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Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers

DigiTrad:
McALPINE'S FUSILIERS


Related threads:
ADD Tune/Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (25)
Define: Pincher laddies (114)
(origins) Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?) (57)
Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (16) (closed)
Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (24) (closed)


Falkirkdave 30 Jul 99 - 02:13 PM
Paddy 30 Jul 99 - 03:19 PM
Bert 30 Jul 99 - 03:27 PM
Den 30 Jul 99 - 04:14 PM
Den 30 Jul 99 - 04:16 PM
kddlc@tin.it. 31 Jul 99 - 06:59 AM
Falkirkdave 03 Aug 99 - 04:05 PM
Falkirkdave 03 Aug 99 - 04:20 PM
j0_77 03 Aug 99 - 07:39 PM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 03 Aug 99 - 07:54 PM
j0_77 03 Aug 99 - 08:11 PM
Den 02 Nov 06 - 09:43 AM
Scrump 02 Nov 06 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,thurg 02 Nov 06 - 09:58 AM
Jim McLean 02 Nov 06 - 10:23 AM
Den 02 Nov 06 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,thurg 02 Nov 06 - 10:53 AM
Jim McLean 02 Nov 06 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,mick London Irish rugby 10 Sep 09 - 07:35 PM
theballadeer 11 Sep 09 - 11:15 AM
Brakn 11 Sep 09 - 12:16 PM
meself 11 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM
theballadeer 11 Sep 09 - 01:58 PM
Brakn 11 Sep 09 - 02:32 PM
Jim McLean 11 Sep 09 - 03:37 PM
Reiver 2 11 Sep 09 - 07:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Sep 09 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 12 Sep 09 - 01:29 AM
GUEST,machree01 12 Sep 09 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,machree01 12 Sep 09 - 09:57 AM
Reiver 2 12 Sep 09 - 11:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Sep 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,JonJos 29 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Desi C 05 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM
Sailor Ron 06 Jan 10 - 03:41 AM
Young Buchan 06 Jan 10 - 05:47 AM
GUEST,George 07 Jul 10 - 05:49 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 10 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,machree01 08 Sep 10 - 03:56 AM
GUEST,Daniel 12 Nov 10 - 03:26 PM
meself 12 Nov 10 - 04:10 PM
acegardener 12 Nov 10 - 04:12 PM
GUEST,Daniel 12 Nov 10 - 04:13 PM
meself 12 Nov 10 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,FRANK LIGHT 12 Dec 10 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,LongOlWoody 08 Mar 11 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,LongOlWoody 08 Mar 11 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,luke mee 11 Mar 12 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,reef21 17 Apr 12 - 12:27 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 12 - 02:44 AM
Betsy 18 Jul 12 - 07:10 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 12 - 03:26 AM
GUEST,Roland Dent Senior 22 Oct 12 - 08:43 AM
Jim McLean 22 Oct 12 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,Mike Alcock 19 Dec 12 - 06:20 AM
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Subject: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Falkirkdave
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 02:13 PM

It starts as follows, When down the glen came Macalpines men with their shovels in their hands. I'd be greatful if anyone out their can help.


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Paddy
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 03:19 PM

Its in the DT, search for [in the spike]although the lead-in, (spoken) verse is ommitted.

The crack was good in Cricklewood, and we wouldn't leave the crown
There were glasses flyin' and Biddy's cryin' and the Paddys were going to town
Oh mother dear, I'm over here, and I'm never going back
What keeps me here is the rake of beer, the women and the crack
The year was nineteen thirty eight, the air was full of lead
Hitler was heading for Poland,and Paddy for Holyhead

It actually goes well to the air of Neill Young's After the Goldrush if you get the harmonies right.

Paddy


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Bert
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 03:27 PM

It's here in DT: McALPINE'S FUSILIERS


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Den
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 04:14 PM

Paddy I always started it with this verse.

