Mudcat Café message #1331910 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52597   Message #1331910
Posted By: GUEST,
18-Nov-04 - 11:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
Subject: ADD Versions: McAldine's Fusileers
I was actually looking for the *meaning* of these lyrics, but here- I did find them! (The heavy gaelic accent on my cassette tape made it near impossible for me to decypher them by listening...and I'm not that great anyhow.) The song is on the album, "25 Irish Drinking (or pub) songs." I can get more information on it if you need, to find out who performs this version, which is excellent in my opinion, but the lyrics follow. (If you want the album info, let me know through email, as this is a chance visit to the forum through a web search, and I'm probably not headed back here...) Apparently the lyrics are based on a poem, which is here, just before the lyrics...


'Twas in the 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 lost distance men
Don't ever work for McAlpine, for Wimpy, nor John Lang

For you'll stand behind the mixer, till your skin has turned to tan
And they'll good of you Paddy, with your boat fair in your hand
Oh, the crack was good in Cricklewood and the wouldn't leave the Crown
With glasses flyin' and Biddy's cryin', sure Paddy was goin' to town

Oh mother dear I'm over here, I'll never coming back
What keeps me here is rake of beer the ladies and the crack
I come from the County Kerry, the lands of eggs and bacon
And if you think I'll eat your fish and chips, Bejasus, you're mistaken

(Dominic Behan)

As down the glen came McAlpine's men with their shovels slung behind them
It was in the pub that they drank their sub or down in the spike you will find him
We sweated blood and we washed down mud with pints and quarts of beer
But now we're on the road again with McAlpine's Fusiliers

I stripped to the skin with the Darky Finn down upon the Isle of Grain,
With Horseface Toole I learned the rule, no money if you stop for rain.
For McAlpine's god is a well filled hod with 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 stair,
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 beat with Russian, Czech and Pole,
At shuttering jams up in the hydra 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