The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14681   Message #3664167
Posted By: Jim Carroll
27-Sep-14 - 07:45 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Chemical Worker's Song
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: Chemical Worker's Song
Best I heard was from Manchester shpo steward, Pete Smith (circa 1967)

Pete Smith, Mancester mid 1960s

1 Been working at dyework for nearly five years ,
Been charging the naptha's that give yer the **pap,
They send it from *ICKY for us to shove in
This **vitrol and chloric as makes us all thin.

2 Well I rise up for Clayton at five in the morn,
And for smoke and for fumes, yer can't see the dawn,
I'm releivin' old Albert, he's been here all night,
The poor old bugger looks barely alive.

3   His chest is sunk in and his belly's popped out out,
And believe me, my friends,! t's not bacco or stout –
It's the **napthas and paras have rotted his bowels,
While making bright colours for Whitsuntide clothes.

4 I gave him my ****milk ration and packed him off home,
I' ve five tons of this naphtha to charge on me own,
I'm wet through with steam and the sweat of me back
And through wieldin' this shovel, I'm beginning to crack.

5 Well I'm damned if I'll work in this hole any more,
For my belly feels tight and my chest is right sore-
I think of old Albert his face white and drawn,
He'll be back here tonight and just prayin' for dawn.

*       I.CI.- Imperial Chemical Industries nicknamed "ICKEY'
**      Chemicas for dye-making
**      Paploma of the bowel – cancer caused by fumes from dyestuff manufacture
**** A pint of milk was given to each worker each day to 'ward off' cancer.