Bloodshot eyes in heads so wise, they queued outside the door
The men whose work began right there, at Tommy’s on the moor.
Hands thrust deep in pockets to betray the shaking bones
Of weather-beaten fingers whence they laboured sand and stones.
The silence interrupted by the bar-lights glaring bright
Past wired-up dirty windows where the day was always night.
Filing through the entrance-way big Tommy pulled a few,
But no man gave a whisper, it was nothing that was new.
The pumps began their duty, as the beer flew in the glass,
There was only quiet banter as they watched their shillings pass.
Have you ever sat and looked around a smoke-stained bar at morn’
And thought about those men stood there; the old, the young, the worn.
I have watched their every movement and I’ve caught a stale glance
Yet seen them full of merriment as they tap their feet to dance.
To some I guess they look the same, but back in my mind’s eye,
The hardest man, what ‘ere he’s done, will still know how to cry.
Life brought them all on different roads, some walked the prison yard,
Whilst others know of nothing yet they still find life too hard.
You can’t find help for all these men, some drink for reasons gone,
Whilst younger kith will sup away with reasons yet to come.
By night ole’ Billy swayed about, his eyes rolled to the sky,
His head was spinning with the room, ‘til he focused on Sam Rye.
It was nothing Sam had said or done, but with the whiskey bite,
Nothing would stop Billy when his mind was full of fight.
Big Tommy noticed most things, whilst the others held their sup,
For they’d seen it many times afore, where tables just went up.
Sam looked around, he knew the crack as Billy lurched his way,
Yet despite he had no argument, he would not walk away.
The air was rife with cursing, and if you cared to hear,
‘Twas a row about an unpaid debt, long faded in the year.
But what was done, and what was said, they had seen it all before,
Another night in Tommy’s Bar, another late night brawl.
And tomorrow morn’ outside the door, the men will stand in line,
Hands thrust deep in pockets, bloodshot eyes that tell the time.
With heads held high they’re wondering where yesterday had gone,
But did it really matter now they are back where they belong.
The sudden blaze of bar-lights confirms to them the time,
You all clocked-in at Tommy’s, or that would be a crime.
So filing through the entrance-way, the big man pulls a few,
But no-one dared a whisper, it was nothing that was new.