> Leon Rosselson > Songs > Timothy Winters
> Danny Spooner > Songs > Timothy Winters

Timothy Winters

[words Charles Causley (1917-2003)]

Leon Rosselson set Charles Causley's poem Timothy Winters to music and sang it in 1967 on The Three City Four's second album, Smoke and Dust (Where the Heart Should Have Been). He commented:

However efficient the system, there must, of course, be some wastage. Timothy Winters is a small part of that wastage. Teachers will probably recognise in him any number of secondary modern kids who never really had a chance. Charley Causley is a well-known poet and himself a teacher.

Danny Spooner sang Timothy Winters on his 2007 album Years of Spooner. He noted:

This story of a Blitz baby is the work of English poet Charles Causley and appears in a collection entitled Union Street. Edith Sitwell said of these poems that they are “among the natural growths of our soil, like our sweet and exquisite folk songs, and our strange ballads.” The tune was put to it by Mike Ball who spent a number of years in Australia during the later 70s and set a number of Causley's poems. Having grown up in London during the Second World War, I have a real affinity with this song and I sang it for Charles when he spent a brief residency at Melbourne University in the 1980s.

Roy Bailey sang Timothy Winters on his 2009 CD Below the Radar. He reminisced:

In 1964 I was in invited to join the Three City Four, a folk group that focused on contemporary songs. We recorded one album during my time with them entitled Smoke and Dust (Where the Heart Should Have Been) (1967). On that album Leon Rosselson sang Timothy Winters, a poem by Charles Causley for which he had written a tune. I have long admired both the poem and the tune, hence its presence on this CD.

Jim Causley sang Timothy Winters in 2013 on his CD of poems of his relative Charles Causley, set to his own music, Cyprus Well.

Lyrics

Leon Rosselson sings Timothy Winters Danny Spooner sings Timothy Winters

Timothy Winters comes to school
With eyes as wide as a football-pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.

Timothy Winters goes to school
Eyes as big as a football-pool,
Ears like bombs and teeth like splinters:
A blitz of a boy is Timothy Winters.

His belly is white, his neck is dark,
His hair is an exclamation-mark.
His clothes are enough to scare a crow
And through his britches the blue winds blow.

And his belly is white, and his neck is dark,
His hair is an exclamation-mark.
The clothes on his back would fright a crow
Through his britches the blue winds blow.

When teacher speaks he won't hear a word
And he shoots down dead the arithmetic-bird,
He licks the pattern from off the plate
And he's not even heard of the Welfare State.

When the teacher talks he won't hear a word
But he knocks down dead the arithmetic-bird,
Licks the pattern off the plate
And he's never even heard of the Welfare State.

Timothy Winters has bloody feet
And he lives in a house on Suez Street,
He sleeps in a sack on the kitchen floor
And they say there aren't boys like him any more.

Old Man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier,
Grandma sits in the grate with a gin
And Timothy's dosed with an aspirin.

And Old Man Winters likes his beer
And his missus ran off with a bombardier,
Grandma sleeps in the grate with a gin
And Timothy's dosed with an aspirin.

The Welfare Worker lies awake
But the law's as tricky as a ten-foot snake
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.

And the Welfare Worker lies awake
But the law's as tricky as a ten-foot snake
So Timothy Winters drinks his cup
And slowly goes on growing up.

At Morning Prayers the Headmaster helves
For children less fortunate than ourselves,
And the loudest response in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars “Amen!”

At at Morning Prayers the Masters calls
Kids less fortunate than ourselves,
The loudest noise in the room is when
Timothy Winters roars “Amen!”

So come one angel, come on ten:
Timothy Winters says “Amen!”
Amen, amen, amen, amen.
Timothy Winters, Lord,
Amen

So come one angel, come on ten:
Timothy Winters says “Amen!”
Amen, amen, amen, amen.
Timothy Winters, Lord,
Amen