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Song Of The Iron Road - text

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The iron road is a hard road and the work is never ending
Working night and day on the iron way
We’re the boys who keep the engines rolling.
You sign on at the loco shed, they put you to the cleaning
In your dungarees, cleaning Super D’s, you’re a:
Sweeper-upper, brewer-upper, shovel-slinger, spanner-bringer
Steam-raiser, fire-dropper, general-cook and bottle-washer
Learning how to keep ‘em rolling.
When you’ve done your time at the loco shed
And had your share of trouble
On the all of plate you’re the driver’s mate
And you’re married to a lousy shovel.
It’s check the water, check the tools
And chuck the blooming coal in
Give the gauge a wipe, check injector pipe
Now it’s swing your shovel at the double
Give her rock, watch the clock
Steam-raising, sweat-running, back-aching, bone-shaking
Fireman, fireman, keep her rolling.
When you’ve shovelled a million tons of coal,
Some ten or twelve years later,
And your only dream is of raising steam,
Then they hand to you your driver’s papers
The iron road is a hard road and the work is never ending
Working night and day on the iron way
With our loco drivers, early-risers
Lodging-turners, mile-burners, eleven-quid-a-week-earners
We’re the boys who keep ‘em rolling.

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