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




Of A Female Voice Freely Given



Shahrazad by Sophie Gengembre Anderson – Public Domain

Shahrazad’s tales spanned a thousand nights,

Hero’s a hundred more,

How sad that life is such,

That women must such means explore


A Persian queen her life to save,

Had needs a king enthrall

One Hundred Nights of Hero’s tales

A suitor’s lusts to stall


Clever tales told – not from love or joy

But for survival or virtue driven

Patriarchal whims and claims to confound

Rather than facing such attentions unbidden


Let me hear a female voice pure

Her stories to me freely given

Not coerced or told as a ploy

But as a gift of an equal given




I love great stories and poems.  What I love most is the true voice of the teller, male or female or identifying as neither.  As such, constrained or compromised voices, like in these two tales, sadden me.  I hope and pray as a middle aged, middle class, straight, white male that I have been and will always be an audience worthy of hearing one’s true self and story.


Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: The One Hundred Nights of Hero

One Hundred Nights Of Hero – Review

One Thousand and One Nights – Summary




That Old Chestnut

Chestnut, Autumn, Chestnut Tree, Ripe, Brown, Prickly

Image by Karsten Paulick from Pixabay

How long had she been there – that old chestnut?  There was the scar from the November storm of 1822, even then she had been mature.  How many children had gathered conkers by her side?  For hers were winners sure, well formed and shiny. Her side had been pierced by heavy staples in 1902, cattle wire affixed to her side.  Even now, broken strands of rusting wire bite deep under her bark.  But this wire is not alone.  There is also the twisted shard of aluminium high in her flank, the only remnant of that Messerschmitt that’s journey ended back in ’41.  But now too, her time had come.  Diseased and frail, she is at the mercy of Council workers who care nothing of her noble past.  The tree was pulled down, and only the birds lamented over its dead body.


Saturday Mix – Unique Personality, 21 September 2019: The tree was pulled down, and the birds lamented over its dead body.


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)




Garbled Text

CCC #44

Lillian stood shivering in the drizzly field next to the East Coast Main Line.  Her hair had gone limp, and droplets of water dripped from the hem of her jacket.

“Look there goes the Lord Hinton, a Class 37 electric,” Harvey said, with a tone of wonder.

“Great,” Lillian responded with something falling far short of enthusiasm.

How did I get myself into this? she pondered.  It all seemed so strait forward this morning.  Harvey sent her a text asking if she wanted to go for a coffee; or at least that’s how it seemed.  How could she have misread: “How bout day out.  MayB can  spot express.”  A spot of expresso sounded great, but this . . . this was  . . . well. 


Crimson’s Creative Challenge #44

A Loof

Image result for loofah

image: Amazon

Barbara entered the office to see Alice sitting alone deep in thought rather than joining the others at the coffee urn.

“You seem rather aloof today,” Barbara commented casually.

“And what is that supposed to mean?” Alice snapped. “Do you think I am abrasive or something?  Well I am not on of those stupid beauty products you and Tina are always going on about.”

“Aloof, not a loofah,” Barbara tried to explain.

“I don’t care how you pronounce it.  I can’t be bothered by such frivolous things like the rest of you silly women.”


FOWC with Fandango — Aloof

Visiting Granny Proctor

Wine, Red Wine, Glass, Cup, Drink, Wine Glass

Image by daves19387 from Pixabay

Ellie hadn’t seen Grandma Proctor for three years, as she had been studying at a university on the opposite side of the country.  But, now that she was home, it was time for her to try to reboot the relationship.

When she had been younger, Ellie had always thought visiting the old farm strange.  After all she was a suburban girl, and the weather worn barns, and muddy paths through the pastures were unfamilar.  But she did love her granny and she always enjoyed the freshness of the meals, and the smooth “same day” milk.

Now at 22 she was visiting her for the first time on her own.   There was no buffer of Mum.  Nevertheless she boldly stepped out of her car, just avoiding the cowpat next to her door, and strode to the house.  Giving a gentle knock she was greeted with a call, “Come in Ellie, no need to be formal.”

