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Come All Ye Gallant Drivers/Drivers' Song-MacColl

DigiTrad:
BALLAD OF ACCOUNTING
BRITAIN'S MOTORWAYS
DIRTY OLD TOWN
FAREWELL TO TARWATHIE (2)
GO DOWN, YOU MURDERERS
GOODBY TO THE THIRTY FOOT TRAILER
JOY OF LIVING
MANCHESTER RAMBLER
MY OLD MAN
NOBODY KNEW SHE WAS THERE
NORTH SEA HOLES
SCHOOLDAYS END
SECOND FRONT SONG
SHELLBACK SONG
SHOALS OF HERRING
SONG OF THE IRON ROAD
THE BALLAD OF TIM EVANS
THE FIRST TIME
THE TERROR TIME
THE TROOPER CUT DOWN IN HIS PRIME
THE WEEK YOUR MAN'S AWA' or FISHERMAN'S WIFE


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Ewan MacColl singing First Time Ever (31)
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Lyr Req: Companeros (Ewan MacColl) (20)
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Lyr Req/Add: The Colour-Bar Strike (Ewan MacColl) (19)
Lyr Req: Legal Illegal (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Keelaghan Tab Request: My Old Man (MacColl) (3)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Lag's Song (Ewan MacColl) (24)
Lyr Req: Kilroy Was Here (Ewan MacColl) (29)
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Help: Ewan MacColl: Bless 'Em All (19)
Lyr Req: The Ballad of Trades (Ewan MacColl) (12)
Lyr Req: My little son / Britain's Motorways (9)
Lyr Req: The Terror Times (8)
Lyr Req: Shellback Song (Ewan MacColl) (11)
Lyr Req: Dunnes Stores (Christy Moore) (12)
Lyr Add: Northern City (Ewan MacColl) (31)
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Lyr Req: Androids (Ewan MacColl) (8)
Chord Req: Legal Illegal (Ewan MacColl) (12)
(origins) Origins: Ballad of Tim Evans (Ewan MacColl) (11)
Lyr Req: Dracumag (Ewan MacColl) (10)
Lyr Req: I Am a Rover (MacColl) (17)
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(origins) Lyr req: The War Game (MacColl) (6)
Lyr Add: Father's Song (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Lyr Req: The Second Front Song (Ewan MacColl) (9)
Lyr Req: Join the British Army (Ewan MacColl) (5)
Lyr Add: Legal Illegal (Seeger/MacColl) (4)


GUEST,SMOOTHY BABY 28 Jun 01 - 02:57 PM
nutty 28 Jun 01 - 03:46 PM
Pene Azul 29 Jun 01 - 10:25 PM
Jim Dixon 26 Mar 02 - 06:27 PM
Bob Bolton 26 Mar 02 - 07:58 PM
Dave Bryant 27 Mar 02 - 04:59 AM
Snuffy 27 Mar 02 - 09:14 AM
Snuffy 27 Mar 02 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Jack Hammer 12 Apr 11 - 08:36 AM
ossonflags 12 Apr 11 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Folkiedave 12 Apr 11 - 01:37 PM
ossonflags 13 Apr 11 - 06:22 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Apr 11 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,Reinhard 14 Apr 11 - 02:33 AM
GUEST,Will Phillips. 29 Feb 12 - 09:02 AM
Newport Boy 29 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM
John MacKenzie 29 Feb 12 - 12:47 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Feb 12 - 02:43 PM
Newport Boy 29 Feb 12 - 04:31 PM
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Subject: COME ALL YE GALLANT DRIVERS
From: GUEST,SMOOTHY BABY
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 02:57 PM

HAS ANY ONE GOT WORDS TO THIS.

BOB DAVENPORT SANG IT AND DEDICATED IT TO FRANCIS MCPEAKE

AT TH NEWPORT FESTIVAL(YES THAT ONE!!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: COME ALL YA GALLANT DRIVERS
From: nutty
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 03:46 PM

I've not found the lyrics but a recording can be found here

NEWPORT FESTIVAL


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: COME ALL YA GALLANT DRIVERS
From: Pene Azul
Date: 29 Jun 01 - 10:25 PM

refresh


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST A NOTE (Ewan MacColl)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 06:27 PM

"Come All Ye Gallant Drivers" was written by Ewan MacColl, and performed by Bob Davenport at the Newport Folk Festival. It is included in "Newport Broadside: Topical Songs at the Newport Folk Festival" Vanguard VSD-79144, LP (1963). (The Vanguard Records site, which Nutty linked to, misspells Ewan's name!)

