Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Navvy song

Morticia 01 Sep 00 - 07:55 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 04 Sep 00 - 09:16 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 05 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM
Morticia 05 Sep 00 - 01:36 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 06 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM
Morticia 06 Sep 00 - 02:54 PM
Joe Offer 06 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM
A Wandering Minstrel 07 Sep 00 - 12:38 PM
JennyO 11 Nov 17 - 10:21 AM
JennyO 11 Nov 17 - 10:25 AM
Jim Carroll 12 Nov 17 - 05:07 AM
Tattie Bogle 13 Nov 17 - 08:14 PM
Jim Carroll 14 Nov 17 - 04:00 AM
Ian Hendrie 14 Nov 17 - 09:04 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Nov 17 - 06:04 PM
Ian Hendrie 15 Nov 17 - 05:02 AM
Tattie Bogle 16 Nov 17 - 07:52 PM
Tattie Bogle 16 Nov 17 - 08:41 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: Navvy song
From: Morticia
Date: 01 Sep 00 - 07:55 PM

I'm looking for a song that goes something like:

Hey up, mother, there's a navvy in the cellar
And two more looking through the window outside

How he used to taunt her, how he used to tease her
Then he'd laugh at her and sing her this refrain

Can anyone shed any light? There's a great big snog in it if you can ( or not, if you prefer :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 04 Sep 00 - 09:16 AM

This would be "Ware Out Mother". It's in Tish Stubbs "the English Folksinger" but only the chorus, I have a version sung by Charley Yarwood which I can post tomorrow. I think he made a lot of it up though so I won't swear as to it's being original

It tells of a girl who falls for a navvy, gets locked up by her mother, is rescued by the navvy blowing up the cellar wall and ends happily?!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 12:14 PM

Mea Culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Sorry I got the lyrics out last night and forgot to put them in my briefcase.. Try again Minstrel!

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Morticia
Date: 05 Sep 00 - 01:36 PM

Minstrel.......if you can find this wretched song.....and it certainly sounds like it.....I will love you forever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WARE OUT MOTHER (Charley and Tom Brown)^^
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 06 Sep 00 - 09:08 AM

Here you go. My dear wife informs me that anything non-platonic will constitute grounds!

As I said most of this was made ub by Charley and Tom Brown in the Beggars Velvet days. You can hear it on "Hooks and Nets" by Ian Woods and Charley Yarwood available from HMV folk section

WARE OUT MOTHER

Nightmares mother had, of navvies in the cellar
and dark eyes looking through the window outside
How we used to beg and how we used to taunt her
How we used to laugh and chant to her dismay

Ware out mother there's a navy in the cellar
and two more looking through the window outside

Mother heard there was to be a river builded
A stones throw away from the window outside
How we hugged each other as we told our mother
It's a canal there'll be navigators too!

We told mother there'd be barges full of jewels
and wondrous things passing by the window outside
"Wheres this river come from?" we said it came from China
Whoa thought mother there'll be alligators too

One night Jimmy led the navvies into town
They looked like beggars from the window outside
Navvies in the alehouse, arguments and street fights
mother became 'delicate' and stayed in bed all week

Jimmy the navvy had a gentle way of talking
and more pairs of hands than was decent all right
Do you come along you naughty little Suzy
Just let me put my arms around your waist

When our mother saw Jimmy with her daughter
she locked Suzy up in the cellar downstairs
Do you go along you naughty little hussy
else I'll put a stick about your back

Jim gave a blink or it might have been a wink
And organized a tunnell 'neath the window outside
Not a body saw them till they struck foundations
right thought Jim I shall make a little hole

A muffled bang and there was dust and rubble everywhere
And Jim was in the cellar with his Suzy once more
How they hugged each other but no one told our mother
she still has dreams but she never learned the truth

Work moved on apace and navvies they were leaving
And they filled in the hole neath the window outside
Tears were shed in bucketfuls and shedloads of promises
Then off went jim and Suzy with him too
^^


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Morticia
Date: 06 Sep 00 - 02:54 PM

I have no wish to come between you and your esteemed other half but I am really grateful....I've wanted these words for years.......many thanks...and a great big snog!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM

Well, I have to admit that I was forced to look up "navvy" in the dictionary. I thought it was a misspelled mariner.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 07 Sep 00 - 12:38 PM

Navvy pl: Navvies- Derived abbreviation of Navigator.

