The battle for the NUM (June 1984)


I’ll tell you the tale of a battle.
It’s one of the fiercest we’ve had
Between an American butcher
And bold Mrs Scargill’s young lad.

The Yankee came over to England
To rationalise British Steel
He slew British Leyland, and then he moved on
To bring our miners to heel.

But he hadn’t reckoned on Arthur
A worthy opponent, our man,
He said: "Nay to hummah, you can’t do that there,
"Although Maggie says that you can

"You see, we have got these agreements,
"Concerning pit closures, and such
"We feel a bit strong about that sort of thing,
"We don’t like your attitude much.

"We have this old-fashioned tradition
"That might seem a trifle absurd
"When we make agreements we mean what we say
"A man should be good as his word.

"So sling your hook, Ian MacGregor,
"In Tebbit’s words ‘get on your bike’
"Until you have honoured the Programme for Coal
"I reckon we’ll stay out on strike".

June 1984

This verse was inspired by the Stanley Holloway monologues. I wrote this one night, when I couldn’t sleep.