Leanin'

September 26, 2015

This lyric is reproduced here because it is so fine and I can’t find a good audio of the song on Youtube, though there are a couple of not-so-good ones, including one by the composer himself. The tune is very nice too, but it’s the remarkable lyric that always grabs me. It was written by Hugh E Wright and T C S Bennett, and was released in 1926 by Harold Williams. But the Frank Muir version, still somewhere in the bowels of the BBC, is the definitive version.

Sowin’s pretty good
Reapin’ ain’t so bad
Scarin’ off the crows
Suits a farmer’s lad

But if you ask’es me
The thing that suits a fellow
Is a little bit of straw to suck
To keep your fancies mellow

When you’re leanin’ on the gate beside
The pond that lies beside the side
Of farmer’s stacks of new mown hay
It’s just atwix the ricks beside
The barn with farmer’s chicks inside
The chicks he only hatch’d today
Leanin’, leanin’
I’m champion down our way, they say
At leanin’ on the gate beside
The pond that lies beside the side
Of farmer’s stacks of new mown hay
That he’s been gleanin’
While I’ve been leanin’
Thinking to meself all day

Had a lurcher once
Better than a gal
Poacher? Well, a bit
But ‘e was a pal
Now there’s just a mound
Underneath the el-lum (Elm)
Reckon folks would laugh at I
If I was to tell ’em…

Why I’m leanin’ on the gate beside
The pond that lies beside the side
The hedge where my old dog would play
It’s just a’cos from there I see
The sunlight glintin’ through the tree
Upon the grave where ‘e do lay
Sleepin’, sleepin’
Goodbye is hard to say, that’s why
I’m leanin’ on the gate beside
The pond that lies beside the side
Of farmer’s stacks of new-mown hay
And at the gleanin’
He’ll find me leanin’
Thinking to meself all day

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