Canals used to be planned as "navigations" back in the 19th Century. The folk who built them were known as Navigators. Usually itinerant diggers and tinkers who would work on piece rates. Chineese navvies are known to have worked on the Manchester ship canal! There are several other songs which celebrate this gallant band.

Not to be confused with Diggers who are quite different!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: JennyO
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 10:21 AM

And now it's on the latest album by the Melrose Quartet - Dominion. I knew I'd heard it before somewhere, but I can't think who I might know that sings it. I don't think it was them though. https://www.discogs.com/Melrose-Quartet-Dominion/release/11011264


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: JennyO
Date: 11 Nov 17 - 10:25 AM

Here are the words they sing, as listed on their website:

5. 'WARE OUT MOTHER (trad)
Nightmares, Mother had, of navvies in the cellar
And dark eyes looking through the window outside
How we used to vex her, how we used to taunt her
How we would laugh and chant to her dismay

'Ware out Mother there's a navvy in the cellar
and two more looking through the window outside

Mother heard there was to be a river builded
Just a stone's throw away from the window outside
How we hugged each other, as we told our mother
"It's a canal, there'll be navigators too."

We told Mother there'd be barges full of jewels
And wondrous things past the window outside
But where's this river from? we said it flows from China
"Woah" thought Mom, "there'll be alligators too."

One night Jimmy led the navvies into town
and they looked like beggars through the window outside
There were navvies in the ale house, arguments and street fights,
Mother was delicate, she stayed in bed all week

One night Jimmy had a gentle way with words
and more pairs of hands than was decent, alright.
"Will you come along, me saucy little Susie,
Just let me put a few arms around your waist."

Soon our mother saw the navvy with her daughter
and she locked her up in the cellar downstairs
"Do you come along, me naughty filthy hussy,
Else I'll put this stick about your back."

Jim gave a wink, or it might have been a blink,
and he organised a tunnel 'neath the window outside
Not a body saw them, then they struck foundations
"Right" thought Jim, "I shall blow little hole."

Muffled bang, and there was dust and rubble everywhere
And Jim was in the cellar of his Susie once more
How they hugged each other, yet no-one told our mother
She still has her dreams, yet she's never learnt the truth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE SONS OF GRANUAILE (Michael Flanagan)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Nov 17 - 05:07 AM

"Well, I have to admit that I was forced to look up "navvy" in the dictionary"
A Clare Navvy song with a description of the situation many emigrating Irishmen found themselves in when they left home during the famine
Jim Carroll


THE SONS OF GRANUAILE
Michael ?Straighty? Flanagan Inagh

You loyal-hearted Irishmen that do intend to roam,
To reap the English harvest so far away from home.
I?m sure you will provide with us both comrades loyal and true;
For you have to fight both day and night with John Bull and his crew.

When we left our homes from Ireland the weather was calm and clear.
And when we got on board the ship we gave a hearty cheer.
We gave three loud cheers for Paddy?s land, the place we do adore,
May the heavens smile on every child that loves the shamrock shore.

We sailed away all from the quay and ne?er received a shock,
Till we landed safe in Liverpool one side of Clarence Dock.
Where hundreds of our Irishmen they met us in the town;
Then ?Hurrah for Paddy?s lovely land?, it was the word went round.

With one consent away we went to drink strong ale and wine,
Each man he drank a favourite toast to the friends he left behind.
We sang and drank till the ale house rang dispraising Erin?s foes,
Or any man that hates the land where St Patrick?s shamrock grows.

