His Name Was Thomas James (song)

aka The Blind Teacher

written and sung by Jim Low
Mining is a dangerous job
It can kill and maim
He went down in the earth one day
And came up not the same.
One hand gone, his sight as well
What was he to do
Give in to misfortune
Or try to battle through?

His name was Thomas James
Blind at twenty two
He learnt a way of reading
Then realised what he’d do
Leave his Cornish homeland
A new life he would find
He sailed out to Australia
And there he helped the blind.

To many towns he travelled
With his faithful dog
Humping all his heavy books
At the old jig-jog
Seeking out the sightless
Teaching them to read
Showing them true friendship
Through his kindly deed.

He met young Tilly Aston
And set her on her way
He prayed her loss of sight
Would bless her future days
The little maid of Carisbrook
Did not need eyes to see
This valued gift of reading
Would change her destiny.

And so he wandered far and wide
Guided by their need
Providing and collecting books
He taught the blind to read
This tall, devout, kind stranger
Deserves his story known
And through this song I surely hope
A good man I have shown. 

Read about Thomas James in Jim’s article, The Blind Teacher.