Amazon.France had a sound sample from which I transcribed the following words:

"?through the snow and wind and rain,
Built atomic power stations, more dams than I can name.
We have cut through rock and swampland, moved mountains by the load.
Now you're goin' nice and steady, boy, a-plowin' of the road."

I wasn't able to find any more words. However, the song has at least one phrase in common with "Just a Note," also written by Ewan MacColl, and performed by Lal Waterson & Oliver Knight on "A Bed of Roses," Topic TSCD 505, 1999: Did Ewan plagiarize himself? I post it here in case it is helpful.

Copied from http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/~gillard/watersons/bed.html#just

JUST A NOTE
(Ewan MacColl)

Just a note for time is short, dear.
Hard the work, and long the day.
But I'm thinking on you, Mary,
Though you're many's the mile away.

Kiss the children for me, Mary.
Do not let them pine nor grieve.
Tell them that I'm working for them
And why our home I have to leave.

Building dams, airfields and factories,
Shifting mountains by the load,
I'll be with you in September
When I'm finished with the road.

[Repeat first verse.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: COME ALL YA GALLANT DRIVERS
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Mar 02 - 07:58 PM

G'day Jim,

... Could we just call it "one of Ewan's characteristic turns of phrase ..."?

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: COME ALL YE GALLANT DRIVERS (Ewan MacColl
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 04:59 AM

I sing the following (the words have probably changed slightly due to the folk process and my memory):

Come all ye gallant drivers, wherever you may be.
Whether you drive a Euclid or a fifty-four RB.
Keep your hands upon the levers, cut and fill a steady load.
Well you're going nice and steady lad, a ploughing of the road.

Oh we've built a hundred airfields through the snow and wind and rain.
Built atomic power staions, more dams than I can name.
We've cut through rock and swampland, moved mountains by the load.
Well you're going nice steady lad, a ploughing of the road.

When your digging days are over, and you've shifted your last ton.
When your "Cat" gets broken up for scrap and your RB ten won't run.
When you've had your last stamp on your cards, and you've reached you last abode.
There will still be many people travelling up and down your road.

Nb "Cat" (Caterpillar) and RBs are types of mechanical diggers.

I also first heard the song sung by Bob on the Newport recording.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: COME ALL YA GALLANT DRIVERS
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 09:14 AM

That's pretty much the words I remember McColl singing on his "Black and White" CD, Dave

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: COME ALL YA GALLANT DRIVERS
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Mar 02 - 05:46 PM

Apparently its ral name is THE DRIVER'S SONG. On the sleevenotes for "Black and White" it says:
The Driver's Song is from the radio-ballad SONG OF A ROAD (1960) and is based on the recordings of Jack Hamilton, an Irish bulldozer driver.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: GUEST,Jack Hammer
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 08:36 AM

Just stumbled on this thread and thought I'd chip in, even if it is an old one. The words as I remember them are pretty close to Dave's version:

Come all you gallant drivers, wherever you may be,
Whether you drive a Euclid or a fifty-four RB,
Keep your hands upon the levers, cut and fill a steady load;
Now you're goin' nice and steady boy, a-ploughing of the road.

We have dug a hundred airfields through the snow and wind and rain,
Built atomic power staions, more dams than I can name.
We have cut through rock and swampland, moved mountains by the load;
Now you're goin' nice and steady boy, a-ploughing of the road.

And when your digging days are over and you've loaded your last ton,
When your Cat is broken up for scrap and your RB-ten won't run,
When you've had your last stamp on your card, and you've reached your last abode,
For a long time after there'll be people travellin' on your road.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: ossonflags
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 12:58 PM

RB 10, after the Lincoln company Ruston Bucyrus, sometimes called a "Navvy".Here is a picture of one in need of some TLC!!

http://www.sandstone-estates.com/index.php/railway-heritage/39-railway-heritage/300-10-ruston-bucyrus-excavator-donated-to-the-s


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: GUEST,Folkiedave
Date: 12 Apr 11 - 01:37 PM

There's one here as well

and some more links underneath.

