Blood, Sweat, No Tears

by Sue Lee and John Meleady

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A navvy's life is hard and tough
And town's folk judge us coarse and rough.
Though we work hard, we're big and strong
Our hearts are glad together in song
It's miles and miles we walk each day
Pushin' the barrows, loaded with clay.
Diggin' with shovels and grafting tools
Blood, sweat, no tears - the only rules!

And when each workin'day is done
No home for us, for we have none.
Back to ours tents in 'Shanty Town'
Lice ridden straw in the 'shakey-down'
With hunger fierce in each of us
You wonder why we swear and cus
Fire in our bellies, a mighty thirst
Long walk to the pub, each mile we curse!

A pint inside another in hand
Life's lookin' up for our Navvy Band
Roarin' drunk! But there's one thing more
To lie in the arms of a warm plump whore!
It's hard graft boys the very next day
Up to our necks in mud and clay
T'would kill a man of lesser stuff
But we navvy boys are hard and tough.

A navvy's life is hard and tough
And town's folk judge us coarse and rough.
Though we work hard, we're big and strong
Our hearts are glad together in song
It's miles and miles we walk each day
Pushin' the barrows, loaded with clay.
Diggin' with shovels and grafting tools
Blood, sweat, no tears - the only rules!
Suzie Litton-Wood (Lee-Vickers that was) writes "I was inspired to write this song in monosyllables, thinking that these hard working, tough navvies were most probably men of few words and even then semi-illiterate. I wanted to convey their 'story' to people in as few words as possible, whilst moving the entire song along at a 'lick of a pace'."

Recorded on :

Cargoes Simply Songs