For three long days we marched away, high wages for to find.
Till on the following morning we came to a railway line.
Those navies they came up to us, and loudly they did rail,
They cursed and damned for ould Paddy?s lands, and the sons of Granuaile.

Up stands one of our Irish boys and says, ?What do you mean?
While us, we?ll work as well as you, and hate a coward?s name.
So leave our way without delay or some of you will fall,
Here stands the sons of Irishmen that never feared a ball.?

Those navies then, they cursed and swore they?d kill us every man.
Make us remember ninety-eight, Ballinamuck and Slievenamon.
Blessed Father Murphy they cursed his blessed remains,
And our Irish heroes said they?d have revenge then for the same.

Up stands Barney Reilly and he knocked the ganger down.
?Twas then the sticks and stones they came, like showers to the ground.
We fought from half past four until the sun was going to set,
When O?Reilly says, ?My Irish boys, I think we will be bet.?

But come with me my comrade boys, we?ll renew the fight once more.
We?ll set our foes on every side more desperate than before.
We will let them know before we go we?d rather fight than fly,
For at the worst of times you?ll know what can we do, but die.

Here?s a health then to the McCormicks to O?Donnell and O?Neill,
And also the O?Donoghues that never were afraid.
Also every Irish man who fought and gained the day
And made those cowardly English men - in crowds they ran away.

?Irish immigrants fleeing the Famine and the mass evictions were met with prejudice and violence in many of the places they chose as their new homes. This account from Terry Coleman?s ?Railway Navvies? gives a vivid description of the reception many of them received when they landed in Britain. It describes the plight of the men who took work as railway navvies in the English/Scots border country:
?Throughout the previous year the railways had been extending through the English border country and into Scotland. A third of the navvies were Irish, a third Scots, and a third English: that was the beginning of the trouble - easy-going Roman Catholic Irish, Presbyterian Scots, and impartially belligerent English. The Irish did not look for a fight. As the Scottish Herald reported, they camped, with their women and children, in some of the most secluded glades, and although most of the huts showed an amazing disregard of comfort, the hereditary glee of their occupants seemed not a whit impaired. This glee enraged the Scots, who then added to their one genuine grievance (the fact that the Irishmen would work for less pay and so tended to bring down wages) their sanctified outrage that the Irish should regard the Sabbath as a holiday, a day of recreation on which they sang and lazed about. As for the Scots, all they did on a Sunday was drink often and pray occasionally, and it needed only an odd quart of whisky and a small prayer to make them half daft with Presbyterian fervour. They then beat up the godless Irish. The Irish defended themselves and this further annoyed the Scots, so that by the middle of 1845 there was near civil war among the railway labourers. The English, mainly from Yorkshire and Lancashire, would fight anyone, but they preferred to attack the Irish. The contractors tried to keep the men, particularly the Irish and Scots, apart, employing them on different parts of the line, but the Scots were not so easily turned from their religious purposes. At Kinghorn, near Dunfermline, these posters were put up around the town:
"Notice is Given
that all the Irish men on the line of railway in Fife Share must be off the grownd and owt of the countey on Monday th nth of this month or els we must by the strenth of our armes and a good pick shaft put them off
Your humbel servants, Schots men."

