The Ballad of Jack Leslie

by Matt Tiller

supported by
Gavin Hellyer
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Gavin Hellyer Who knew of Jack? An unfortunately typical historical artefact. Thanks to Matt for his research and ultimately, for this song.
Favorite track: The Ballad of Jack Leslie (Plymouth Argyle Extended Version).
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1.
A football legend second to none Jack Leslie came to Devon in 1921 From Barking, Essex, it was a different time I bet he got stick from all sides I’m sure It would’ve happened wherever he played But he came to Plymouth Argyle and he stayed A wizard n defence or attack Called up for England but they sent him back Cos they’d not seen a picture of young Jack And he never got to play, because he was black Imagine how it felt when his gaffer Bob Jack Said son, it’s time to pack your boot bag Your country is calling, young lion roar They’ll see something they’ve never seen before But when the national team sheet was displayed No mention of Jack Leslie’s name No fuss, he just went back to Argyle Scored 137 goals then he retired That wizard n defence or attack Called up for England but they sent him back Cos they’d not seen a picture of young Jack And he never got to play, because he was black No Jack Leslie never got his cap So reflect on how far we have progressed Since that young lad was denied his England vest Fifty three years later before Viv Anderson got the call But think of what he and his peers endured And do you wonder if Raheem Stirling deserves a bit more respect
2.
A football legend second to none Jack Leslie came to Devon in 1921 From Barking, Essex, it was a different time I bet he got stick from all sides I’m sure It would’ve happened wherever he played But he came to Plymouth Argyle and he stayed A wizard n defence or attack Called up for England but they sent him back Cos they’d not seen a picture of young Jack And he never got to play, because he was black Imagine how it felt when his gaffer Bob Jack Said son, it’s time to pack your boot bag Your country is calling, young lion roar They’ll see something they’ve never seen before But when the national team sheet was displayed No mention of Jack Leslie’s name No fuss, he just went back to Argyle Scored 137 goals then he retired That wizard n defence or attack Called up for England but they sent him back Cos they’d not seen a picture of young Jack And he never got to play, because he was black But there’s one little twist to this tale To South America Jack’s Argyle boys sailed They never saw a hand of god but they beat Argentina on their home sod And to this day I’ve no idea why We don’t drink to them smashing four past Uruguay They were Olympic champs and beat Argentina in the first world cup final a few years later it’s nuts, Argyle were in the third division Where Jack Leslie played Like a wizard in defence or attack Called up for England but they sent him back Cos they’d not seen a picture of young Jack And he never got to play, because he was black No Jack Leslie never got his cap So reflect on how far we have progressed Since that young lad was denied his England vest Fifty three years later before Viv Anderson got the call But think of what he and his peers endured And do you wonder if Raheem Stirling deserves a bit more respect

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released June 30, 2020

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Matt Tiller UK

Hello. I am a comic songwriter described as ‘Hilarious’ by New Statesman and ’Sharp and astutely observed’ by British Comedy Guide. I write and performs personal, observational and political songs. My controversial tune, We’re In This Together, garnered some great reviews; Indie Band Guru wrote, ‘Looking away from the astounding melody and tune, the lyrics themselves are hysterical.’ ... more

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