The Town Hall Clock

This is a song that I wrote to be performed at Morley Folk club, where I am a regular floor singer. It has had one public outing, after which I subsequently revised it to make the verses longer and to have less choruses. After all, it isn’t a shanty! I’m pleased to say that the Morley Literature Festival have accepted it for their NowThen! Morley web project.

In eighteen hundred and ninety five,
The men from Potts brought the movement alive.
They tested it then made it still,
then horses dragged it up Churwell Hill.
Five bells were cast and hauled aloft,
whilst the politicians supped and scoffed.
Four faces does the town clock show
that’s twice as many as down below.

Behold the Town Hall Clock, Its Morley’s time bedrock.
It’s heard throughout the town, and seen for miles around

In nineteen hundred and sixty one,
The wellington street mill’s days were done.
It went up like a tinderbox
and the sparks and embers blew across.
The tower dome it caught alight.
the firemen battled all the night.
The children have momentos still,
the lead that ran down Dawson hill.

Behold the Town Hall Clock, Its Morley’s time bedrock.
It’s heard throughout the town, and seen for miles around.

The Council they went back to Potts,
and got a new clock in a big blue box.
No longer did they need the key,
it winds up now by electricity.
The clock is mostly going strong,
but now and then it goes horribly wrong.
It’s not internet time but you’d never guess,
it’s protected now by a UPS!

Behold the Town Hall Clock, Its Morley’s time bedrock.
It’s heard throughout the town, and seen for miles around.

Now only Smiths can climb above,
with the pigeons and the occasional Dove.
If you want to go up, you’re out of luck,
cos’ the ‘elfen safety say get to… Leeds.
The clock shines out throughout the night,
contrasting with the church in white.
St. Mary’s told the time as well,
but now its just a blackened shell.

Forlorn, St. Mary’s clock,
Will it ever again tick tock?