Look at our old man Harry
straight from lying on his belly
hacking coal,
home at four-o-clock
like a miniature slag-heap on legs.
Right away he strips to the waist

bends over the sink
and sluices water over his front
while our mother Harriet
scrubs his back.
His lower half got washed
once a week.

Harriet wished she'd had as many pounds
as the number of times
she'd straightened out poor sods
who'd snuffed it at the end of a rope.
She'd come home, make a pot of tea,
sit down at the table and tell us.

They found 'im 'angin' under t' stairs,
poor sod 'is neck lewked all crooked an' all,
but we soon 'ad 'im stripped and washed
and straightened out, stuffed 'is tongue back in
as far as it'd go and after we shaved 'im
well 'e looked a treat.

'Is eyeballs are stickin' out tew far
for us to get the pennies in
but we'll 'ave another go in t' mornin'.
We got a clean shirt on 'im an' wi' a bit o' trouble
got 'is arms crossed in a fashion, any road up
'e'll do.