"Chalkdust" lyrics - RALPH MCTELL


"Goodnight Miss Johnson", calls the janitor,
Finishing his nightly rounds.
Continuing to clean the blackboard,
She answers without looking round.
And it's far too easy to erase
The hard planned lessons of another day.

And then she carefully packs her briefcase,
And blows the chalk dust from her hands.
Winds up the windows and feeds the fishes.
But forgets about the plants.
Oh, all the biology class,
And the questions that the young girls ask.

And they're all whispering in the playground,
Young girls talking 'round in groups.
And those words scrawled on the blackboard,
Could they really be the truth.
And no one asked the reason why
Something in assembly made Miss Johnson cry.

Young girls seam to grow so quickly,
And proves she's slowly growing old.
How could they hope to understand it,
Even if they could be taught.
Oh no more than a name hanging in the hall,
On a dusty roll of honour, unread on the wall.

Chalk dust settles everywhere,
Dries up her voice, whitens her hair.
Finding, filling every place.
But for punishment the hundred lines upon her face.

There is chalk dust in the letters,
That she slips beneath the doors.
There is chalk dust, there are letters
All along the corridors.
And all the lessons she's erased
Are chalk dust falling in the rays of sunset
Through the window pane.