'Twas in the year of '39 when the sky was full of lead
When Hitler was headin' for Poland and Paddy for Hollyhead
Come all you pilsher (note really sure of the word there) laddies and you long-distance men
Don't ever work for MacAlpine, for Wimpey or John Laing
For you'll stand behind a mixer still your skin has turned to tan
And they'll say "Good on you, Paddy" with your boat fare in your hand
The craic was good in Cricklewood but they wouldn't leave the crown
There was glasses flyin' and Biddy's cryin' sure Paddy was goin' to town
Oh mother dear I'm over here and I never will come back
What keeps me here is the rake of beer, the ladies and the craic
For I come from the County Kerry the land of eggs and bacon
And if you think I'll eat your fish and chips by Jaysus you're mistakin'

While I narrated the poem the guitar player used to make cement mixer noises and sirens and so on on his guitar. It always went down well. At the end of the poem of course we'd launch into MacAlpines. Den


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Den
Date: 30 Jul 99 - 04:16 PM

Woops that should read till your skin has turned to tan. Den


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Subject: Lyr Add: MCALPINE'S FUSILIERS
From: kddlc@tin.it.
Date: 31 Jul 99 - 06:59 AM

Dubliners version (I've a record where they sing it after reciting the poem that Den wrote down):

O, as down the glen came McAlpine's men
With their shovels slung behind them,
'Twas in the pub they drink their sub
And out in the spike you'll find them;
They sweated blood and they washed down mud
With pints and quarts of beer
And now we're on the road again
With McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I stripped to the skin with Darky Finn
Way down upon the Isle of Grain;
With Horse-Face Toole, then I knew the rule:
No money if you stopped for rain.
Well, McAlpine's God was a well filled hod,
Your shoulders cut to bits and seared,
And woe to he who looked for tea
With McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I remember the day that the Bear O'Shea
Fell into a concrete stairs;
What Horse-Face said when he saw him dead,
Well, it wasn't what the rich call prayers.
"I'm a navvy short" was the one retort
That reached unto my ears.
When the going is rough, well, you must be tough
With McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I've worked till the sweat near has me beat
With Russian, Czech and Pole
On shuttering jams up in the hydro dams
Or underneath the Thames in a hole;
I grafted hard and I got me cards
And many a ganger's fist across me ears;
If you pride your life, don't join, by Christ,
With McAlpine's Fusiliers.

Bye. Roberto.


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Falkirkdave
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 04:05 PM

Thanks to Paddy, Den and Roberto.


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Falkirkdave
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 04:20 PM

Sorry, missed Bert, Ta.


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: j0_77
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 07:39 PM

Info: 'The Crown' is a Public House similar to a Bar in the USA. In England the majority of Bars have names like 'The Crown' - another 'The Victoria' - These names are usualy put on signs hanging off of the front of the Pub. They hang above the doors and are bout 2 to 4 ft square apprx. What I recall is the artwork on them. Very nice as is the beer :)


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 07:54 PM

The Crown referred to in the song is a specific pub in the Cricklewood district of London, frequented by expatriate Irish. They speak of "the craic at the Crown in Cricklewood." I can imagine it would be a lively place in the old days, especially on paydays when the Irish construction would descend on the place.


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Subject: RE: Macalpines Fusileers, the words,please
From: j0_77
Date: 03 Aug 99 - 08:11 PM

I almost forgot to add these names repeat in every Town and County - so you'll find a 'The Crown' name repeated all over the place. Kinda similar to Mc Donalds here but with the irritating catch there is no gaurantee that each one will be supplied by the same Brewery. In effect it's kinda like Budwiser has a monopoly of a chain of Bars as does Barqs Beers. Sooo if you are a Barq fan going into 'The Crown' pub might land you in Bud county, I think that explains it -

Now to tease a little What is the favorite drink of construction workers in the UK?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Den
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 09:43 AM

j0 77, it would appear that your question is extremely subjective. Does anyone know of the origins of the little poem above that accompanies McAlpine's?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Scrump
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 09:55 AM

I think it was a poem written by Dominic Behan, used as the introduction to the song by various singers, including the Dubliners.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 09:58 AM

Didn't Dominic Behan write the song? Where's Jim McLean when you need him?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 10:23 AM

I'm here, Thurg. Yes, Dom wrote the lot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Den
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 10:33 AM

Thanks lads. Did Dominic also write the last verse of the poem concerning Co. Kerry?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,thurg
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 10:53 AM

Jim - I knew you had to be within shouting distance. I thought maybe we were going to find out that YOU had written the whole lot ... Or did you just kick in the odd rhyme?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Nov 06 - 12:06 PM

Den, I think the last two lines are spurious and Thurg, I did kick in now and again with Dominic over songs but not this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,mick London Irish rugby
Date: 10 Sep 09 - 07:35 PM

pat mc Garry sang this song better than Ronnie drew. On rugby tour in Berlin he sang it with gutso. His intro twas in the year of 39 the sky wasfull of lead. (touches upper lip)was heading for Poland and paddy for holyhead.

