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10 Years On Speed LIVE

Right Then, What You Got?

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published: 25 February 2016

duration: 45' 00"

Presented by: Gareth Jones, Richard Porter & Zog

#271 New F1 qualifying rules and the new 2016 F1 cars appear. Richard drives a Dodge Charger, Gareth drives on studs. Sniff Petrol on Honda’s ex-boss, all change at Enstone and Stefano Dominecali. Max Pace sings “Jones The Speed” for St David’s Day.

On Speed Band Live

Max Pace - The Ballad of Jones The Speed

Let me tell you a story
One of my favourite tales
I suppose I should sing it
Because I’m from Wales
It’s about a Welshman
That’s no surprise
But when you hear what he did
It’ll open your eyes
It’s a tale of achievement
On the edge of absurd
I should say that this may
(Or may not) have occurred.
A lad from Llanidloes
Whose ambitions were great
Shot for the world land-speed record
On St David’s Day
March 1st, 1888

La la la la la la la la

He built a car
In a shed in Llangefni
That astonished the locals
What he proposed was quite scary
The fastest car ever
Raw speed was his goal
Not petrol, gas, nor ‘lectric
It was powered by coal.
The doubters all said that: “He won’t succeed”
But with Welsh engineering
He soon took the lead
So the Cymry in Wales we all agreed
Henceforth he’d be known as “Jones The Speed

La la la la la la la la

The steam pressure system came from near Wrexham in Chirk
The schematics were drawn on Welsh slate with chalk
I have to admit the steel rail was from York
But the central point for most of the work
Was Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

La la la la la la la la

He built a track up a mountain, took 26 months
Logistical challenges
And technical bumps
He overcame them all
Made great strides, leaps and jumps
Using levers and pistons
And boilers and pumps.

With Welsh mountain gravity
And high-pressure steam
He built the fastest rail carriage
The world had yet seen
It would descend from heaven
At a pace that’s obscene
And being a Welsh project
It was painted red, white and green.

La la la la la la la la

He said, “Right boys I’m ready”
Sang his 3 favourite hymns
He took safety precautions
For his head and his limbs
Donned his Sunday-best jacket
Had a pint and a fag
Turned his flat-cap round backwards
(To lower the drag.)
He hugged Jones The Chapel
Shook hands with his wife
Jumped in the carriage
And despite the risk to his life
And his wife’s failing health
He did it for Wales
He’d drive it himself.

La la la la la la la la

It hurled down the mountain
An incredible train
A fabulous vehicle
Speed continued to gain.
But then it went wrong
And to his distain
He hit one of those bumps and
Took-off ….like a plane.

And although it’s quite tragic
Being Welsh, too, it’s comic
He missed the land-speed record
But went supersonic.
It had so much momentum
It flew like a hornet
It went like a comet
And achieved low-earth orbit

Wales erupted!
Now we were distinguished
We’d left this planet
This win was vintage
America, Russia, beaten by British
But best of all
We’d beaten the English.

If you’ve not heard this before
Never heard it mentioned
It’s either the truth
Or just another Welsh legend.
You might doubt that this happened
But do not dismay
Ask any Welsh tourist
That track’s not gone away
It takes thousands of visitors
Up Yr Wyddfa most days
Known ‘round the world now
As the Snowdon Mountain Railway.

La la la la la la la la.

Written, Performed & Produced by Gareth Jones
With apologies to Max Boyce & Morgan The Moon

© Gareth Jones 2005-2016