This song was sent to me by David Branston and I have included a video of the composer, Vin Garbutt, singing it at the Swanage Folk Festival who says he wrote it for Tony Jarratt who first took him caving.
Those of you who knew Tony Jarrett or "J-rat" as he was known, will notice some facial resemblance with Vin Garbutt, the composer and performer. In writing the score above I may not have the phrasing exactly right as I did it by just listening to the video and it changes from verse to verse but it is good enough.
Iíve walked over Mendip past Swildons and Whitepit
Iíve drunk in The Hunters and sung a fine tune.
Iíve crept back to Priddy me legs not so steady
And slept in the light of a Somerset moon.
When I was a young lad I used to go caving.
Some said I was raving to venture below
But I found in the earth and her innermost splendour
A grandeur terraneans never can know.
I learned about friendship deep down under Mendip
Where manyís a pal pulled me out of a mess
And whatís more fulfilling and thrilling I ask you
Than helping to rescue a friend in distress.
I once followed a map Ďtil a sump I got trapped in
I swore that no more would I play in the clay
But they pulled me out, dried me, with Butcombe they plied me
The outcome was I come back down the next day.
Well me elbows are raw now, me knees they are sore.
Me feet wonít support this old caver no more
But Iíll watch the young lads and the lasses descending
Those caverns of Mendip as I did before.