The Germans completly missed the subtly but loved the singing. London Irish vets won and drink was taken


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: theballadeer
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 11:15 AM

I've brought this up in other McAlpine posts, but have never really gotten any kind of response. Tom Dahill, an Irish American singer from Minnesota, gave me a different set of words. He told me it is the "original" - written by John Henry of Silgo. Now that Jim McLean has replied to this post...I wonder...do you (or anyone else for that matter) know anything about this version.

McALPINE'S FUSILIERS
(John Henry?)

Did your mother come from Ireland, especially from Donegal
You'll get rashers, eggs and bacon, you'll get anything at all
For gangers and for navvys we will give three ringing cheers
And for John McCann he's a handy man on McAlpine's Fusiliers

Oh we'll not forget the hay boys with their fancy shirts and suits
We'll make them don the mole-skins, the arcs and navvy boots
If the graft is tough sure we're all cat rough we have no dread of fear
And it's in the pub we'll drink the sub with McAlpine's Fusiliers

And it's when your on the tarmac and you have no grub to eat
You'll crawl into the hotsir camps and drum upon a plate
It's there you'll meet the gangers who'll dispel your hate from fear
And it's now we're on the road again with McAlpine's Fusiliers

And it's here good luck and we'll drink the sub cause we're all long distance men
We dug the Mersey tunnel from Carlisle to Bridge End
But one day we'll tramp to Downing Street to meets the Lords and the peers
And it's on the map that we'll fill the gap with McAlpine's Fusiliers


Nick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Brakn
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 12:16 PM

Looks like a different song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: meself
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:24 PM

Depends what you mean by "a different song". Clearly one has borrowed from the other:

"And it's in the pub we'll drink the sub"

"And it's now we're on the road again with McAlpine's Fusiliers"


I prefer the Dominic Behan lyrics, which it seems to me are more skilfully crafted - but the "John Henry" lyrics strike me as having more likely been written by someone who actually worked for McAlpine, to share with his workmates (not saying that Dominic didn't work for McAlpine at some point - did he?).

Was the John Henry melody a little or a lot different? Some of the lyrics, don't seem to fit too neatly with the familiar tune, at least to my ear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: theballadeer
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 01:58 PM

I always sang it to the exact same tune (melody)...

Nick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Brakn
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 02:32 PM

I was singing it about 15 years ago in Oldham and said that it was written by Behan, a guy came over and said it wasn't correct. He maintained that it was written by a who someone who worked for McAlpines called Darkie McClafferty.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 03:37 PM

Not again!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Reiver 2
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 07:28 PM

I've always had a question about this song and - having just stumbled on to this thread - I'm surprised that no one has asked about it. "McAlpine's Fusiliers." As far as I'm aware the term fusiliers refers to a military organization. Originally a regiment or other body of soldiers armed with fusils which I believe were a type of flintlock musket.[And, yes, when they all fired together the reult was a fusillade.] But the words of the song contain no reference to a military unit or soldiers. Rather, the words to the song suggest a group of workers employed to work on roads, dams, tunnels and such. Fair enough. But why are they referred to in the song as "fusiliers?" Am I missing something very obvious? [It wouldn't be the first time.]

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Sep 09 - 08:23 PM

THere were any number of historic military units of Fusiliers - for example the Lancashire Fusiliers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, and in Ireland Dublin Fusiliers, Munster Fusiliers and Enniskillin Fusiliers.

In the song the name is a way of expressing the sense that the experience of working on the buildings is not that different from being in a war alongside your workmates.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 01:29 AM

A thousand years ago (well it seems like that) when I worked for J Murphy & Sons, we had a ganger who'd commence the song with the spoken preamble of which sadly I can only remember a part -

"well Wimpey come by aeroplane, McAlpine come by train, but Paddy he come by the Great North Road but he got there just the same,
Oh mother dear I'm over here I never will come back - tis the rake of beer that keeps me here, the women and the craic"

Which seems to be a bit of a 'parts bin' composition - but I like it. Ronnie Drew's surely is one of the finest renditions.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 09:55 AM

McAlpine's Fusiliers - The Ronnie Drew Group,{The Dubliners}


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 09:57 AM

McAlpine's Fusiliers - The Ronnie Drew Group,{The Dubliners}


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08fOqihDIdk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Reiver 2
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 11:19 AM

I thank you McGrath of Harlow! That explanation makes sense. At least it's explanation enough for me. I'm surprised that the explanation you give isn't a standard part of what Reiver 1 always referred to as "blather" -- a brief statement by the singer introducing the number he/she is about to sing and telling a little about it. Incidently, I think a brief introduction -- a little blather -- is always a good idea before each song. When we performed as The Reivers, I did most of the blather while Reiver 1 was a far better musician and singer. He used to suggest that maybe we should call ourselves "Blatherless and Singmore." [I like to believe that it was meant to be facetious.]

