On Labour In Vain lived Michael Strong, a quiet farmers lad
He spent his life a riddling tates and up to his guts in squad.
But Michael was a dreamer, with one thing on his mind
One day he’d find the treasure that King John had left behind.
From books he knew in twelve sixteen John sailed across the Wash
The laden boat was over-turned, the bounty it was lost.
But since that time the Wash had shrunk, So pondering the matter
He was sure it lay on a river bed beneath the murky watter.
He Searched the Witham, the Welland, the Neane, the Baine
Carr Dyke, Skel Dyke, Great Ouse, Foss dyke
Twelve foot, Forty foot, any drain the Wash took.
River, sandbank, dyke and drain. (repeat)
The old boy’s searches all in vain
When ploughing up on North Kyme fen he heard a shout from dad
“Keep your mind on the job mate, your furrows out of wad!!”
Though Michael made a living from the soil and the sheaf
His mind was always wondering, to what laid underneath.
As time passed by now middle aged, with bairns of his own
On weekends Michael dragged them out, turning every stone.
When came holidays the children asked. “Why aren’t we like the rest”
“Most kids go to Skeggy, and we look for a chest!!”
Aaw!, come on dad
Chorus (we’ve searched)
The years rolled on, we all get old, the land had took its toll
Michael now a frail old man, in the same house all alone.
His wife passed on, ooh, must be twenty years, and the children flew the nest.
He’d given up his childish search. There was no cursed chest.
It was in the winter of 85 when Michael passed away
In a damp dark room his gathered kin heard the words he chose say
Please bury me where I’ve toiled and ached, upon the land I’ve kept
His skin went pale and his eyes they closed as his children watched and wept
As the next sun rose the boys went out to dig their father’s grave
The frost lay thick on the well worked land ‘til evening they did slave
When 5 ft down the spade hit hard, and snapped the shaft off clean
A silver chest lay in the earth and a coin from 12 16
With pounding hearts but not a word they turned back to their home
And took old Michaels coffin back to the land he’d honed
They lay the coffin in the ground, til no lower it would sink
It came to rest on an old mans dreams, the grave they then filled in
But as soil rained on the coffin lid a voice began to sing
Twas that of a fenland farmer, laid upon the treasure of a king
(The treasure was his)
An Ode to Michael Strong Brommell, Pout and Glenn
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