The "Potteries" area of norther Staffordshire, home of Wedgewood, Doulton, and other major pottery makers, consists of five towns: Stoke, Hanley, Bursllem, Fenton and Longton (reffered to as "Neckend" in the song). The smoke from the potbanks and the clay dust in the factories made silicosis the major killer. Then in the 1950s, Harold Clowes was elected Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent. He set about cleaning up the area, banning the potbanks, and making the owners install electric kilns. the dialect song was written by Bob Wilson, a native of Stoke-on-Trent, and Tony learned it from him in 1964. The "snappin" mentioned in the song is the factory man's lunch.

Thee'rt up and about by five o'clock, thy snap-in in your hand
Out by the stop 'til the special comes around
Thee works all day a ten hour shift, and earns a couple o' pound
It's all so thee couldst die o' silicosis.

My mother she's a dipper's mate, my father packs the ware
But where half the china goes he dunna know nor care
As long as he's got a fag in his mouth, and half a pint o' beer
He'll live until he dies o' silicosis.

But I dunna want to work myself till my lungs are made o' clay
Burslem or Neck-End, I dunna want to stay
It was all right for the old man, but it inna all right for me
An' I dunna want to die o' silicosis.

But things are getting better now that Clowes is the Lord Mayor
Theyıve opened up the windows, theyıre letting in the air
Theyıve painted up old Burslem, it's enough to make you stare
Now I may not have to die of silicosis.

© Golden Hind Music