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Sep 09 - 06:30 PM

The (British) TV series, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet used the same idea of a group of workers in a foreign country feeling like a military unit - in this case, in the original (and best) series, feeling like prisoners of war.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 11:48 AM

The nickname "McAlpines Fusiliers" was from a platoon of "The Royal Irish Fusiliers". Who were made up from men mostly from the South of Ireland and who had worked for McAlpine or Wimpey
See my post in;   Origins: McAlpines Fusiliers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 03:07 PM

You can fint full lyrics and chords, including the spoken intro poem, on unitedirelandtripod.com (might be .ie) click dubliners on the menu and you'll find it in that section


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Sailor Ron
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 03:41 AM

As an example of "the folk process" I collected a parody of McAlpines whilst sailing on the M.V. King James in the early 1970s, from two A.Bs who had sailed with Shaw Saville & Albion. Their version 'Shaw Saville's Buccaneers' [full set of words in perma thread Merchant Navy songs] starts   "As down the quay at half past three came Shaw Saville's drunken crew".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Young Buchan
Date: 06 Jan 10 - 05:47 AM

Speaking of parodies, this parody, if such it can be called, of McAlpine's Fusileers was writen for the First Gulf War. What is depressing is how little would be needed to fit it for the Second.

Out on the sand we soldiers stand and await the call to fight.
Above, the hum of the GR1 can be heard by day and night.
You may wonder why, 'neath a foreign sky, we risk our lives out here;
But you'll know who to blame when you hear our name: we're the Texaco Fusiliers.

Major and Bush say without a blush we're the price they have to play;
The Sun and The Star from miles afar say they're with us all the way.
But those who said that are safe in bed when the missiles whistle round our ears.
And the ones on high aren't the ones who die – it's the Texaco Fusiliers.

And if we fall at our country's call and the hope and the glory fail,
Don't tell our wives we gave our lives for justice to prevail.
But on our bones you can pile up stones and carve on them for future years:
"On a foreign soil we died for oil: we're the Texaco Fusiliers."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,George
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 05:49 AM

The "folk process" continues, there is an another verse which can be added to Dominic Behan's song which was written by Alistair McAleer (who is sadly no longer with us)in 1976. McAlpines undertook a major project in Sudan (Kenana Sugar Project) in the mid 70s. Alastair was an engineer on the project and wrote these words.

Across the sand came Mcalpines band with the convoy strung behind them.
Way up in the van was Dave Trottman, Rod Palmer sitting right beside him.
We swallowed dust it was Sufya or bust, a hundred miles in every day
Then its up at dawn keep on moving on to get Kenana under way.

It refers to McAlpines taking 100 items of plant from Port Sudan across the desert (with no roads) to the site. It is a real tale and the people mentioned exist. I know, I was there.

I usually sing this verse after Behan's third verse. It would be good if others also sang the verse


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 02:01 PM

Looking for Brian huxtable what happen to him ? 01162544924@talktalk.net Doris lynden


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,machree01
Date: 08 Sep 10 - 03:56 AM

McAlpines Fusiliers, the words and music were by Dominic Behan, a tribute to the men who worked on the building sites


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Daniel
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 03:26 PM

Hmm... What's the meaning of "sub" here? No luck with the dictionary..


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: meself
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 04:10 PM

I would be surprised if a definition - nay, several - have not already been given in this thread, but, oh well: the most likely is that 'sub' is short for 'subsistance', which indicates a kind of partial payment of wages, the bulk of which were to be paid out at the end of the job.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: acegardener
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 04:12 PM

SUB= a loan on your next weeks wages, By the time wednesday came around you where usually a bit cash struck, so you borrowed a few quid on the strength of your wages to see you through to payday.

