Sunday Lyrics: My Old Man’s A Dustman – Lonnie Donegan

Trashcan, Poor Man, Homeless, Poor

Image: Pixabay

Jim Adams has challenged us this week to post about songs featuring clothing.

Many of us have uniforms, but not all of these are official.   Our clothing can indicate our roles and professions even when not “required.”  I remember being admonished to wear a tie as it would be inappropriate for a teacher to do otherwise.  So be it ties, lab coats, our a certain type of cap – we are tagged by our attire.

In 1960, Lonnie Donegan, a British skiffle singer released “My Old Man’s a Dustman.”  It is a comedy song about a Dustman (Garbage Collector/Sanitary Engineer) and it mentions his “uniform” in the chorus/refrain:

Oh, my old man’s a dustman He wears a dustman’s hat He wears cor blimey trousers And he lives in a council flat He looks a proper narner In his great big hobnail boots He’s got such a job to pull ’em up That he calls them daisy roots

The song reached number one in the British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand singles charts in 1960.


Now here's a little story
To tell it is a must
About an unsung hero
That moves away your dust
Some people make a fortune
Others earn a mint
My old man don't earn much
In fact he's flippin' skint

Oh, my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat
He looks a proper narner
In his great big hobnail boots
He's got such a job to pull 'em up
That he calls them daisy roots

Some folk give tips at Christmas
And some of them forget
So when he picks their bins up
He spills some on the steps
Now one old man got nasty
And to the council wrote
Next time my old man went 'round there
He punched him up the throat

Oh, my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

I say, I say Les' (yeah?)
I 'er, I found a police dog in my dust bin
(How do you know he's a police dog?)
He had a policeman with him

Though my old man's a dustman
He's got an 'eart of gold
He got married recently
Though he's eighty-six years old
We said "'ere, 'ang on dad
you're getting past your prime"
He said "well when you get to my age"
"It helps to pass the time" (oi!)

My old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

I say, I say, I say (huh?)
My dustbin's full of lillies
(Well, throw them away then!)
I can't, Lilly's wearing them

Now, one day while in a hurry
He missed a lady's bin
He hadn't gone but a few yards
When she chased after him
"What game do you think you're playing"
She cried right from the heart
"You missed me, am I too late?"
"No, jump up on the cart!"

My old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wears cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat, I say I say, I say (not you again!)

My dustbin's absolutely full with toadstools
How do you know it's full?
'Cause there's not mushroom inside!

He found a tiger's head one day
Nailed to a piece of wood
The tiger looked quite miserable
But I suppose he should
Just them from out the window
A voice began to wail
He said "oi, where's me tiger's head?"
"Four foot from 'is tail!"

Oh, my old man's a dustman
He wears a dustman's hat
He wear cor blimey trousers
And he lives in a council flat

Next time you see a dustman
Looking all pale and sad
Don't kick him in the dustbin
It might be my ole dad!


Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind


A damp, drizzly November


“I feel vacant, like there’s no excitement in my life,” Howard lamented.

“You know, Melville wrote about that. He called it ‘a damp, drizzly November in my soul.’ Maybe you should have an adventure, like going to sea,” Carly teased.

“I hate water,” he retorted.

“Well then avoid water.  How about climbing a mountain?”

“Nope, ‘fraid of heights as well,” Howard replied.

“You could get a motorcycle,” she prompted.

“No, too fast.  I’d break my neck.”

“Okay – no water, no heights, no speed, and I already know you don’t drink or smoke.”

“With your life, I’d be in November too.”

(100 Words)


50 Word Thursday #38




We do not grieve as others who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4: 13)

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I am in grief.  There is no denying that.  But even in the sense of personal loss which wells over me at this time, it does not overcome me.   I have hope.  It is a hope founded in faith, and in which my wife’s passing was not “game over,” but merely a time of separation.  A time in the scheme of eternity that will be but a blink.

Yes, it might seem long (depending on how long I have still to continue my pilgrimage) while here on earth, but it is not enough to cause me despair.

A Christian lady I once saw on a video made a powerful statement about facing her own demise.  She said, “Death is a comma, not a full stop.”  How wonderful a way to express the hope in our resurrection to join Jesus.  One part of our existence will come to an end, only to continue with the rest of the story.

Paul wrote, “We do not grieve as others who have no hope (1 Thess. 4: 13).”  Yes, we still grieve, but not as those that think that this earthly life is all there is.  My wife as she faced death, always held that God could heal her at any time.  Such power was His to deal as was best.  But she also held that accepting her mortality was a blessing.  We are only passing through, here below.  If we cling to this life, with the conviction that death is definitive, then of course it brings fear and pain.  But she in her hope of a life everlasting, easily was able to say to God: “In my life – your glory.   If I am healed – it will cause people to marvel and praise.  And if I don’t get physically healed, I will live my faith to its full, and show those around me, that death is not to be feared because Jesus has gone to prepare me a place.”  She lived that to the end.   We should too.



