TRIP THROUGH HOLYHEAD
Fifty-three and the factory's closing. There's not enough work to go round.
My brother he stuck to the farming and I headed out for London town.
So, Camden and I'm in my lodgings. The room is both dirty and small,
But the landlady's simple and friendly, makes up for the damp on the wall.
Seven-thirty a.m. in the morning, myself and the lads on the road.
The noise of the 'dozers is deafening and the work is a sight to behold.
And the sub is a gift sent from Heaven. It'll bide me until I get paid.
It'll pay for the rent and the drinking and leave me a bit for to save.
Now I've worked for Laing and for Wimpey. I've been sent from Billy to Jack.
I've worked till there's nothing left in me, and I've worked till I've broken my
Come payday, I'm out on the bunter. There's not a lot else for to do.
I send a few bob to my parents, and the rest is for me and for you.
Come Christmas, I'm standing in Euston, my brown leather suitcase in hand.
And the nine-thirty waiting to take me back over to sweet Ynys Môn.
And it's out beyond Watford and Rugby, by Chester I've had my eighth beer.
Past Bangor and the cold Straits of Menai and finally Holyhead Pier.
You'd think the whole country of Erin was waiting to get on the boat.
There's accents from Antrim to Kerry, from Westport to the high hills of Howth.
And in no time, we're into Dun Laoghaire, and the dawn rising clear in the sky.
I'm on the last leg of my journey. It's hello to the fair Aran Isles.
There's much jubilation and laughter. It's true that there's no place like home.
Well, all of my friends and relations, for too soon I have to be gone.
There's not enough work in this country. There's not enough land to go round,
So thousands of others just like me, we're heading out for London town.
As sung by Tom McConville on Kieran Halpin's "Port of Call," 1980.
Ynys Môn: Isle of Anglesey.
Sub: early part payment of wages coming due.
@Ireland @work @aging
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