'Giz a sub gov' common parlance on any building site


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Daniel
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 04:13 PM

Thank you very much!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: meself
Date: 12 Nov 10 - 04:25 PM

'acegardener''s definition may well be more accurate than mine, which is based merely on my impression from various statements in pertinent discussions here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,FRANK LIGHT
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 06:52 PM

I WAS IN THE SUDAN WITH MAC,S AND DID TWO CONVOYS FROM PORT SUDAN
HAS ANYONE SEEN THE FILM THAT WAS MADE OF THE FIRST CONVOY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,LongOlWoody
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 05:37 AM

Has anyone ever heard of a verse that began "Come on, come on, said Elephant John,"? I met "the Elephant" in Upington, North-west Cape, South Africa, in early to middle 1972, where we were both working on the Upington-Nakop road, an 88 mile long construction contract across the Southern fringe of the Kalahari Desert.


The Contractor was a South African company called LTA Civil Engineering, which was just a bit later re-named LTA Earthworks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,LongOlWoody
Date: 08 Mar 11 - 05:41 AM

It has just come to me, "the Elephant's" name was John Madden. The reason for his name was obvious when you met him, and not many people were allowed to call him by the name, for fear of copping a bunch of five.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,luke mee
Date: 11 Mar 12 - 09:11 AM

My father johny mee was works manager on kenana.my cousin pat mee was an engin
eer and i was their for a short while
i have many happy memories and there were some fine people working there.
My dad is nearly 91 yrs of age and living in co galway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,reef21
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 12:27 AM

@Reiver 2: Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners, who learned the song from Dominic Behan stated that "Fusiliers" sarcastically refers to the image of the men marching "with their shovels slung behind them" giving the appearance of soldiers marching with shouldered rifles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 02:44 AM

The Crown pub was where they stood waiting to be chosen by a ganger for a days work,the dirtier your boots the more likely you were to be picked.!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Betsy
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 07:10 PM

I worked on the Isle of Grain , and have also worked with Costains amongst other big construction companies.
I think the word / abbreviation "Sub" is related to "subsidise me" i.e. until next pay day.
To my knowledge guys would line up at the paymaster's window on site and sign for a sub (say £ xx) which would be deducted imediately from the man's pay packet on the following Thursday or Friday.
Unfortunately in many cases it wasn't usually as "acegardner" stated on a Wednesday - the norm being a Monday morning after blowing all his/their money on booze,the horses and dogs and the ladies and maybe, just maybe, a few quid sent back to Ireland.
It was always reconciled by " I Work hard I play hard ", or as another guy said to me " I always get it the wrong way round , why do I always pick slow horses and fast women instead of the other way round ".
Sub also called a "rub a-dub-dub" which I suppose was to make the situtaion sound more humourous / less embarrassing.
The Sub also provided a legit purpose in that a new starter could borrow the money up front to buy work boots,pay an advance on his accommodation (digs) or e.g. if he had been out of work for a while , but that type of sub ( like all the others ) would only be given if the man had already worked enough time, equivalent to the amount he was going to borrow.
On the subject of the Pubs - the Gangers generally dictated where you would do your boozing - the Gangers usually having a "deal" with the pub Landlords.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 03:26 AM

Thats correct;occasionally it might be from a mate or 'townie' as in the phrase "I'll sub you ....."
'Townie' is someone from the same area, county or same town.
BTC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Roland Dent Senior
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 08:43 AM

"But why are they referred to in the song as "fusiliers?" Am I missing something very obvious? [It wouldn't be the first time.]"

Because we..I worked for 'em...had a military mindset. The company were CIVIL engineers but we were organised to tackle anything that came our way. We took no heed what other companies did. We were the BEST and we knew it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: Jim McLean
Date: 22 Oct 12 - 11:46 AM

The reference to fusiliers has been well answered above but the opening lines of the song echo the Irish Foggy Dew:
Twas down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I.
When Ireland's line of marching men
In squadrons passed me by.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers
From: GUEST,Mike Alcock
Date: 19 Dec 12 - 06:20 AM

I also worked on Kenana 1976/7 I think - setting out engineer on the roads and canals. I also sang in a group and we sang this song with yet another variant verse which I can't remember although it definitely referenced Pat Mee and Rod Palmer. There were 5 of us: Jim Hunter, and 3 others including one of the wives - memory is shot to pieces. Would love to hear from anybody who worked there and who picks up this thread. I shared a Lesser with a concrete ganger Jo Billet - you may not remember him but the ladies will and not just the company wives! He retired to Spain where I visited him a few years ago where he had set up a cat's home!

Mike


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