> Danny Spooner > Songs > Trademan’s Toast

Trademan’s Toast

[ Roud - ; Mudcat 100120 ; John Warner]

John Warner sang his own song All Trades (Tradesmen’s Toast) on his 1992 CD The Sea and the Soil. According to Mudcat he wrote it in 1985.

Danny Spooner and Duncan Brown sang Trademan’s Toast in 2016 on their CD of songs of the working life, Labour and Toil. They commented:

John Warner is one of contemporary Australia’s finest—and most prolific—tellers of story in song. His Trademan’s Toast brings together a wealth of detailed research to craft a fond tribute to the labour, toil, skills and talents of tradesmen past and present. A fitting closing track indeed to this recording!


Danny Spooner and Duncan Brown sing Trademan’s Toast

Here’s to the smith, with his sets and hammer
Fuller and hardie, swage and tongs;
Beating his will on the blazing steel,
To the forge’s roar and the anvil’s song.

Chorus (after each verse):
All trades, their gear and tackle,
Fittings and fettlings, tools and blades,
Subtle hands working ageless patterns—
Here’s to the people of—all trades!

Here’s to the weaver’s loom and shuttle,
Heddle and beater, warp and weft;
Tweed and gabardine, twill and tartan,
Shuttles shooting both right and left.

Here’s to the mariner’s sheets and halyards,
Fairleads, fiddle blocks, anchor and oars,
Here’s to the shanty at the weather main brace
When the tide has turned and the wind’s off-shore.

Here’s to the cooks, their leeks and onions,
Rosemary, basil, garlic and chives,
Cleavers, skillets, pans and ladles,
Cauldrons, kettles and carving knives.

Here’s to the cooper’s croze and cressett,
In-shave, flagging iron, trusses and adze,
Driving the hoops on the smoking barrels
To hold good ale for the lasses and lads.

Here’s to the shipwright’s planks and gunwales,
Stem post, stern post, scantling and beams
Trenails, inwales, iron and mallet,
Tar and oakum to caulk the seams.

Here’s to the wheel of your home-spun spinner,
Bobbin whirling on the Mother of All.
Here’s to her carders, combs and treadle
As she plies and spins the greasy wool.

Here’s to the hands of men and women,
Here’s to the fine-wrought goods they’ve made.
Here’s to the tools, the words, the secrets,
The marks of humanity on every trade.