MIKE HARDING LYRICS
"THE BALLAD OF COWHEEL LOU"
North Of Oldham South of Diggle there lies a town called Mumps
Where the tripe mines stand just by the washhouse wall
And in that deserted town where the shacks are tumbling down
You can hear the scabby moggies lonesome call
Years ago this town was booming when the tripe rush days were on
And the miners they rolled in from far and near
In the 'Sweaty Clog' saloon they were supping night and noon
Sarsaparilla, liquorice juice and privet beer.
Now she was a good time dancing gal, any tripe miners pal
For a bottle of Brasso she'd love you all night through
She was rough and she was tough, she wore no vest and took black snuff
And was known to all the lads as Cowheel Lou.
Now Lou had one special man, his name was Dangerous Albert
He sucked Fiery Jack and camphorated oil
He wore barbed wire combinations and slept rough on Oldham station
And Wimpy used his dandruff for hardcore.
Now one stormy night in Mumps when the rain came down in lumps
And the wind blew empty tins off Saddleworth Moor
In the 'Sweaty Clog' saloon the pianola played a tune
And Lou was sewing mudflaps on her drawers.
While a gang of tripe prospectors and a couple of tram inspectors
Were gambling all their pay on snakes and ladders
While a pair of Huddersfield tramps were supping the oil from the lamps
And Albert was trying to kickstart the pianola.
Well, the doors busted open wide and a stranger come inside
It was Spotty Bum McGrew the lame evangelist
He was an hop-along bible thumper, he kept a white rat up his jumper
And in his hand he held a tambourine.
He said " I'm looking for a man as how they call him Dangerous Albert
I've heard as how he's known around this part."
Well the pianola stopped its tune and a hush came on the room
So quiet you could hear a cockroach fart.
Said the stranger, "Me and Al, we were buddies he was my pal
In the salvation army band we both did play
'til one night we went on booze, he ripped up me shirt and widdled in my shoes
He blew his nose on me vest and smashed me tambourine!"
Then Albert caught his eye and the stranger gave a cry
And leapt upon the bar with a scream of rage
Then Albert gave a shout and whipped his weapon out
And in his hand he held a tambourine
Now tales have been told of what took place that night
The fiercest fight that Mumps has ever seen
How Spotty Bum McGrew and the lover of Cowheel Lou
Fought to the very death, each with their tambourine.
All night long they did do battle and their tambourines did rattle
Spotty Bum's teeth went flying in the grime
They knocked off Albert's hat and hit the landlords cat
And stopped to suck a lemon at half time.
Now the second half got dirty as they were both feeling a bit shirty
Spotty Bum hit Albert with his rubber leg
Cowheel Lou could stand no more, she picked up pianola from floor
Chucked it and killed them both stone dead.
Now north of Oldham south of Diggle, there's a broken hearted gal
Who tends the grave so cold and so bare
For at Clog Hill above the valley where the wind howls night and day
Spotty Bum and dangerous Albert are buried there.
So if you go 'cross Saddleworth Moor where the wind whips up from Diggle
And you think you hear thunder in the east
Its not thunder 'cross those hillocks it's the ghost of those two pillocks
Knocking buggery out of each other with their tambourines.