A Chance Meeting


Wallet, Table, Business, Office, Computer, Notebook


A chance meeting while seeking help

No thought of what it might become

Discussing with strangers the issues of life

And then we became as one


How odd, our meeting was while far away

In a help room for sharing advice

And then we would click, bond, and grow

And you agreed to become my wife


So simple a meeting,  no thought of a link

Lone parenting our only aim

But it all came together faster than you’d think

Our destinies proved the same




My wife and I “met” in a chatroom for single parents.  This was no “online dating site.” It was a Christian site with the purpose of discussing being single parents and coming up with advice and strategies for dealing with the responsibility of that role.  We seemed to have much in common as far as approach, and that in turn showed other things we shared.   Our online contact moved on from that and about 3 months later we met for the first time face to face.  God works in wonderful ways, and through such an unexpected medium, I found the perfect partner and wife.

Beyond the Sacred Sea



The waters were surprisingly calm as our ship entered the Sacred Sea–the place where many of us were eventually destined to go. It wasn’t my time just yet, but my friend was on the ship ahead of us and I was there to see her off. Though I would miss her terribly, I could not grudge her good fortune when I saw the pure joy in her eyes.

As her ship approached the center of the Sea, ripples of cloud formed in a circle above it. From the center of the circle, a bright light broke through the darkening sky, out-shining the stars and what was left of the setting sun. It was a portal to another world…another time, perhaps. There were plenty of tales of what lie on the other side–of shining cities, and lush fields and forests. Wealth and beauty beyond imagining. But no one really knew for sure. What was on the other side would always be cloaked in mystery, for no one who went through it ever came back. Yet it had always been this way, since the beginning, that on the last day of each year, a ship would be sent with the lucky chosen. New lives awaited them on the other side.

The ship began to rise, creaking and groaning as it lifted just above the water, then higher and higher into the air. Those of us watching looked on with awe. What was awaiting our loved ones on their journey into the sky? And what would we find on our appointed day to follow? 

The reality then gripped me that she was gone, and tears began to run down my cheeks.

“None of that now, Laddie,” the old helmsman said.

“It’s just – it’s just the not knowing for sure,” I choked.  “None return.”

“That’s not strictly so,” the old mariner said, wisdom and compassion in his eyes.

“What do you mean?” I said grasping at a sudden hope.

“There was one from the other side that came to live here for a spell, and he told us that his father had rooms aspare awaiting.  Then he went from here dying in a horrendous way.  His ship journey, one of storm and pain, but three days later he returned to tell folk that he had made sure the gates, so those who sail the way will find their course true through waters calm.”

“But how do we know?” I challenged, again feeling despair rising in my heart.

“Because I am one of the ones who saw him.  Both before his voyage, and on his second when he returned for good.  He set me on this course as helmsman, one to steer others to the way.”

“What do they call you, helmsman?” I asked.

“My name is John, and I was a fisherman along with my brother, James.  We and our friends Peter and Andy knew the journeyer well.  I have ever since his rising into the clouds shown others the way.  Trust me, Lad, stay true to your course and you and your lady friend will be together again in the wonders beyond the Sacred Sea.”



Written on this fourth full day since my lady made her journey beyond the sea.  I miss you Dianne, but know you have found paradise.  I will join you when my sailing date comes.

The Sacrifice

Witch, Fantasy, Magic, Witchcraft, Woman, Scary, Spooky


The three brothers were full of war-fervour.  They had left the farm with high expectations of the heroism that they would display on the battlefield.  How could they, the Breoins, do anything less?  Uncle Diwin never relented of regaling the tales of his own glorious exploits of the last war.  Diwin, so he recalled, stood defiantly before many an onslaught, and though he had slew foes by the dozen – never received a scratch.  “War,” he had said, “is the ultimate adventure.”

The three’s enthusiasm waned soon after joining the Duke’s brigade.  Long hours of drilling, and constant rain coupled with sleeping on stony ground didn’t quite match the glorious picture Uncle had painted.

Then came the first battle.  The right of their lines had collapsed under the weight of a cavalry charge, and panic set in.  Much of the army, including the Breoins hightailed it into the forest and it took days for the remnant to regroup.

The Duke mustered his shattered army and announced that they would attempt to leave the forest and seek sanctuary in his cousin’ castle to the north.  The move was anticipated by the enemy however, and an ambush was set.

As the Duke’s men approached a ford near the forest edge, they were attacked on two sides.  The men fought furiously,  yet almost all were slain.  Andre Breoin, the eldest was pierced in the belly, and Gregor and Dawid were barley able to pull him into the cover of the trees.  The three lay there until the enemy had given up the search, Andre’s life ebbing.

