Duke & Little Renie

from by Stuart Forester

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    A Yard of Ale is the second album by Stuart Forester released on Melonstone Records, May 2013. Ten original songs plus an interpretation of the traditional English folk ballad The Factory Girl and a cover of the Mike Waterson ode to the ragged glory and ultimate decline of the UK fishing industry, Cold Coast of Iceland.
    'You feel as though you’ve been listening to these songs and this voice for all your life.' Dai Jeffries, R2 Magazine.
    Comes shrink wrapped in full colour artwork gatefold card digipak with 12 page lyric booklet and full colour artwork on the cd itself.

    Includes unlimited streaming of A Yard of Ale via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Duke and Little Renie 4.15 Stuart Forester

A while ago I was asked to write a song relating to the Walworth area of London. After unsuccesfully toying with a couple of ideas relating to the history and famous characters of the area I happened to be driving down Old Kent Road when I passed a skinhead dustman’s wedding. Although I saw them for only a brief moment this is my imagining of that couple’s life together. Viola played by Phil Martin.

Hammerduke Harrington king of the bins, fists like cannon balls and a brick for a chin
Two forty pounds built like a bull, a head tough as rock he could knock off your block
Bare knuckle hero disputed it was not, but the Duke had a heart and his heart was soft
For a sweet little dolly on Longley Street that he saw on his round once a week

Renie Drew five foot two, feather cut fringe and monkey boots
A real firecracker hard and cute, skinhead girl with jet black roots
He said “Oh little queenie I love you girl, I’ll be your king if you’ll be my pearl
‘Cos love isn’t hard it’s just hard to find so will you marry me in the summer”

Now Renie didn’t wait or hesitate for she loved the Duke and her love was great
She said yes in a heartbeat oh and they got married down the Old Kent Road
She came down the aisle to the wedding march played in the style of blue beat ska
She said “yes” and he said “I do” and the sharp dressed band came in on cue

They fell out the church a real good start, tin cans tied to the back of the dust cart
With a ragged crew and the band in tow they drove that cart down the Old Kent Road
The reception was a riot the coppers were called, Duke was in the middle of a seven-man brawl
They were all carted off in a paddy wagon and had a good laugh in the morning

Now Hammerduke quit his street fighting ways, he give up the bevy for peaceful days
In married bliss years those rolled by and Renie she give him five apples of his eye
For twenty five years he worked on the bins and those nippers grew up like a flash in the pan
Forty-nine summers they came and they went and Renie and the Duke got old and bent

The kids they had kids of their own, seasons changed and the river roamed
Now Hammerduke Harrington king of the bins is pushing up daisies with Renie beside him
No words in a book or a plaque on the wall to Hammerduke Harrington, hardest of all
But they planted a garden and watched it grow strong, the Duke and little Renie of SE1


from A Yard of Ale, released May 1, 2013
Written by Stuart Forester
Stuart Forester - Guitar, Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer & Vocals
Phil Martin - Viola



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Stuart Forester London, UK

Stuart Forester is a South London based songwriter in the folk tradition who has quite some stories to tell. And that burning desire to chronicle the passage of life is fully realised on his new album A Yard Of Ale, to to be released 1st May 2013 through Melonstone Records.
'You feel as though you’ve been listening to these songs and this voice for all your life.' Dai Jeffries, R2 Magazine.
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