At Home County Festival, London,
          Ontario 1998
Bryan's poem was inspired by Tom's performance at the 1998 Home County Folk Festival (above), in London, Ontario. The poem and picture were officially presented to Tom at his March 1999 performance at the nearby Cuckoo's Nest folk club. The poem is reminiscent of the song 150 Days Out From Vancouver, by Tom and C. Fox-Smith.

Tom Lewis's Yarns

Bryan Finlay, 21st March 1999 (abridged)

One hundred and fifty yarns all from Tom Lewis,
   Can't you hear all the audience rising up to it ?
One hundred and fifty yarns all in one show,
   And his squeeze-box is calling "Hey, row buddies row!"

He's stories of Molly and Jenny The Ringer,
   Of a life that he left to become a Folk Singer.
Now he cruises the land in a rusty Ford van,
   Writing songs of the sea and the free-roving man.

He's hammered the ice from the mast in the arctic,
   Been becalmed with loose sails out in the Atlantic.
But one thing took his breath as the world he sailed round,
   'twas a cold icy dip down at McMurdo Sound.

For he's shipped o'er the world with the proud Royal Navy,
   With that horny dog Bunts and a stoker called Daisy !
But throughout it all he's maintained his fine form,
   On hard-tack and rum, dancing jigs till the dawn.

He's sea-faring songs with a language that's stronger,
   With stories of old and a life that's no longer.
He's eyes for the gals, and a love of fine wine,
   But keep his bows clear of that daughter of mine !

He's given us songs that go right to the heart
   From bombings in Belfast to the love of a tart
And through each emotion he's tender and true
   As you each get the feeling, he's a winking at you.

One hundred and fifty yarns all from Tom Lewis,
   Can't you hear all the audience rising up to it ?
One hundred and fifty yarns all in one show,
   Now he's packing his squeeze-box, he's ready to go . . .