The Navvies Way

by Hugh E Jones

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I'm no sailor but a bold navigator,
I don't care for the sea's salty spray.
I labour on land with me shovel in hand,
For that is the navvies way.

Chorus:
Our old hands are as hard as the foreman's heart,
Our backs growing broader each day.
Our necks are so thick, there's no collar to fit,
For that is the navvies way.

I drink and carouse in the alehouse,
I fight and I gamble my pay;
I don't give a toss for a self-righteous boss,
For that is the navvies way.

I've a wife of me own back in Kerry,
I'll get home and be with her one day.
I've another one here, for the rest of the year,
For that is the navvies way.

I've tunnelled through rock under mountains,
I've stood up to me neck in wet clay.
I've seen men die, blown in bits to the sky,
For that is the navvies way.

I dreamed of a fine navigation,
With machines excavatin' away
But it' shovel and pick, for you Pat and Mick,
For that is the navvies way.

When I've cut me last cut and I've finished,
For my wake you won't have to pay.
Just sell off my shoes for a bottle of booze,
For that is the navvies way.

Words, music and chords can be found in the song-book 'Hughie's Ditty Bag'.

Recorded on : Hughie's Ditty Bag, Hughie Jones, Fellside Recordings, FECD81 (1991).