Local Hero

Beehives and ponytails, skirts below the knees

High collars, low necks, designed for all to see

We were cool and calculating

With talc and sweet perfume

Us women eyed the men up

As they lined along the room.


They had drapes with velvet collars

Pink socks and sky-blue jeans

Sideburns, D.A’s all trying to look mean

Brylcream and old spice

Shoes with pointed toes, the sharing of a woodbine

In the good-club clothes.


The dancers and the chancers

Well-heeled and the boozers

Tappers and the scrappers

The winners and the losers 


The sound of the Showband

Kicking off the night

The style and all the the colours

Had us wild with delight

The music it was magic

It was bouncing off the walls

Covering us with dreams

But no one crossed the hall.


I couldn’t keep my feet still

They were playing all the tunes

I saved all week to be here

And the night it could be ruined

Whispering and nudging with my friend

The voice of doom

Like who on earth amongst them

Would be first to cross the room.


Up steps the local hero

Be-bop brains and balls

And duck-walks with a fag lit

Towards us girls across the hall


I hope he makes it, he’s a loser

He doesn’t stand a chance

Then the looks of admiration

As his choice got up to dance

His feet were fast, his hands were sure

They were putting on some show

The rest just flooded cross the floor

To give us girls a go.


Fast songs, slow songs

The Showband played them all

The dim lights and the crowd and the craic

We had a ball.


The band then called for ladies choice

So I crossed the floor alone

To a big lad that I fancied

‘Cause I knew he’d walk me home

Too soon they played the last dance

We were all up on the floor

When I saw a fellow duck-walk

On his own, out through the door.


The dancers and the chancers

Movers and the groovers

Shy-boys and the smilers

The winners and the losers

Our hopes and aspirations

That night were built on zero

Until the classic walk

Of the dancehall’s Local Hero.   


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