Lyrics Insights 2 – Pothole Tambourine

Hello Ethryllites everywhere. Welcome to another our series of insights into our songs and lyrics. This week our featured song is “Pothole Tambourine”.

Firstly, A Quick News Update

 On Wednesday night we were at West Street Live in Sheffield for an eclectic evening featuring ourselves, Uncle Funkle and Bright Black. Some youtube clips of our performance can be found here. I would like to particularly thank Matt H. who made me lemsip and was generally lovely (I was feeling rough as a badgers bum that night as I have had the lurgy all week – not quite sure how I made it through the set).

The next gig we currently have booked is on Saturday May 14th “RoofRaiser for Refugees” at Shakespeare’s in Sheffield. We will be appearing with the Bell Hagg Orkestar and Kingfisher Blue. It is all taking place for a fantastic cause. We would love to see you there if you can make it.

Pothole Tambourine

Pothole Tambourine is written about the delightful highways and byways of South Yorkshire. Whilst driving between my home in Rotherham and work at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital I had to drive up a particularly badly potholed road in Greasborough. Having had a rehearsal the night before, I still had my tambourine in the boot. Every time I hit a pothole there was a wonderful arrhythmic percussion effect. Thus the idea was born. It was developed further as I drove around Sheffield. Southey, Walkley and Arundel Gate all get a mention.

I particularly hate potholes as, following back surgery a few years ago, they have caused me particular pain. They have also done hundreds of pounds worth of damage to my vehicles over the last 20 years.

I  this song Kris really gets to have a bit of a show off on the bass, with a really funky beat going on below. Martin uses a light hand on the fiddle here, adding just a little pizzicato embellishment. We decided to use the harmonica as the solo instrument in this song, as it mimics the frantic car horns which can be heard wherever drives swerve to avoid holes in the road and nearly hit each other. The vibraslap was added after seeing a friend’s band “Braver than Fiction” use one and realising it would give us the perfect “sproing” noise we had been missing.

Happily Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and Sheffield City Council seem to be trying to get on top of these potholes at last. Keep it up guys, you’ve a little ways to go yet. Our vertebrae and vehicles thank you for your efforts.

Pothole Tambourine

Fare thee well my springs and track rod ends,
Shock absorbers fair thee well,
For I know that it’s going to be a long time in the shop,
Before you all work again.
There’s a rhythmic clunk from the junk in my trunk,
The change on my dash rings like a bell,
There is no help for it, I cannot ignore it,
If I let it bug me I would be in Hell,
I’m shaken to distraction, by the up and down action,
When I only want to go along,
There’s just one thing left to do for peeps like me and you,
In all the clatter try and find your song.

Pot Hole  (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine
Like the surface of the moon, On a lane of leafy green,
Pot Hole (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine,
The state of Britain’s roads is utterly obscene,
Pot Hole (sproing) Tambourine (clap clap) Pot Hole Tambourine,
Sing this song as you bounce along,
To your Pot Hole Tambourine.

The views may be pretty around the steel city,
But better keep your eyes upon the track,
Otherwise a crater will get you sooner or later,
Knackering your wheels and you back,
From the Green of Southey to the heights of Walkley,
You will find it is much the same,
Ridge and Furrow Tarmac, Grass through the black,
Not so much a journey as a deadly game.


Instrumental (harmonica)

My poor old shocks, can’t take any more knocks,
I’ve lost my exhaust and cowell plate,
My track rod ends, now have funny bends,
And my oil sump is down Arundel Gate,
It’s becoming clear, I’ll need new wheels every year,
Driving’s draining all the pennies from the bank
Unless I win NASA give over, to lend me a Luna rover,
Or I buy an army surplus 10 tonne tank,

Chorus x 2 (key change on 2nd)

Sing this song as you bounce alon———————-g, To your Pot Hole Tambourine. (Sproing)

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