin' 'is wings an' 'is 'arp,
There were quick flash of lightnin' an' thunder,
Then it started for t' rainin' - quite sharp.

'By Gum,' says Saint Peter, 'don't rain often up 'ere.
I thought that sky looked a bit black.
I'm gonna get soaked out in this lot.
Now, where did I leave t' bloody mac?'
The end