As the sun set, a small bluish light dappled through the branches.  Gregor crawled cautiously towards it to see if any of the Duke’s men were there.  What he found was the most hideous hag he had ever imagined, much less laid eyes on.

“Gregor,” the crone croaked. “Why do you tarry in the bushes?”

Taken aback, the farm boy stood.

“Come closer, my dear,” she almost hissed.

The lad of eighteen took a guarded step forward.

“I fear Andre has not long for this world,” she announced. “Unless he be given a sip of this potion I am preparing.”

“Please Lady, may I have it for him then?” the lad begged.

“Alas,” the crone said, “it lacks one small ingredient.”

“What is it? I will find it!” Gregor said excitedly.

“A kiss,” the hag said matter of factly.

Gregor looked at the opal dullness of the woman’s left eye, and the brown decaying teeth.  He nonetheless stepped closer.

“Whose kiss, and where?” the lad asked.

“Your kiss to my mouth,” she said, sticking out a heavily filmed tongue.

Gregor took another step closer and the reek of her body odour and breath were nauseating.

She gave a uneven smile and then flicked her tongue at him several times.

He took one more step, and closing his eyes, he kissed the witch.


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Kissing the Witch


Life’s Journey

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Each traveller starts their path alone

Though they find companions along the way

Some accompany them for but a brief while

While others make long their stay


We each seek a road – our desires to fill

Whether they be base or lofty

To have co-travellers with the self-same goals

Makes the journey go by more softly


I have travelled with such friends so true

And without them I would have struggled

Some have gone on now – going ahead

Their path never again to be troubled


Not only these kindred spirits – do we have-

To encourage, build us, and share

For when these companions onward go

There’s One that will still be there


For those who seek destinations on high

Though the world oft makes hard our way

We have One of manger born – a guide

That will never lead us astray




Life can be taxing.  Struggles and trials may seem ever present.  Having ones of like spirit and purpose with you eases this burden.  My wife has been one of those persons, not only for me but for most people she has met.  She had a gentle spirit, and spent time in prayer for the needs of others.  She encouraged and built me up so I could in turn lift up others.  She like some other inspirational figures in my life has “gone on ahead.”  But one point she was unfailing in believing, is that we are never abandoned by God.  Those seeking Him are cradled in His presence and accompanied to His throne.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6).”




To Market


Saturday Market was becoming a drag.  Okay it was a great place to pick up some fresh local fruit and veg, and that baker from Attleborough always had some nice tarts at his stall; but the antique and bric a brac tables were pretty much the same items week after week.

“You know I have seen that same violin case here for at least ten months,” Dana commented to Lucy.

“Yep, all the good stuff goes on the first day it is put out, so the rest returns like a bad penny,” her friend agreed.

The two sat sipping lattes on a bench and munched Bakewell tarts, watching the slow meanderings of a young university student as she picked through the items on a table.

“I wonder what she is after?” Lucy said nosily.

“Probably cheap stuff for her digs.  It is the beginning of term,” Dana remarked.

The young woman sat on one of the stools and then picked it up to take to the stall holder, when she saw the violin case.  She stopped and opened it.  She stroked the instrument and then picked the case up too.

The headlines the following week announced, “Stradivarius Discovered at Market.”

(200 words)




Her Request


In writing today I honour her,

It is the thing she said was to be done,

I am to continue to pen the thoughts of my heart

Even though she is gone


She worried so on what I would do –

Would I simply drift away?

Neglecting myself,  pushing all aside –

She told me to keep writing anyway


So though my heart is broken,

My mind only numb,

I have penned this first postmortem poem

It is the thing she said was to be done


Maybe I will be stronger now,

In my effort her wish to fulfill

I have focused on a purpose

In so doing she’s with me still




Thank you Dianne for loving me so much that you planned for everything.  I love you too.







Where Have I Been?

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It is with a broken heart that I need to announce that my wonderful wife Dianne went to join her Lord at 12:54 this afternoon. She went to her Saviour without fear, and in fact (and I am not just trying to create a candied view of her) she never once showed any sign of kicking and screaming or of bemoaning the unfairness of it. She believed firmly in God’s power to heal her, even to the last minute, but prayed that “Not her will but His be done.  Whatever served the kingdom better so be it.”  She loves God (purposeful present tense) and she loves me. She built me up, and made me a better man, and challenged me to be a better Christian. I learned from her, and was uplifted by her.  I will miss her, and yet I will live my life even more for Jesus so that I can be confident in joining Him AND HER when my walk is done. Those of you who knew and love her, I am sorry for your pain, but it is all the more weighty on me. I have been as a blessed husband, and now have lost my best friend.

Her final passing was swift.  The cancer had recurred a year and a half ago, but her general health was good until last Monday.  She became weak and then fell into a coma Thursday.   It was merciful in its swiftness.

Thank you for those who commented on having missed me on my blog.