He worked setting tools for a multi-purpose punch
In a shop that made holes in steel plates
He could hear himself think through a fifty minute lunch
'Bout the kids, gas and stoppages, the upkeep and the rates
While he talked about Everton and Chelsea with his mates
...and it goes on, a sad tale really, telling the story of many proud working men in a Britain that was losing its industries.
For a song you need a rhyme scheme - throughout, it's ABABB, which gives opportunities "between the lines" for the music.
Forty years of metal tend to get into your skinClive James talks about "words being energised by music" and his lyrical career, and collaboration with Pete Atkin, here. "Writing song lyrics is my favourite form of writing anything" ... but he's never managed to become famous for it, "in fact, I'm almost entirely obscure for it".
The surest coin you take home from your wage
The green cleaning jelly only goes to rub it in
When, after a 25-year gap, they started writing songs again, "We couldn't stop, and gradually we realised that we had never stopped. The long hiatus had been part of the process. We had just been gathering our strength in the interim."