Jacko

by Johnny Handle (1992)

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There was a man at Gayton, his name was John Wimpress,
He was a pike fisherman, one of the very best:
He'd sit all day fishing, with lots of kinds of bait,
Saying, there's a monster down in the mud, I'll catch him if I wait.

Chorus : Dip and dive, dip and dive, fishes for your tea.

He waited so still and quiet, he fished all day long,
He fished for a week, he fished for a month, till a kingfisher came along;
“Hello”, says this bright fellow, as he sat and thought for a bit,
“That pointy stick that the old man has, is a very good place to sit.”

So each day they worked, the old man catching nowt,
And Jacko the kingfisher, kept pulling fishes out:
He brought along his missus, and fledglings one two three,
They perched together on the old man's rod, it was better than a tree

One day they flew up and down, it was an awful sight,
‘Cos a giant pike ate the old man up with a grunt of high delight;
So if you go a-fishing, tell tall tales - just like me,
And that's as true as the kingfisher, that's perching here on me -

Can't you see? That's perching here on me.
I am indebted to Johnny Handle who has taken the time to provide me with printed copies of his canal songs. This was written in Stoke Bruerne, April 1992. Johnny has written many songs, mainly about coal mining and his native north-east of England - an area deprived of canals. More details of Johnny Handle's work can be found on his website and Pete Wood has recently (2017) written his biography.