Letters were also sent to the contractors and sub-contractors. One read:
"Sir, - You must warn all your Irish men to be of the grownd on Monday the 11th of this month at 12 o'cloack or els we must put them by forse FOR WE ARE DETERMINED TO DOW IT."
The sheriff turned up and warned the Scots against doing anything of the sort. Two hundred navvies met on the beach, but in the face of a warning from the sheriff they proved not so determined to do it, and the Irish were left in peace for a while. But in other places the riots were savage. Seven thousand men were working on the Caledonian line, and 1,100 of these were paid monthly at a village called Locherby, in Dumfriesshire. Their conduct was a great scandal to the inhabitants of a quiet Scottish village. John Baird, Deputy Clerk of the Peace for the county, lamented that the local little boys got completely into the habits of the men - "drinking, swearing, fighting, and smoking tobacco and all those sorts of things". Mr Baird thought that on a pay day, with constant drunkenness and disturbance, the village was quite uninhabitable.
A minority of the navvies were Irish, and they were attacked now and again, as was the custom. After one pay day a mob of 300 or 400, armed with pitchforks and scythes, marched on the Irish, who were saved only because the magistrates intervened and kept both sides talking until a force of militia came up from Carlisle, twenty-three miles away.'
The writer goes in to explain that the worst of the riots were to follow. This song describes the situation in Britain, specifically in Liverpool; we have never come across it before and can find no trace of it. A similar song ?Seven of our Irishmen? (Roud 3104), sung by Straighty and by Pat MacNamara, deals with those who landed in America and were targeted as possible recruits for the U.S. army."

Reference:
The Railway Navvies, Terry Coleman, 1965.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Nov 17 - 08:14 PM

Another good song by Philip Gaston, simply called "Navigator": I first came across it when Kris Drever recorded it, but it is also done by the Pogues! Quite a popular session song now.
Will post the lyrics at a more godly hour!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 04:00 AM

In my opinion, the best set of new songs about Navvies were written by MacColl for a BBC film called 'The Irishmen'
Apart from 'Tunnel Tigers' they didn't get sung around too much because the BBC took umbrage at what some of the navvies had to say about their treatment, so it never got a national airing
Like the best of MaColl's songs, they were based on recorded actuality from the navvies
Jim Carroll

K3 THE RAMBLER FROM CLARE
(1966)
I had to sell my bicycle to get me fare over. The missus had to borrow from the neighbours, a pound here, ten bob there, to get me fare. I'll try and get my wife and family over here this year if I make a go of it, for there's definitely nothing back in Ireland for a poor man. Nothing! (John Foran, recorded in London, 1965)
There's Johnny Munnelly, a Mayo man, was the greatest man that ever came out of Ireland, and he slaughtered himself for John Laing, took TB and died. And the sinker, Jim Heeley ... slaughtered himself upon piece-work that tore that man's heart and guts out. The man's walking around now with one lung and there's not a man to walk up and say, 'Well, Jim, you've done good work! Here's a pint! Here's a pound, here's a feed.!' They're finished for life. They're finished for life! ' (County Offally man, recorded in London, 1965)

Rambler from Clare         
tune: traditional Irish ('The Rambler from Clare') new words and trad arr.: Ewan MacColl

I am a young fellow that's very well known;
I've travelled through Galway and the County Tyrone.
For work I've been searching through Cork and Kildare,
There was never a job for the rambler from Clare.

Through Kerry I searched with no brogues to me feet,
I was stranded in Sligo with nothing to eat;
Till in desperation I borrowed the fare,
And 'Goodbye to old Ireland,' said the rambler from Clare.

On the boat leaving Ireland I stood in the bar,
And a big red-faced agent he stood me a jar.
Says he: 'Up in Scotland they're building dams there
And there's plenty of work for a rambler from Clare.'

I made for Argyll where I dug a big hole;
It was half-a-mile deep and I felt like a mole.
It held ten million gallons of water, I swear,
And the most of it sweat from the rambler from Clare.

The next job I worked on was digging a drain;
I moved up the trench like a big diesel train.
They laid off the rest of the gang then and there,
For the equal of ten was the rambler from Clare.

One day they was moving a bridge into place
And a thousand-ton crane it falls flat on its face.
Like Ajax that bridge on me shoulders I bear -
There's no crane in the world like the rambler from Clare.

They'll tell you my equal was ne'er to be seen;
They called me 'the horse' and 'the digging machine';
The gangermen loved me, the agents would stare,
All admiring the strength of the rambler from Clare.

But now I am bent and me fire is turned cold;
In another four years I'll be fifty years old.
I'm worn out and finished, but what do they care?
For they've had all they want of the rambler from Clare.

