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He gave you fair warning whenever he came
though the tune he played was never the same
in a neighbouring street a bugler played
and it wasn't the lifeboys or Boys Brigade
all the young mothers gripped with fear
as this dreaded bugler came ever near
tis the ragman playing a chordless tune
the bedraggled Pied Piper of Glesga toon

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Came into our street pushing his cart
didn't need a horse he played that part
his old brown case was full of toys
like Santa's grotto to the girls and boys
paint sets and crayons and coloured chalk
to create a design on your whipping top
spud guns and peashooters and catapult slings
the toys of war the ragman brings

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Took out a woodbine the last of his fags
then he bellowed toys for rags
last blast on the bugle and then he'd hush
lit up and waited for the expected rush

the kids in the street would all go mad 
looking for rags from their mum and dad
in all the cupboards throughout the rooms
a handful of rags for a couple of balloons

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With great anticipation they stood in line
eyes fixed on the ragman all the time
no pounds or ounces of imperial measure
just a handful of rags for unlimited treasure
though I could only stand and stare
we never seemed to have rags to spare
now looking back and assessing the facts
all of our rags were on our backs

 

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