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At the Drop of Another Hat
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Bedstead Men

Traveling around England, staying in anything from an ordinary decent family hotel right the way down to "AA recommended" we have - honestly, it seems a shame to intrude on the privacy of some of these hotels - we have noticed again the loveliness of this country, her many great rivers, and pools of standing water. And this next song is a tribute to them, and the many interesting things you may come across in the countryside - if you're not careful.

When you're walking in the country
Far from villages or towns,
When you're seven miles from nowhere and beyond,
In some dark deserted forest
Or a hollow of the Downs,
You may come across a lonely pool, or pond.
And you'll always find a big, brass, broken bedstead by the bank:
There's one in every loch and mere and fen.
Don't think it's there by accident,
It's us you have to thank:
The Society of British Bedstead Men.

Oh the hammer ponds of Sussex
And the dew ponds of the West
Are part of Britain's heritage,
The part we love the best;
Every eel- and fish- and mill-pond
Has a beauty all can share ...
But not unless it's got a big brass broken bedstead there!

So we filch them out of attics,
We beg them from our friends,
We buy them up in auction lots
With other odds and ends,
Then we drag them 'cross the meadows
When the moon is in the sky ...
So watch the wall, my darling, while the Bedstead Men go by!

The League of British Bedstead Men
Is marching through the night,
A desperate and dedicated crew.
Under cover of the hedges,
Always keeping out of sight,
For the precious load of Bedsteads must get through!

The Society for Putting
Broken Bedsteads into Ponds
Has another solemn purpose to fulfil;
On our coastal sands and beaches
Or where waving willow wands
Mark the borders of a river, stream or rill,
You'll always find a single laceless left-hand leather boot:
A bootless British river bank's a shock.
We leave them there at midnight;
You can track a member's route,
By the alternating prints of boot and sock.

Oh the lily ponds of Suffolk
And the mill-ponds of the West
Are part of Britain's heritage,
The part we love the best;
Her river banks and sea-shores
Have a beauty all can share,
Provided there's at least one boot,
Three treadless tyres,
A half-eaten pork pie,
Some oil drums,
An old felt hat,
A lorry load of tarblocks
And a broken bedstead there!

Originally from the album 'At The Drop of Another Hat'.