The Edmondson Blog

McAlpine's Fusiliers

'Twas in the year of 'thirty-nine when the sky was full of lead,
When Hitler was heading for Poland, and Paddy for Holyhead.
Come all you pincher laddies and you long-distance men,
Don't ever work for McAlpine, for Wimpey, or John Laing.

You'll stand behind a mixer until your skin is turned to tan
And they'll say, Good on you, Paddy, with your boat fare in your hand.
Oh, the craic was good in Cricklewood and they wouldn't leave the Crown
With glasses flying and Biddys crying 'cause Paddy was going to town.

Oh mother dear, I'm over here and I'm never coming back.
What keeps me here is the reek o' beer, the ladies and the craic.
I come from County Kerry, the land of eggs and bacon
And if you think I'll eat your fish and chips, oh dear, then you're mistaken...

Break out singing:
Oh, as down the glen came McAlpine's men
With their shovels slung behind them.
T'was in the pub that they drank their sub
Or down in the spike you'll find them
They sweated blood and we washed down mud
With quarts and pints of beer
But now we're on the road again with McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I stripped to the skin with Darky Finn
Way down upon the Isle of Grain.
With Horseface Toole I Knew the rule
No money if you stop for rain.
For McAlpine's god is a well filled hod
Your shoulders cut to bits and seared
And woe to he who looks for tea with McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I remember the day that the Bear O'Shea
Fell into a concrete stairs.
What Horseface said, when he saw him dead,
Well it wasn't what the rich call prayers:
"I'm a navvy short," was his one retort
That reached unto my ears.
When the going is rough, well you must be tough, with McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I've worked till the sweat near had me bet
With Russian, Czech and Pole
At shuttering jams up in the Hydro Dams
or underneath the Thames in a hole.
I grafted hard and I got me cards
and many a ganger's fist across me ears.
If you pride your life, don't join, by Christ, with McAlpine's Fusiliers!

0 Responses to “McAlpine's Fusiliers”

Post a Comment

© 2007 The Edmondson Blog