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Fred Hirst

A Coil Fire by Fred Hirst

"Wot did ivvrybody do wi' a coil fire Grandad?"
"A coil fire wor a must, summat that ivvrybody 'ad
Majestically it stood in a blackleeahded surrahnd
In a fender, at its feet, a pooahker an' tongs wo fahnd

Its wahrm glow penetrated all t'corners o’ t'room
Flames danced an darted, dispellin all t’gloom
W’en stooahked up, it’s embers glowed an' rooahred
Sometimes, up t'chimalee, t'smooak gently sooahred

All throo t'day it wo kept busy an throng
It kept kettle singin its peculiahr song
In a bakin bowl, it mad mi Ma's dooahr rise
Well i' t'oven, baked bread, thin cakes an' pies

Ivvery wash day it ed allus plenty ta do
Dryin an airin clooahs, an t'ob wo some stew
At its front on a rack, flat irons wor ‘eeated
Ta press clooahs flat, or maybe some wo pleeahted

In a pan, vegetables wo boiled nice an' steady
In t'oven joints wo rosted 'til the' wo ready
Tha cud toist thi bread 'til it wo crispy an' brahn
An in its cooahsy wahmth yer cud all sit dahn

Nah as t'yeahrs roll on an' we all grow owd
Coil fires ev gone aht an' grates gone cowd
Weer t’fireplace once stood a television stands
An' nah on a radiator tha's ta wahm thi 'ands"

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Adam An' Eve An' T' Apple by Fred Hirst

T' snake asked t' woman if she could eyt fruit from ivvery tree.
She said, "No, that tree i' t' middle, we've got ta leeahve be
God said that we'd be i' bother after we'd 'ed first bite."
"Dooahn't believe 'im, 'eva taste, tha'll be filled wi' delight

"God knaws that after thas tasted, the'll surely knaw good from bad."
T' woman tasted, she fahnd it wo good, in fact it wo t' best she'd 'ad.
She tempted Adam an' the' sat dahn an' the' booath 'ed some ta eyt,
Suddenly the' fahnd that the' wo stahrk naked, that couldn't be reight.

The' covered up wi' fig leeahves so as ta 'ide the'r blushes,
W'en God walked through t' gahrden, the' 'id i' t' bushes.
God called aht, "Oh Adam, weer ahr ta?" an' Adam 'ed ta come aht.
God 'ed be 'oppin' mad w'en 'e knew the'd 'ed some apple for a stahrt.

"Weer es ta been," God said, "Tha wor a long time w'en Ah shahted
An' weer is t' woman, Ah’ve nivver knawn yer ta be pahrted".
Adam said, "Ah wo freetened an' Ah didn't want the' ta see me bare."
" 'ah did ta knaw tha wo bare? It's that tree, tha 'esn't laiked fair."

"It wo t' woman, she telled me ta eyt some fruit from that tree."
T' woman said, "It wo that sinful snake, 'e egged me on, 'e kidded me."
Ta snake, God said, "Tha'll be cursed an' on thi belly tha'll crawl.
T' world 'll call thee a sinner, nooahbody 'll like thee at all."

T' Adam God said, "For thee, cursed will be all t' soil,
Thorns an' thistles 'll grow on t' land, tha'll 'ev ta toil.
Tha'll sweeaht for all t' grain that tha grows aht o' t' dust,
For dust tha ahrt an' tha'll gooah back ta soil, it's a must."

Ta woman, God said. "Ah'll multiply thi sorrow i' thi conception,
Ah'm sure tha'll live a long time ta regret thi deception."
Adam decided that t' woman should be named Eve an' become 'is wife.
T' Lord said that the' would be donned i' furs for t' rest o' the'r life.

God said, "Adam, tha're one of us." 'e didn't wan 'im ta be an evil,doer.
"Nah that knaws reight from wrong, tha's nooah need ta sin onny mooahr."
God sent Adam aht o' t' Garden of Eden ta spend rest of 'is life on t' land
An' 'e put a flamin' sword ta guard that tree from w'ich Adam wo banned.

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A Deep Grave by Fred Hirst

Little mahse, wot ivver a' ta dooin dahn 'eeahr i' t'pit
The've neeahly all gone nah tha'll bi on thi awn in a bit
Sooin tha weeant be able ter fill thissen wi fat an' bread
Ner rive up all t'snap papers ter mak thissen a little bed

Ah ta listenin' ter me! The're cloisin' this pit fer good
If tha ahrn't payin' nooah 'eed, tha surely should
In a day er two the'll be chuckin' nooah mooahr snap away
Frame thissen, the'll be nowt ter eyt at t'end o' t'day

Ah can see thi sittin' theeahr tha doesn't seem ter care
T'thowt o' wot's bahn ter 'appen ter thee, Ah cannot bear
Ah sahn't be comin' dabn 'eeahr nooah mooahr after termorrer
But thowt o' thee bein' left dahn 'eeahr, fills me up wi' sorrer

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A Mucky November Neet by Fred Hirst

Dahrkness cem dahn sooin on this November neet
It wor foggy an tha cud 'ardly see thi feet
Flags wo wet an slippy wi leeaves that wo sodden
Thick i’ t’corners weer the 'edn't bin trod on

T'gas lamps gev off a soft murky glow
Reekin breeahth from thi lips did flow
Fingers wo numb an' freezin cowd
Footsteps wor 'urried an' ‘eeahds bowed

eeahr 'oils tinglin', 'oahr frost i' thi 'air
Thowts of ‘ooam an' rushin ta get there
Oppenin t'dooahr, seein' t’fire burnin breet
Gerrin settled dahn i' thi armchair for t'neet

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A Pain I' T' Neck by Fred Hirst

W'en Ah wor a lad Ah 'ed an abscess on mi neck,
It did gi' me some 'umpy an' t' pain, by 'eck.

