The Coy Father

Dad loves performing. He’s great with an audience, always makes them laugh. But he’ll go all faux humble about it and pretend he doesn’t love it and it’s not exciting. I think miserable Granddad didn’t approve of anything deemed ‘showing off’.

So Dad’s now being all coy about whether he wants to do the Tales from the River. Mum said yes straightaway when I asked if she wanted to come on an adventure. Dad’s been umming and arring, like he needs to be persuaded. But then he says things.

Like, on my recent visit, he wondered in while I was watching telly and asked if I knew about Molly Leigh, the witch of Burslem. I did not, so he proceeded to tell me. She was an old woman who lived in Burslem. Burslem is part of Stoke-on-Trent.

I thought, ‘Ay up, Dad pretends not to be interested in Tales from the River, but he just happens to be googling Trent legends?’

A few hours later he wandered into the kitchen, ‘Let me sing you my new song!’ He’s three verses into a song about Molly Leigh. Now if that isn’t preparation for accompanying your daughter on a mad folk and stories tour of the Trent, then I don’t know what is.

So, here’s Dad’s Molly Leigh song, as a very, very rough work in progress, ineptly recorded on my phone. Dad didn’t want me to put it up ‘cos of the bits where he goes wrong and stuff, but I said it’s authentic.

Now he’s got one song written. I reckon he’ll come round to the whole thing.


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