Thanks for that Mick.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: ossonflags
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 06:22 AM

Ta Dave, know that one well. Actually seen that one in situ as it were when we played in that quarry as kids..

That one was a face shovel. The RB 10 MacColl writes about in the song was probably a dragline; but again they were very adaptable machines!!

When I worked on't M62 assisted by Sir Alfred Macalpine, RB10's were also used as cranes for the shutterring, concrete skips and lifting steel on the bridges and so forth.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Apr 11 - 07:34 AM

This is the note to the song for Ewan's song book - The Essential Ewan MacColl.
The collection was published posthumously - I seem to remember that Jack Hamilton was actually from Sligo and not Clare - could be wrong.
Jim Carroll

THE DRIVER'S SONG
(1958, SONG OF A ROAD)
The army of pick-and-shovel slingers who built the railway and canal systems in the nineteenth century were known as navigators, or navvies. They are still to be found in almost every branch of civil engineering, though for the most part the hand tools have given way to the bulldozer and the giant Euclids and RBs (Ruston Bucyrus).
This song is a tribute to Jack Hamilton, a "dozer" driver from County Clare, Eire, who told us:
"Some people say to me, "You're a very small man to be driving such a big machine." But you don't have to be a big man to drive these at all. As small a man as you could drive these things! It's only once you get used to the scraper and the dozer blade and the winch and these levers here . . . [There was a forest of levers!] anyone could drive this . . . even a lady. . . ."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: GUEST,Reinhard
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 02:33 AM

This Transcript of Song of a Road (PDF file) includes the words of "Come on you gallant drivers".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: GUEST,Will Phillips.
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 09:02 AM

Words:
Come all ye gallant drivers, wherever you may be
Whether you drive a Euclid or a fifty-four RB.
Keep your hands upon the levers, cut and fill a steady load
And take it nice and steady lads, a digging up the road.

We've built a hundred airfields through the snow and wind and rain
Built atomic power stations, more dams than I can name
We've ploughed through rock and swampland, moved mountains by the load.
Now we're going nice steady lad, a digging up the road.

When you're digging days is over, and you've shifted your last ton.
When your Cat's bin broken up for scrap and your RB ten won't run.
When you've had your last stamp on your cards, and you've reached you last abode.
For a long time after there'll be people traveling on your road.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM

Almost identical to the last, this version is from the Ewan MacColl Peggy Seeger Song Book, Oak Publications NY, 1963

Ewan & Peggy's notes (looks like a cut & paste from Jim's quote above):

THE DRIVER'S SONG

The army of Irish pick-and-shovel men who, during the 19th century, built Britain's railway and canal systems were know as 'navvies', or 'navigators'. They are still to be found in every branch of civil engineering, though for the most part the pick and shovel have given way to the bulldozer and the giant Euclid. In 1959, we made extensive recordings of workers engaged in building Britain's motorhighway, the M-1, and this song is a tribute to some of the men we met.

THE DRIVER'S SONG

Come all ye gallant drivers, wherever you may be
Whether you drive a Euclid or a fifty-four RB.
Keep your hands upon the levers, cut and fill a steady load
And take it nice and steady when you're plowing up the road.

We've dug a hundred airfields, in the snow and wind and rain
Built atomic power stations, more dams than I can name
We've dug through rock and swampland, moved mountains by the load.
Now we're going nice steady, boys, a-ploughing up the road.

When you're digging days are over, and you've loaded your last ton.
When your Cat is broken up for scrap and your ten RB won't run.
When you've had your last stamp on your card, and reached your last abode.
For a long time after there'll be people traveling on your road.


Phil


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 12:47 PM

Maroon and yellow were the corporate colours of Ruston Bucyrus, as I recall.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers (Ewan MacColl
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 02:43 PM

Is there any truth in the story that this song was really written by Hogie Carmichael and stolen by MacColl because he couldn't think of a rhyme for fifty-four RB?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Come All Ye Gallant Drivers/Drivers' Song-MacColl
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Feb 12 - 04:31 PM

John - It's true they were maroon & yellow most of the time, but I have a copy of the Ruston Bucyrus house magazine from 1945, and most of the excavators there were in camouflage!

Phil


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