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This song is by Sting, features Jimmy Nail, Brian Johnson and Jo Lawry and appears on the album The Last Ship (2013).

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Jackie White:
Me name is Jackie White and I'm foreman of the yard
And ye don't mess with Jackie on this quayside
Why I'm as hard as iron plate, woe betide ye if your late
When we have to push the boat out on a spring tide

Now ye could die and hope for Heaven
But ye'd need to work your shift
And I'd expect ye's all to back us to the hilt
And if St. Peter at his gate were to ask ye why your late
Why you'd tell him that ye had to get a ship built

We built battleships and cruisers for Her Majesty the Queen
Super tankers for Onassis and all the classes in between
We built the greatest shipping tonnage that the world has ever seen
And the only life we've known is in the shipyard

All the platers and the welders and the boiler making crews
When they see that bugger finished on the slipway
All the hardship's soon forgot and we'll cheer as like as not
And the bairns'll wave their Union Jacks all day

It's a patriotic scene, all that's missing is the Queen
But she said she couldn't make it of a Tuesday
Then something wells up here inside and you could take it in your stride
But you wonder if you'll see another payday

For there's a mixture of emotions, hatred, gratitude, and pride
And you hate yourself for crying but it's difficult to hide
For there's a sadness in the leavin' and ye worry what's ahead
And that worry never leaves ye, keeps on nagging in your head
And so ye pray to God for orders, but ye'll worry till your dead
Until they bury your remains in the blacksmith's shed
And the only life ye've known is in the shipyard

Steel in the stockyard, iron in the soul
We'll conjure up a ship where there used to be a hole
And I don't know what we'll do if this yard gets sold
For the only life we've known is in the shipyard

Tommy Thompson:
Me name is Tommy Thompson, I'm shop steward of the union
Me dream is proletarian revolution
Comrades, brothers, fellow travelers, and others
Class struggle is the means of dialectic evolution

Das Kapital's me bible and the ruling class are liable
And quoting Marx and Engels, it's entirely justifiable
If the workers' revolution here is ever to be viable
And we become the rightful owners of this shipyard

So it's a one-day stoppage or an overtime ban
Or a work to rule for the Five Year Plan
Till the means of production are safely in our hands
And we become the rightful owners of this shipyard

I'm not saying it won't be hard if the boss hands us me cards
When they try to close us down like other shipyards
And if industrial action only helps the competition
As I've heard the bosses bleating from their usual position
And I stand accused of anarchy, disruption, and sedition
Well ye'll never knock us down, you reactionary clowns
When it's time for occupation of the shipyard

Peggy White:
My name is Peggy White
And I've nursed ye through your injuries and your cuts and wounds I've bound
Busted arms and busted heads, broken backs and broken legs
I'd sooner put ye in a splint than have them put ye in the ground
And the fumes from all the welding where the poison air is hung
And the toxic radiation that's been blackening your tongue
I could give you's all an aspirin while you're coughing up your lungs
But it's all you'll ever get here in the shipyard

Davy Harrison:
Me name is Davy Harrison, I like a drink or two
You could ask me when it started, but I haven't got a clue
I'm never sad or miserable, I'm never even blue
And I'll still be up tomorrow for the shipyards

I drink meself into a stupor and I wake up with two heeds
And then the missus starts complainin' about all me drunken deeds
Like when I got the train to Sunderland but found meself in Leeds
And I had to get up early for the shipyards

I once gave up drinking, was it 1963?
But it seems as if sobriety was not the thing for me
It was the worst three hours I ever hope to see

Steel in the stockyard, iron in the soul
We'll conjure up a ship where there used to be a hole

Tommy Thompson:
And the ship sets sail and the tale gets told
And the only life I've known is in the shipyard

Steel in the stockyard, iron in the soul
We'll get the bastard finished and we'll end up on the dole

Jackie White and Tommy Thompson:
And we don't know what we'll do if the yard gets sold

The only life we've ever known is in the shipyard

Written by:

Sting, Rob Mathes, Jo Lawry, Kathryn Tickell Wikipedia16, Peter Tickell, Julian Sutton

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