All Tom really knows about his old fiddle is that it was made in southern Germany or Austria in the 1930s, it has 'Paris' stamped on the bridge, and it was bought for him by his father in London in the 1960s. The rest is pure invention

BLISS vocal, guitar NAPPER mandolin, vocal (and on the CD: McCONVILLE fiddle)


I was built in a back street in Saltzberg

In a dusty and candle-lit room

By hands that understood music

And timber and varnish and glue

With a lifetime of skill in his fingers

He stroked the first notes from my strings

And my voice sallied out in the darkness

And my soul first unfolded its wings


And I was dancing, I was singing, but my story is locked in my soul

I can laugh to your tune, Cry for the moon

But my silence sings loudest of all, my silence sings loudest of all


The star on the door told the story,

And he knew that the blackshirts would call

When they dragged him away to the station

They snaffled me down off the wall

Yes I played for their parties in Paris

Where the jackboots kept time to the beat

It was polkas and waltzes and mazurkas

As all Europe lay bruised at their feet


When the Allies rolled down into Paris

The band made a run for the east

But with a gun in the hands that had loved me

My trooper fired back till the last

Then a lad from the Kentucky mountains

Nicked his wallet, his watch and then me

And the bluegrass was burning for Danville

In the barracks and down the NAAFFI


And with the peace I was back on the market,

Well, he'd a perfectly good fiddle at home

I changed hands for two crates of Marlboro

And all over Europe did roam

Then one rainy November in London

With three silver balls overhead

A man noticed the price on my label

'You'll do for my lad' he said