Lyrics

I've won a hero's name with McAlpine and Costain
With Fitzpatrick, Murphy, Ashe and the Wimpey's gang
I've been often on the road on me way to draw the dole
When there's nothing left to do for Johnny Laing
And I used to think that God made the mixer, pick and hod
So that Paddy might know hell above the ground
I've had gangers big and tough tell me tear it all out rough
When you're building up and tearing England down

In a tunnel underground a young Limerick man was found
He was built into the New Victoria Line
When the bonus gang had past, sticking through the concrete cast
Was the face of little Charlie Joe Devine
And the ganger man McGurk said big Paddy hates to work
When the gas main blew and he flew off the ground
Oh, they swore he said don't slack, I'll not be there until I'm back
Keep on building up and tearing England down

I was on the hydro dam on the day that Jack McCann
Got the better of his stammer in a week
He fell from the shuttering jamb and the poor auld stuttering man
He was never ever more inclined to speak
And I saw auld Bald McCall from the big flyover fall
Into a concrete mixer spinning round
Though it wasn't his intent, he got a fine head of cement
When he was building up and tearing England down

I remember Carrier Jack with his hod upon his back
How he swore one day he'd set the world on fire
But his face they've never seen since his shovel it cut clean
Through the middle of the big high tension wires
No more like Robin Hood will he roam through Cricklewood
Or dance around the pubs in Camden Town
Oh, but let no man complain, sure no Pat can die in vain
When he's building up and tearing England down

So come all you navvies bold, do not think that English gold
Is just waiting to be taken from each sod
Or the likes of you and me will ever get an OBE
Or a knighthood for good service to the hod
They've the concrete master race for to keep you in your place
And a ganger man to kick you to the ground
If you ever try to take part of what the bosses make
When you're building up and tearing England down

McAlpine, Costain, Fitzpatrick, Murphy, Ashe and Wimpey's are or were construction firms in the 60's.

New Victoria Line - A new underground railway line built in the 60's.

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