The Last Nail

Last Tuesday I rushed out from finishing my podcast Episode 15 and caught the train to Romford, just like so many times on Wednesdays, except this was to visit Romford Folk Club. It’s always on Tuesdays, so not the best fit with the weekly podcasts, but I’ve proven that it can be done in time without even missing the opening number.  The guest artists were supposed to be from Yorkshire but because of some hiccup, a couple of musicians who normally host the folk club at Lee On Sea, Mick and Pete stood in at short notice and entertained all with a hearty selection of mostly Irish and Australian folk songs.

I’ll be playing a guest spot myself at the Romford Folk Club in April next year, the 5th I think, but on Tuesday I played one Andy Roberts original song, The Last Nail.

The Romford Folk Club meets on Tuesdays at 8.00pm downstairs at the Sun, London Road, Romford RM7 9QA

The Last Nail Lyrics

Above the stone walled harbour, or down the winding hill
That’s where they built the boatyard, and the structure stands there still.
Not much boat building happens now, just repairs and fitting out
but when the wind rattles the boatmasts, you can hear the old boatbuilders shout:
Will you pass the last nail over and I’ll knock it into place,
Then with four more coats of varnish, she’ll be ready for the race.

Our grandfathers put up the boatyard, to build the fishing fleet,
more than fifty boats in the harbour, and shops all down the main street
then the steam age brought  in the drifters,
boat builders became engineers
Now the wind blows straight through the boatyard,
there’ll be no more boat building here
Will you pass the last nail over and I’ll knock it into place,
Then with four more coats of varnish, she’ll be ready for the race.

With a keen eye for staying in business, they switched over to build leisure craft
And the weekend yachtsmen snapped them up, no expense spared fore or aft
Then wooden hulls went out of fashion, the order book emptied last year
So the bankers foreclosed on the boatyard,
and there’ll be no more boatbuilding here
Will you pass the last nail over and I’ll knock it into place,
Then with four more coats of varnish, she’ll be ready for the race.

Now the Vikings invented the clinker for both strength and shallow seas
and the herring boats followed the coastline, until the canning ships found the key
There’s a regatta here every August, and the whole village turns out again
But the Sea Queen’s no real competition, and it’s guaranteed to rain
Will you pass the last nail over and I’ll knock it into place,
Then with four more coats of varnish, she’ll be ready for the race.

Above the stone walled harbour, or down the winding hill
that’s where they built the boatyard, and the skeleton stands there still.
No more boat building happens now, not even fitting out
but when the wind rattles the boatmasts, you can still hear the old boys shout:
Will you pass the last nail over, we’ll knock it into place,
Then with four more coats of varnish, she’ll be ready for the race.