Old Sam

by Peter Dodds

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Come gather round my bonny lads
Let loose your pretty gals -
And I'll tell you a famous tale
About the old canals.

Old Sam he came from down Pensnett,
Hard by an ancient mine,
And every day till the sun had set,
He worked the old main line.

Now Oldbury's a filthy place -
No trees, no leafy glades -
But you could see Sam's smiling face,
As he's locking down the Brades.

In Netherton he loaded slack,
For Wolverhampton due;
In Dudley Tunnel, on his back,
He legged the old boat through.

Now up in Wolverhampton town,
He wooed a fair maid, but
When he got wed to settle down,
She made him leave the cut,

Old Sam he broke his heart and died:
'Twas never of old age.
With his last breath he cursed the bride,
Who killed his heritage.

Words taken from 'West Midlands' Ballads' by Michael Raven. (ISBN 978 0 906114 85 8). No tune was given.