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One in a Million
Chris Wood Lyrics

Bateman kept a chip shop
And his daughter Peggy Sue
She cleaned the fish and took the orders
She chopped the tatties too.
And the frier there was Billy Smith
He sweated and he sang
As the orders sizzled in the oil
And bubbled in the pan.
Bateman took the money
And his daughter Peggy Sue
She'd look up from her labours
And she'd smile along the queue
Oh and was it Bateman's prices
Or was it Billy's song
Or was it Peggy's smile
that kept the queue so long.
It was one in a million
One in a million
That chippy was
One in a million
No it wasn't Bateman's prices
Nor it wasn't Billy's song
But it was Peggy Bateman
That kept the queue so long
She was shapely as a mermaid
And her lips were red and wet
Her eyes as bright as herrings
Flashing in the net.
And to carry home a portion
And unwrap its fishy charms
Was to dream of nights of passion
In lovely Peggy's arms
Oh and Billy'd sing Deliah
He'd sing Oh what a night
And every song that Billy sang
Had Peggy in its sights.
She was one in a million
One in a million
That girl was
One in a million
Now Billy he's loved Peggy
With a love that wont shine true
since first old Bateman's took him on
On the day that he's left school
And he tells her how he loves her
In every song he sings
But as the batter bubbles
Oh he never says a thing.
But every week a fiver
Into a drawer he drops
Every week for eight long years now
And its off to the jeweller's shop
Give me that ring there in the window
On the purple velvet stand
With diamonds and with sapphires
The one that costs two grand.
It was one in a million
One in a million
That ring was
One in a million
After closing time that evening
He walks her down beside the quay
Oh and as the sun was sinking
He says Peggy marry me
And he pulls it from his pocket
He says I bought this ring for you
She says Billy this is sudden
Oh I never had a clue.
She said Billy I hardly know you
So stop before you start
never fools around with plastic
In matters of the heart.
You tried to win me with this thing here
You probably won in some arcade
She tore it from his fingers.
And flung it in the waves.
It was one in a million
One in a million
His love for her was
One in a million
Billy turned away then
She took him by the arm
She said Billy love I'm sorry
I never meant no harm
Oh you're kindly and you're comforting
And I love it when you sing
But in all the years I've known you
You never said a thing
But I've got a dream thats solid gold
None of your gilded tin
Five pounds a week on the lottery
One day soon I'll win
Oh and I'll be shot of this old town
And greasy fish and chips
She kissed him once and walked away
His tears were on her lips
Dream on Peggy Bateman
Dream on Peggy Sue
Of sunsets and of sportscars
As you smile along the queue
Dream days to months and months to years
In reveries of love
But never for here dreaming
Did her numbers once come up
So as she was cleaning fish one day
With a slit from tail to jaw
Something slivered through her fingers
And fell onto the floor
She took it over to the sink then
And she washed the shining thing
Bright diamonds and bright sapphires
Set in a golden ring
It was one in a million
One in a million
The chances were
One in a million.
Oh Billy love your rings come back
And underneath this light
I can see its made of purest gold
The stones are shining bright
Oh and Billy stood beside her
With a smile like the sun.
He put it on her finger
He said Peggy Sue you've won.
Sell the ring and taste the freedom
You've dreamt of all these years
He kissed her then and as they kissed
They could taste each others tears
Billy go backto your frying
And sing me love is blue
Your kindly and your comforting
I'd rather stay with you
It was one in a million
One in a million
When the chips were down
It was one in a million.

Contributed by Liam M. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Comments from YouTube:

megan gimber

This was sung around the fire at my wedding, the first I'd heard it, and it was one of my highlights. Such a lovely gentle portrayal.


I love Chris Woods. It's a shame that British Folk is pushed aside from the mainstream by radio.


Absolutely there are some Gems in there

william gilmour

I`m 72 years old and have been listening and singing folk music since I was a child but I only came across this song recently and was completely blown away. Hugh Luptons storytelling is wonderful and Chris Wood`s singing with such feeling is just wonderful.

Adam Coates

Reminds me so much of Richard Thompson’s Beeswing. Love the story telling. Classic

Steve Borovac

English folk balladry at its very best. Absolutely wonderful.

Jim Fell

Stunning, everything a folk song should be, a modern day perfect love song. Wouldn't the planet be an infinitely better place if this was mainstream instead of some of the insults they call music today, Chris you ARE one in a billion.


My dearest departed friend Maurice introduced me to thia treasure of a song. He asked Chris to play it at The Hawth in Crawley a good few years ago, and Chris did. Perfection. Thanks for your masterful and timeless craft Chris 🙏🏻

Helen Bryant

Moves me to tears every time. Insanely beautiful.


me too! Every time I think I've managed to get through it with dry eyes and then Peggy Sue finds the ring and I'm in bits all over again

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