I started this song ages ago and forgot about it. There was only the chorus, which was inspired by something I read about the mechanics of flying in the pioneering times of Amy Johnson.
Petrol had to be filtered through a chamois leather as it was poured into the fuel tanks, as it was stored in (often) rusty barrels, in (often) primitive airfields that might only have one or two visitors a month.
Once in the air, the petrol had to be pumped from the fuselage tanks into the top wing tanks by hand by use of a device similar to a bike pump. The seals on the pipes were never solid, and petrol would spurt out during the pumping. It took 30- 40 pumps on the hand pump to get a gallon of petrol transferred, and the aircraft had a long way to travel inbetween fuel stops, using 50 gallons a day. Think about it.
30-40 pumps on the handpump, 50 times a day. Assuming you’re flying for say, 18 hours, that’s …. I can’t even work out the maths on that one. Squirty petrol pumping at least every half hour. And still flying, and navigating.
Amy Johnson hated the smell of petrol, but she got used to it, as it seemed to be the one constant in her life.
And here’s me, trying to work out the song…
And here’s a slightly more polished version. and I use the term ‘polished’ very lightly. Brace yourself.
We’re rehearsing this tonight, so I’ll post a much better version tomorrow.
Lyrics: Fifty Times A Day I'll have you know (I'll have you know) It takes a lot of preparation to fly And I'll have you know (I'll have you know) There's a lot of work to do before I get up in the sky I've got to plan my route, raise some money Check for stormy weather, and I'll tell you honey I'll be pumping that petrol through fifty times a day. Chorus: Fifty times a day, fifty times a day I'm pumping that petrol through, fifty times a day. ooooh oooh oooh... I'll have you know (I'll have you know) It's not always a glamorous life... And I'll have you know (I'll have you know) That I have my share of trouble and strife But it's worth it to look down on the world below, And have people flock to see you wherever you go But I'm still pumping that petrol through fifty times a day Chorus: I'll have you know (I'll have you know) I hate the smell of petrol and it gets everywhere I'll have you know (I'll have you know) I get it on my hands, my clothes and in my hair But when I land in Africa, a little Belgian guy Fills my cockpit with roses, so it smells nice when I fly but I'm still pumping petrol fifty times a day Chorus: