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Local Poetry

Haigh Prize Band  By Cyril Ashurst

Ah'st ne'er ferget when Ah're a lad
Abeawt nine 'ear owd,
Ah used to follow th' village band
O' walkin' days deawn th' fowd;
An' Ah'd pretend bi one uv 'em
Wi' a cornet i' mi hand,
Fer Ah used t'luv that gradely seawnd
O' th' local Haigh Prize Band.

Ah geet misel an insthrument
When Ah're abeawt tharteen,
Then Ah had lessons of one mon
Who fond as Ah wur keen;
Th' owd lad, he coached mi very weel
To play to his demand,
An' then he took mi deawn to th' pub
To join th' owd Haigh Prize Band.

Th' conducthor introduced mi then
To aw thoose lads set theer,
An' then he towd mi t'tek mi place
An' Ah ceawered i' mi cheer;
Then when he lifted th' baton up
An' waved it wi' his hand,
Thi didn't hawf make thoose rafters ring
Yon lads i' th' Haigh Prize Band.

Wi played at th' Dewsbury Contest once,
T'wur held i' th' summertime,
An' when wi brasted off o' th' stage
Wi wurn't hawf in eawr prime;
Eawr piece wur th' Epic Symphony,
Wi' must ha' played it grand
Fer th' folk stood up afoore wi'd done
Applaudin' th' Haigh Prize Band.

Yon band, it had a grand bass eend
Back i' thoose days o' yore,
There wurn't so mony bands abeawt
Wod had a bethur four;
Thi played Quartet fer Tubas once
An' th' rest o' th' field thi tanned,
Fer th' judge coom eawt an' said who'd won,
"Th' bass section, Haigh Prize Band".

Eawr band becoom a fixture o'
Whit Monday's Wiggin scene,
An' when wi march't deawn Scowse wi played
"The Wearin' O' Th' Green"
An' when wi geet i' Wellin'ton Street
Wheer th' Irish foalk used t'stand,
Thi'd have a fling an' dance an' sing
To th' seawnd o' th' Haigh Prize Band.

Th' owd band it had a nickname then
Back i' thoose owden days,
It seems as th' lads thi geet that name
Through aw their boozin' ways;
Folk cawed 'em th' ale an' pickle band
Fer sometimes they geet canned,
By gow, thi couldn't hawf shift some ale
Thoose lads i' th' Haigh Prize Band.

Neaw Ah've oft heeard thoose soart o' folk
Who like to rant an' rave,
Uv heaw eawr lives ar' planned fer us
Fro' th' cradle through to th' grave;
Neaw iv it's reet what thoose folk say'n
An' eawr lives ar' pre-planned,
Ah'm fain th' owd lad aboon pick't me
To play wi' th' Haigh Prize Band.

Alas there's mony things i' life
That ar' noan made to last,
An' th' owd Haigh Band it's one uv 'em
Fer neaw it's part o' th' past;
An' neaw us Ah've getten on i' years
Ah've come to understand
Heaw priviledged Ah wur to play
Wi' th' lads i' th' Haigh Prize Band.

So here's to aw thoose grand owd mates
Who Ah knew lung ago,
Owd Charlie, Bill an' Sammy,
George, Ken an' th' rest o' th' show,
Ah pray as when Ah'm cawed aboon
Th' owd mesthur'll shake mi hand,
Then say to me, "Neaw tek thi place
Wi' th' lads i' th' Haigh Prize Band.