Mi Mam an' mi Dad 'ed tried, wi lint an' 'ot watter,
T' bust it an' get rid of all t' yeller matter.

Mi Dad said, "Kneel dahn, put thi 'eeahd between mi knees,
After Ah've bathed it i' 'ot watter Ah'll gi' it a squeeze."

W'en 'e pressed 'ahrd wi' booahth 'is thumbs, Ah let aht a yell,
Ther wo nowt cud 'urt 'ahrder than that, even i' 'ell.

"Termorrer, ta doctors tha'll ev ta gooah,
Can't ev the' yellin' like that onny mooahr."

Next day, off ta doctors we we went, mi Dad an' me,
T' doctor said, "Sit thisen dahn an' let's eva see."

'e said, we'll numb it, then nick it wi' a lance."
Ah thowt this is gooin' t' mak me do a merry dance.

It didn't tak 'im long an' 'e plastered it up,
Ah asked 'im if Ah cud eva glass o' watter ta sup.

Mi Dad said for bein' brave Ah cud gooah 'ooahm on tram,
W'en Ah sat dahn ageeahn t' fire, Ah telled all ta mi Mam.

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A Pennorth 0'Spice by Fred Hirst

Ivvery week we used ta ger a Saturday penny.
T' ways ta spend it wo varied an' many.
Stringer's, Lucas's an' Milly Ann Wahrd,
I' theeahs shops, ta find summat new wor 'ahrd.

First of all, tha'd look throot' winders ta see
If the'd owt fresh; inside tha could look for free.
Except for Milly Ann Wahrd. For owt that wo nice
Tha could only look throo t' winder ta pick thi spice.

Gobstoppers wo many a time, a choice for me,
Tha took 'em aht o' thi mahth, a new colour ta see
Tha purr i t back i thi mahth, an' give it a good suck,
An' possibly, after a short w'ile, 'ev another look.

Tha cud buy khali wi' a piece o' Spanish stuck in,
Draw it up throo t' Spanish an' it stahrted fizzin'.
Ther' wo dolly mixtures an' jelly babies too,
Sooah many choices, tha didn't knaw wot ta do.

Ther' wo bahrs o' toffee ta bite off an' chew,
Sometimes it stuck ta thi teeth like glue.
If tha bowt mints, the' made thi tongue 'ot,
A pennorth of 'undreds an' thahsands, wot a lot.

Chocolate wo nice, but it didn't last long,
Fisherman's Friends wo not for me, too strong.
It didn't matter 'ah thi penny wo spent,
Tha'll 'ev enjoyed thisen in onny event.

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An' Jesus Said by Fred Hirst

‘Up that 'ill it neeahrly creeahsed me, carryin' that cross,
Some o' mi follerers wo sorry, t' others didn't give a toss.
The' laid me dahn on it an' inta mi 'ands an' feet some nails wo brayed.
well the' wo dooin' that, mi best mates, the'knelt an' the' prayed.

The' stuck a crahn o' thorns on top o' mi 'eeahd,
Didn't feel nice w'en t' blood ran inta mi beeahrd.
T' cross wo lifted up an' then i t wo rammed in ta grahnd,
It seemed that nooahn o' mi friends wor onnyweer arahnd.

Then a silly Roman brodded me i' t' ribs wi' a speeahr
Ah thowt it's neeahrly ovver nah, Ah'm not long 'eeahr.
"Oh Faather," Ah shahted aht i' agony, "w'y es ta left me on mi awn?"
An' t' pain, it got sooah bad Ah wished that Ah’d nivver been born.

God said, "Tha wo sent dahn theer ta show 'em t' error o' the'r ways,
Tha's nobbut ta stop on earth for nooah mooah than a couple o' days
An' then tha'll rise up ta 'eaven an' tha'll come ta sit bi mi side,
'til all t' folk dahn theer ahr good an' the've nooah sins ta 'ide.

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Awf Wakken by Fred Hirst

Does ta ivver wek up early an' can't get back ta sleep,
Does thi thowts fly ta fantasy an' ahr nivver deep.

Can ta climb mahntans or does ta frolic throo t' dells,
Ahr ta browt back ta reality wi' t' church bells?

Is thi skin tanned as tha ligs dahn on t' sands,
Ahr ta looahnly wi' nooah one ta ' od thi 'ands?

Eytin' i' t' cannel leet, is that pahrt o' thi bliss,
Will thi woman enthrall the' wi' a passionate kiss?

Ahr ta too owd ta be bothered abaht thowts o' sex,
W'en tha reads a book, can't ta get past t' index?

W'en tha drew curtains back ta let in t' leet,
Didn't ta realize that t' sun wo sooah breet?

As thi fantasies fade an' sooah does thi dreeahms,
A cup o' teeah 'ell wakken thee up, or sooah it seems.

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