Two Old White Horses

Music: M.L. Hammond   Lyrics: P.Aird/Hammond © 2006

Nellie had worked all her life in a mine
pulling the carts down in shaft number nine
day after day she leaned into her load
hauling the coal on a black iron road
never a pasture nor sky did she see
only darkness or headlights, and never let free
so many years later old Nellie they find
was still willing to work even though she’d gone blind

Winston had worked all his life in a town
pulling the bread wagons up hill and down
day after day he leaned into his load
hauling those carts on a cobblestone road
never a pasture nor brook did he see
only pavement and steep hills and never let free
So many years later the cobbles they blame
old Winston was stumbling because he’d gone lame

Two old white horses tied up by a gate
nervously sniffing the air
two old white horses awaiting their fate
in a place where the motto is Buyer Beware
Buyer Beware

Nellie and Winston came into the pen
while the auctioneer started his chanting again
bidders were few, only butchers by trade
The horses stood still, then the male turned and neighed
and the mare answered back with her head proud and high
and although I was never intending to buy
As the gavel descended I threw up my arm
And took Nellie and Winston back home to the farm


Now sometimes I’ll harness them up for the day
to haul a few logs or a few bales of hay
and Nellie’s so steady on any terrain
that Winston moves just like he’s sound once again
and although we pass mud holes and sharp jutting rock
he leads the way so she’s safe, trot or walk
Nellie helps him to stand and he helps her to see
They’re as perfectly matched as a good team can be


Two old white horses now amble and graze
in the warmth of the late summer sun
Two old white horses will live out their days
in a way that befits all the labour they’ve done
All the labour they’ve done