The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168402   Message #4070200
Posted By: GUEST
30-Aug-20 - 10:36 PM
Thread Name: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
Subject: RE: Rise Up Mudcat Songbook - Australia
(Harry Robertson)

To the workshop off we go, toolkits heavy in our hands
To a big ship that’s come in, from a trip to foreign lands
Salty streaks of rust have marked her, but her moorings hold her tight
And we’ll work to fix her engines, all today and half the night

Don’t wait up for me this evening — I’ll be out all night again
Working on the Brisbane River with the ship repairing men.

Oil-fired boilers throb with power, drinking up the furnace heat
Water turns to driving steam to make the engines beat
But the feed pump’s sighing wail to us cuts through all other sound
As it sings a song of triumph, for the valves that we have ground

Engine bearings that knocked and hammered through the wild and stormy seas
Will be machined and fitted till they run with silent ease
And that winch that rattles every time the piston turns the shaft
Will hum along and sing its song to men skilled in their craft

When you see an ocean liner glide between the river banks
And the Captain in his gold braid orders men of lesser ranks
Have you thought perhaps this stately craft might never sail again
If it wasn’t for the toil and sweat of ship repairing men

The National Sound and Screen Archive released a CD of Robertson: 'Whale Chasing Men' SSA/WC0022. This song is not on it. I first heard it on a Declan Affley LP. You can find it on Evan
Mathieson 'Harry's Legacy' Mamaia 0701. Evan Mathieson has a second CD devoted to Robertson: 'Tribute to Harry Robertson' Mamaia 0902.

Here is a rendition by John Thompson.

Youtube clip