Mary Bottles by Bob Thomas and Huw Pudner There never was a woman Like Mary Bottles Hard as leather Stood six feet one Wore a purple shawl Around her shoulders Long red hair Shone in the sun Mary took no nonsense From the copper workers Showed no mercy When they drank in her bar She could knock out a navvy Throw out a drunkard Outdrink a miner Who was in for a jar Mary was my mother She'd tell me stories Rock me in her arms And brush down my hair Father died young Fighting old Boney Said he was a fool For being there. The bar was a den Full of smoke and tobacco A navvy from Cork Would play some reels Mary would sing The choir would follow Two drunks dancing Would kick up their heels. There never was a woman Like Mary Bottles I can see her standing By the Red Jacket stream The coppermen worshipped The ground she stood on The miners promised her Peaches and cream. Red haired Mary My own dear mother Would give her last penny To the tramp in the lane They laid her down In the village churchyard Rain fell like tears In a sad refrain. Chorus (2) Mary Bottles, Mary Bottles They followed her from mill and mine Mary Bottles, Mary Bottles She served good ale and served red wine Bob Thomas and Huw Pudner from Skewen near Swansea wrote this song ‘Mary Bottles’ about the landlady of a pub near the Tennant canal. The pub is long gone but one of the ponds on the Neath estuary is called the Mary Bottles and Bob used to fish there apparently.
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