McAlpines Fusiliers

The Rumjacks

As down the glen came McAlpines men
with their shovels slung behind them
‘Twas in the pub that they drank the sub 
and up in the spike you’ll find them
They sweated blood and they washed down mud 
with pints and quarts of beer
And now we’re on the road again with McAlpine’s Fusiliers
I stripped to the skin with Darkie Flynn way down upon the Isle of Grain
Wi’ that horsed Face O’Toole, sure we knew the rule, 
no money if you stopped for rain.
McAlpine’s God was a well filled hod, 
your shoulders cut to bits and seared,
And woe to he who looked for tea with McAlpine’s Fusiliers

I remember the day that Bear O’Shea 
fell into a concrete stairs.
What Horse Face said when he saw him dead 
it wasn’t what the rich called prayers.
“I’m a navvy short” was the one retort 
that reached unto my ears,
When the going’s rough, sure you must be tough with McAlpine’s Fusiliers
I’ve worked ’til the sweat nearly had me bet, 
with Russian, Czech and Pole.
On shuddering jams up the hydro dams 
or underneath the Thames in a hole.
I’ve grabbed it hard and I’ve 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