INDEED I WOULD (1966) tune: traditional Itish ('The Jolly Tinker') new words and trad arr.: Ewan MacColl

It's a long day and it's a hard day and when the short day comes in they cut down the wages. When you're riding in wet wagons, mucky wagons and when they draw up for tea at half-past nine there could be a load of muck on the wagons and 12-13-14 men'd jump on that big lorry of muck, the rain and wind slashing into their faces and you go down to the caf'. You get your breakfast in the caf' and you come out after a nice hot meal and you get on that wagon again and you get back to the job. You're shiverin', men has flu, colds of all kinds but they don't care so long as the job goes on. (Jim McHugh, Co. Offally. Recorded in London, 1965)


As I went out through Camden Town, up came a Murphy truck,
And a gombeen man he said to me, 'Would you like to shift some muck?'

Chorus:        O, indeed I would, don't you know I would?
                With me right fal lal the diddle-O,
                Indeed I would.

He got me by the collar and he dropped me on the floor;
There was fifty Tipperary men and from Galway twenty more.
                   O, indeed there was, don't you know there was (etc. )

We raced along the road until the ganger gave a shout:
'Get down into the trench, me boys, and start to throw it out!'
                O, indeed he did, don't you know (etc.)

I grabbed me pick and shovel and I started for to dig;
And the fella right in front of me was grunting like a pig.
                O, indeed he was, (etc.)

Says I, 'If you keep on like that, you'll be dying for the job!'
The ganger-man he heard me and he shouted, 'Shut your gob!'
                0, indeed he did, (etc.)

From six o'clock to half past eight we worked to kill the haul,
And the steam was rising off of us just like horses in a stall.
                O, indeed it was, (etc.)

I was nearly dehydrated when I heard the cry, 'Tea up!'
And I nearly lost me life in fighting to get on the truck.
                O, indeed I did, (etc.)

I sat there sweating in the truck and crouching on me knees,
By the time I reached the caf' I swear I had begun to freeze.
                O, indeed I had, (etc.)

The caf' was warm and soon the sweat was in my eyes again,
When the gangerman he up and shouted, 'All aboard, you men!'
                O, indeed he did, (etc.)
        
The way that driver drove the truck it was a mortal sin,
Soon every man aboard of her was shivering to the chin.
                O, indeed they was, (etc.)

The ganger came from Skibbereen, he'd been a drover then;
Instead of driving cattle now he works at driving men.
                Yes, indeed he does, (etc.)

Now, here's a piece of good advice, it is the golden rule:
When they call you a good worker, it's a nickname for a fool.
                O, indeed it is, (etc.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 09:04 AM

From Tattie Bogle : "Another good song by Philip Gaston, simply called "Navigator": I first came across it when Kris Drever recorded it, but it is also done by the Pogues! Quite a popular session song now.
Will post the lyrics at a more godly hour!"

I'll save you the trouble as it's already on the Songs of the Inland Waterways website : http://www.waterwaysongs.co.uk/navigator.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Nov 17 - 06:04 PM

Thanks Ian! And thanks to Jim for the songs above.
Anyway, here is Kris Drever's version, along with a lot of archive photos (more of railway building than canal construction: as I understand it, the term was originally applied to those who built the canals but was later applied to railways).
Navigator - Kris Drever


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 15 Nov 17 - 05:02 AM

Thanks for the YouTube link TB. Your description of 'navvies' is correct.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Nov 17 - 07:52 PM

Heard another good one tonight, written and sung by Brian McNeill who was guest at one of the clubs I go to, about the Forth & Clyde Canal. He said was the second song he'd ever written, and plenty of praise for the navvies.
The chorus went something like:
With our picks on our shoulders, and our shovels by our sides,
We're the boys who joined the Forth to the Clyde.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Navvy song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 16 Nov 17 - 08:41 PM

A bit more searching, and foind the lyrics to "The Boys Who Broke the Ground" - the song I meant above - in this old thread: The Boys who Broke the Ground


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 November 8:43 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.