SCRATCH AT THE SLATE

A farmer he knew tried to teach George the rules
In reading and writing soft-stone was his tool
For he’d made his own luck from the chance hand of fate
Now he’s gentleman and scholar to scratch at the slate.

Hi first job was bird scaring when he came up to ten
On the way past the hedgerows their nests count again
For he’d made his own luck from the chance hand of fate
Now he’s gentleman and scholar to scratch at the slate.

When they sunk Killy pit it would soon get drowned out,
He made do with machines, took apart they worked out
For he’d made his own luck from the chance hand of fate
Now he’s gentleman and scholar to scratch at the slate.

And to George it’s ideal he could keep well-informed,
His son did his bidding in that way George learned
For he’d made his own luck from the chance hand of fate
Now he’s gentleman and scholar to scratch at the slate.

Now as Chief Engineer he had men for to hire
And help with his letters and he signed them esquire

For he’d made his own luck from the chance hand of fate
Now he’s gentleman and scholar to scratch at the slate.

G. F. Phillips
(Published in the North Tyneside Steam anthology, edited by Keith Armstrong)