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Mister Parsons's Tears

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David Parsons drowned in a storm drain when I was nine years old. We met as Wolf Cubs in Hull, scuffing our shoes up Beverley Road into Cottingham Road every Thursday evening, becoming firm weekend adventurers in and around Hull. One weekend, I didn't make it. Neither did he ...

Words & Music by Steve Dagleish © 2015. All Rights Reserved

Steve plays acoustic guitar and sings the lyric. The recordings of Sheena McKenzie [Cello] & Alice Butcher [Violin] (playing strings arranged by Sonny Williamson based on sketches by Bruno Newman and Steve) were made in a cupboard several years back, the vocal recently added in a sponge box. The song is courageously touched and remixed by the genius Jem Moorshead.

Lyrics

Mister Parsons’s Tears

Saturday, long wait, but it comes around
David laughing louder than the rest
Sunday morning in our Yorkshire town
Swim in storm-water that steals your breath

Ooze banks burst March seventeenth
Sunday, Mister Parsons calls to say,
“His mother’s wrapped him up inside a sheet,
Why did David play alone, today?”

Collar turned up past his cheek, voice is cracking as he speaks
Face is ash, eyes wet like ice, shoulders shaking, silent cries
He turns his face, all worn with years
I hide from Mister Parsons’s tears

The boy is younger than the wood he is sleeping in
His story longer than the life he was trying for
Pain goes deeper than the ground he is lying in
Father says he never loved him more

Collar turned up past his cheek, voice is cracking as he speaks
Face is ash, eyes wet like ice, shoulders shaking, silent cries
He turns his face, all worn with years
I hide from Mister Parsons’s tears