The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker


Words & Music: Jake Thackray

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He was a blacksmith by trade; he used to live on his own.
She was a little old maid; she was all gristle and bone,
Just a crone that you might not have fancied yourself;
She was not born to attract. She was lined up for the shelf
If it were not for the fact the blacksmith loved her well,
He loved her like hell. He used to grunt and sigh, fit to die.
But from afar; for he was shy, as blacksmiths often are.

She made a meagre livelihood from her home-made toffee that she'd sell
Up and down the neighbourhood to a butterscotch and caramel clientele.
And optimistically, she used to think that she would get a husband yet.
She was far too modest to wink, to proud to be coquette -
You bet! 'Cos she'd got a squint, she was skinny, she was skint.
It never seemed that she, so palpably bizarre and banal,
Could ever be a femme fatale.

Time has no time to spare and the years went by, as they must.
The spinster shivered with despair and the blacksmith sweated with lust, fit to bust.
Until one day she went into the church, her simple heart to unclose:
"Lord, don't leave me in the lurch. Don't turn up your nose.
God knows I'm not much cop but my legs go up to the top.
Oh tell me why you've passed me by.
And, if you can, dear Lord on high, get me a man!"

She, she was in for a shock, for high in the tower like a bird
The smith was mending the clock, and he had overheard every word.
He nearly fell off his perch with delight! But, stout fellow, he kept his head;
He didn't snigger as a lot of men might but in the tones of Jehovah instead
He said: "You're not bereft. There's a good lad left.
He's nothing flash but still reliable, staunch and true.
Dear daughter will, will a blacksmith do?"

The spinster's eyes opened wide when she heard the Almighty One.
In a trembling voice she replied, "Lord, any man is better than none".
Whereupon the joyous blacksmith went home at the trot,
Dressed up to kill in a tick. Went and asked her if she'd have him or not
And she said yes damn quick, because she knew her state. It's daft to wait
When love is overdue; to miss your cue, delay or demur
In answer to a little cri de coeur.

This is as much of a romance as all of the others that you get -
And not so much a song and a dance as your Romeo & Juliet; nor as wet.
Because their love didn't go to their head. No call to go berserk.
The spinster went up to bed and the blacksmith went to work.
Don't smirk! Such loves are few; they were happy, they were true;
They knew their hearts' desires. As love requires, with some deceits,
He used his fires to boil up her sweets.

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