Ellie stepped into the front room, and was given a firm embrace by her granny.  “Come on into the sitting room,” the old woman said.

The pair spent hours in recollection of Ellie’s childhood visits, and Ellie answered multiple questions about her studies and he future plans.  As they talked they sipped on Granny’s special “home-made” wine.  It was very tasty and had a smoothness on the tongue, but a slight bite in the belly.  Yet, its curious flavour eluded her efforts to Ellie was quite taken with it, and drank perhaps a bit more of it than she should have.

“Granny, what is the wine? Elderberry or something?” she eventually asked.

“No Darling, its a special blend of my dandelion brew mixed and bottled with Tesco Supermarket Value Red.”



Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: Curious Wine – Katherine V. Forrest

Luna and Lupa


Found on

Arat shivered at the sound of the wolf howls in the distance.

“Grandfather,” she queried. “Are we in danger?”

“No Little One,” the old Shaman replied.  “They are howling at the moon.”

“Why do they do that?” the lass asked.

Long ago, the first wolf, Lupa roamed the wilds on his own.  He was lonely and sad, and when the sun set each day he was plunged in darkness, and his loneliness became all the greater in the gloom.   He longed for companionship and in his desperation, he concocted a plan.  He would hide on the edge of the western horizon and await the ending of the day.  Then when the great Sola, the sun,  was at her weakest and also her nearest to the Earth, he would suck in her brightness into his mighty lungs.  Once darkness came he would breath out her light, so he would have a companion in the darkness. Which is exactly what he did.

“What happened,” the girl asked intrigued.

When darkness fell, Lupa ran to the eastern horizon and let out his breath with a mighty howl,  As he did, the diminished light of Sola raced into the sky trying to rejoin the rest of her.  But as Sola had already passed beyond the Sky-boundary to the west, the light captured by Lupa could only chase after the rest of her.  

The lesser light became panicked and frustrated.  It was then that Lupa spoke.

“Why are you rushing away so?  Why not slow down and enjoy my company?” the great wolf asked.

“But I must catch up with my body,” the light responded.

“Why? When you are so beautiful yourself?” the wolf complemented.

 The light slowed, and thought about the comment.

“But I must return,” she finally said, though the flattery had affected her deeply.

“If you must, you must,” Lupa responded. “But I for one would will miss your splendid silver sheen.  Oh, it is so much more pleasant that Sola’s harsh brightness.”

The light paused yet again.  It was torn by both the desire to return to Sola and to have glory of her own.

“I hope we meet again sometime,” the wolf said with feigned sadness and turned to pad into the forest.

“Wait,” said the light.  “I think I might tarry a little while.”

Lupa smiled to himself.  He knew then he had found a companion for the night.  

“I am Lupa,” he at last said. “And how shall I address your beautiful self?”

The light thought for a moment then said, “Luna, my name is Luna.”

“And that Granddaughter, was the beginning of the great friendship.  The wolves to this day howl to welcome Luna upon her return.”

The girl smiled and stretched out on her blanket and looked up at the moon.  In her mind she let out a howl. Welcome back Luna.  She then rolled over and fell fast asleep.


Photo Challenge #280

The Abduction


The distraught mother sat huddled on the park bench a foil blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  A paramedic was regulating the oxygen supply to the mask which was pressed to her face.

The police constable quietly approached her, and stood quietly for a moment before interviewing her.

“Sorry Ma’am, but I am going to have to ask you a few questions.”

The woman nodded and then removed the oxygen mask.

“Can you please let me know what you saw?” the officer asked compassionately.

“It all happened so fast,” the mother responded.  “Tommy was on the swings, then out of nowhere an aerial jellyfish descended from a cloud and just snatched him.  One minute he was playing happily and the next he was being dragged screaming into the clouds,” the woman said breaking into tears.

“We will do everything in our power Ma’am.  Even now, my colleague is informing the Air Force.”

What he didn’t tell her was that it was the third such abduction in a week.

(167 Words)


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #31