Wind comes whistling down the lane

Whispering scratching at your windowpane

Tapping Billy will disturb your dreams

The hunting vixen in the shadows screams

Up in the village where the legends lie

The church protected by a curious eye

Symbols carved upon a dry stone wall

A black cat shadow and a raven’s caw

            Mouldheels, Mouldheels

            Children’s stories running down the years

            Songs of innocence to veil the tears


Neighbours gathering beside the gate

The crops have withered and the wells stagnate

Rumour has it that a farmer died

When the child of the devil looked him in the eye

Legend tells us that the queen of all

Is Alice lurking in her draughty hall

Riding out into the darkest night

With Squinting Lizzie and her acolytes

            Mouldheels, Mouldheels

            Demdike, Alizon and Chattox died

            To write the history of Pendleside 


Ten necks stretching on the Gallows Moor

Branded heretics before the law

Were they guilty of satanic crimes?

Or a grave injustice in a lawless time?

You pay your money and you take your pick

An old girl sitting on a besom stick

Pointed hats and masks to buy

For Halloween when the witches fly

          Mouldheels, Mouldheels

          Mouldheels watching as you climb the track,

          The old hill shudders and the sky turns black

Child of the Hollow Way

Deep down inside of the oldest of spaces

Down where the willow goes searching the stream

Down where the fallen leaves fade into shadows

Down in the whispering darkening hour I was born


Out in the green and the wildest expanses

Tied to the reminders of times long ago

Lost in the veil of the mist that is rising

Remnants of cornstalks and brushwood that fire the land


I am the herald of all those who wander

Waiting for travellers to pass on their way

Watching the birds as they welcome the dawning

Scatter the seeds of the sunrise that marks the new day


Seven Whistlers

Don’t whistle in the darkness lad,  don’t whistle down the wind

Beware the seven harbingers, of sorrow they will bring

          Six will fly forever while the seventh flies alone

          She’s got to find her sisters on the wing, her sisters on the wing


Remember close your window lad,  and keep the fire bright

The wind will bring the cries of those who’ll never see the light


Don’t whistle at the pithead lad,  don’t whistle at the face

The memories of tragedy will always haunt this place


Remember keep your head down lad and never question why

And never wish to meet the ones who haunt the darkling sky








Jinny Greenteeth

In th’old mill dam,  behind’t stone wall, Jinny Greenteeth comes to call

She’s slithered through from’t outflow beck

For naughty kids she’ll have a sneck

Her teeth are sharp, her fingers cold, so you better do what you’ve been told

Don’t stir her up, don’t dare throw stones, or she’ll suck yer blood and chew the bones


In the treetops in the moonlight, slithering and slinking

Old Jinny comes a-calling, listen for her wailing and her moaning

And you might just feel a shiver if she is near yer

If you say you’re no believer, pray to god you never ever see her

          It’s the naughty child that’s brought her

          Doesn’t care if it’s your son or daughter

          You’ll not see her you’ll not find her

          Never been a one that’s caught her


Could be lurking by the river, see the reeds quiver

In the stagnant slime and slither, making all the pretty flowers wither

By the cut or in the mill dam, watching and waiting

Down a well or in the sewer, you would keep your distance if you knew her

          It's the naughty child...etc


The days grow short, the morning’s dark,  wrap up when playing down the park

Ice is forming on the lake, it’s very thin, might quickly break

Old Jinny’s lurking thereabouts, fed up with childrens’ happy shouts

She sets her trap with evil grin, be careful or you might fall in


Johnny Clegg and Slubbin’ Billy acting quite silly

Cobbin’ stones into the water, trying to impress the vicar’s daughter

Sally Day and Sally Porter, heed what we taught yer

Never let old Jinny spy yer, dangling your toes into the water

          It's the naughty child...etc


You won’t see her fingers reaching, beckoning, twitching

Down a grid she may be sleeping, waiting for the twilight to come creeping

So if you’re playing by the water. do what we’ve taught yer

Don’t be the naughty child that’s brought her, she will not go home if Jinny’s caught her

          It's the naughty child...etc


Some say she’s just a figment

An invention of your mum

And kids are only playing games

And scream that Jinny’s come

But walk alone at midnight

By the river or the beck

You’ll know when Jinny’s seen yer

You’ll get shivers down yer neck


[Thick ice forming on the water 

Never been a one that’s caught her

Stay out of the water]



Was hardly a street in my old home town

That you didn’t see the tallyman creeping down

Children shouting at the backyard gate

Warning their mother of impending fate

Shouting at the backyard gate


Running quickly to a neighbour’s house

Crouching in the cellar be as quiet as a mouse

Some take refuge underneath the stair

Wonder how it got to this state of affairs

Hiding underneath the stairs


Thursday comes and the tension mounts

The day when the debtors get brought to account

Find them hiding by the back yard wall

Waiting for the time when the tallyman calls

Waiting for the tallyman’s call


Nice as pie when he makes a sale

Even though his prices are beyond the pale

See him turn when the debt’s not paid

Quick to remind you of the bargain that you made

See him when the debt's not paid


"Whose fault was it that you made the deal?

Got no sympathy for how you feel"

"But how do you know that you won’t be next?

Years of debt and your future wrecked

Do you know that you might be next"


 Was hardly a street in my old home town

That you didn’t see the tallyman creeping down

Children shouting at the backyard gate

Warning their mother of impending fate

Shouting at the backyard gate



A Handloom Weaver’s Tale

I am a handloom weaver lass

Here sitting at me loom

And staring at the loneliness

That shrouds this empty room

The work is gone, me family too

So no one hears me cry

But I’ll weave my tale ‘til I die


One day the jagger came to call

To make his last exchange

For no one buys a single bale

The world around has changed

It all belongs to industry

That’s grown up in the town

And the masters who shut us down


I see the smoke roll up the hill

And hear the engines roar

I see the bands of pilgrims as

They wander past my door

They’re on their way to find a job

Their bellies to be fed

If they work in line in the sheds


They say that I should join them

There’s a room that I can rent

With wages at the end o’t week

And tick when that is spent

All they want’s commitment to

A “fair ten hour shift”

While the rich build mansions from our thrift


There’s word they’ve got a school for us

A place for children’s play

A shop to buy yer vittals  

And a chapel where to pray

The master grants protection for

A small deducted fee

Toe the line you’ll never be in need


I am a handloom weaver lass

My skills you don’t demand

No economic benefit

I offer to this land

You’re tied to mass production

Ruled by profit at my loss

And my voice will be forever lost








































It’s Going Round (Again)

This old house is made of shadows, this old house is made of light

This old house has seen the sun come up and shivered through the night

This old house has seen the vagaries of nature’s ebb and flow

This old house has welcomed strangers in and told some where to go

This old house has been an overcoat, protection from the rain

This old house has heard the laughter and has soaked up all the pain

It’s going round again


This old street has seen the poverty come knocking at the door

This old street has seen the Christian soldiers marching as to war

This old street has heard the politicians calling for a strike

This old street has seen the ragged souls arriving in the night

This old street has seen the moonlight flit, the lover’s warm embrace

This old street has seen the mighty slowly fall into disgrace

It's going round again


This old town has ha its day for sure just like the prophets warned

This old town has had no revolution, not a stone was turned

This old town has seen too many people falling through the cracks

This old town has learned to turn the cheek and lately turn its back

This old town has learned to scowl and sneer and forge a bitter path

This old town has had to dig its grave and write its epitaph

It's going round again


This old country has decided that it wants to stand alone

This old country put two fingers up to all the kindness shown

This old country threw the love away and hoovered up the hurt

This old country’s sliding off the edge its fingers clutch the dirt

This old house no longer standing, this old street is in decay

This old town still votes the wreckers in, can’t see another way

It's going round again


A Jacquard Loom Weaver’s Tale

People warned me, hard times were coming

Constant whispers, and rumours spread

World is changing, cotton mills are closing

These northern towns are close to death


We had it good, and we had it easy

Jobs were plenty, and wages paid

No need for worry, no signs of trouble

A feather bed...three meals a day


Business moving, right across the water

Cheaper wages, more profit made

So these towns, they have been discarded

Pretty soon they will be our grave


Darkness coming, hunger it is calling

Winds of change, blowing from the east

In your pocket, there is no silver lining

In your mind, no sense of release



 A cold swill in the morning, boots and lamps are checked

Never been an absentee, always present and correct

Plunge into the darkness, work ‘til muscles ache

Longing for the pithead baths, as you feel your body break

This is the miner’s song

Glad you don’t have to sing along?


Firedamp roams the downcast, chokedamp prowls the screens

Afterdamp never leaves a trace and haunts your waking dreams

Listening for the siren,  fear etched on your face

We should be many miles from here,  not prisoners in this place

This is...etc


Coal dust in your marrow, black lung in your breath

Waiting for a roof collapse, always this much close to death

Working to the whistle, loading up the tubs

The only wish you ever make  is to get back up above

This is...etc


Wages paid on Friday, gone inside a day

Pay the rent and tallyman, not a bob to put away

No thought for the future, just get through the week

Winter blows its icy breath, the situation’s bleak

This is...etc