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Scout Road

"The rivers and the hills"

Bolton SCOUT ROAD is a very old hill road running along a ridge to the north of Bolton and providing panoramic views of the town. I have clear memories of the scene from there in the 50s and 60s when it was still dominated by mill chimneys and smoke.


Piano and bass: key Eb


  • What is there now where the forest stood? It stood so proud and tall.
  • It wasn't made of leaves and wood - those towers of brick could never fall.
  • Not so long ago you'd have hardly seen the factories for the smoke.
  • Now the demolition man has been and laid the chimneys low.


  • Looking down from scout road, searching for a way back home again.


  • The church clock stands without its hands, Trinity's an empty shell.
  • Sweet Green's now a barren land with no more tales to tell.
  • The ironworks' walls did lately fall to another superstore.
  • The loyal and the true are no use at all, no-one wants them any more.

- REPEAT REFRAIN (twice) -




  • The old pit-head's been left for dead, the winding gear has gone.
  • In Hulton Park down in the dark, the shafts don't see the sun.
  • The reason's plain it's greed and gain that left these scars to heal.
  • The old ones don't forget the pain their memories reveal.

- CODA -

  • But it's only now you can imagine the plough, you can see how the land's survived.
  • The rivers and the hills are with us still, smiling at our little lives.
  • It may take some time and some future wiser minds to take us back to the start.
  • Maybe they will find they need not be so blind, maybe they can leave the heart.

- REPEAT REFRAIN (twice) -

Info and tips

ON THE "Northern Man" CD, this is played on piano with the addition of Terry Bowles' beautifully complementary bass.

The verses start in C minor but the basic key of the piece is the relative major, Eb, which is apparent in the refrain. The coda goes through a series of modulations, ending up in F (actually its subdominant Bb) and is then shoehorned back to Eb through a short piano solo section for the final refrain - not a subtle shift but it seems to work.

No music notation for this yet - I'm a lazy play-from-memory ivory-tinkler these days. If any pianist would like to try to persuade me to write it down, please get in touch.

Credits for "Scout Road"
on Clive's CD "A northern man"

Clive Leyland: and harmony vocals, piano.

Terry Bowles: bass.

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