The Rumjacks Lyrics



I’ll be howlin’ on the night your pretty lights go down and all that can be heard across your disco town

is all you party people put your hands on your hips and stomp up & down with the screaming shits

‘I’m a survivor I’ll fix it with a fiver

too quick for the jungle I'ma comin’ out alive I’m a die hard feck-tard kiss my dirty hole Kick away the chocks let the good times roll.’

Saints preserve us,

all these arseholes are makin’ me nervous

Theres two born every minute, gone dropped us in it, Saints preserves us,

All these arseholes are makin’ me nervous, yeah,.. Cut down your flag, imbeciles sans frontier.

Stop guessin’ if I’m dressing’ to the left or right, Measurin’ my delication to your fight,

I’m a born dissenter, nowt percenter,

I and I are one and all is I its elementary,

I don't care to hear no rhyme or reason,

I’m a disciple for every season,

I adore the rising sun,

Though I’m stuck chuckin’ rocks while the dicks have all the guns.

I’ve been eatin’ outta garbage tins, (YOLO!)

I’ve been hittin’ up my cyber-firends,

Left swipe ass wipe not even for the rent,

A hash tag trash bag in search of my identity, Come get your fix, I’ve got your clicks and shares,

I’ve got your medicine your kisses thoughts & prayers, LOLMFAOMG I need to pee,

W to the F stop triggering’ me!!



Ive rambled doon fae Glesca toon, my labour for tae sell, Some gaudy bits & baubles and my dignity as well,

Aw straight & level, i’ll square the devil his right & daily due, A stammlin’ oot the door a-singin’ ‘I’ll paddle me own canoe’.


Oh, pickle yer head & pish the bed, And be up the morning’ early,  Well how would ye do if I were you, And you were Billy McKinley.

My Faither tried tae book his ticket the day we got the blitz, A-steamin’ up & down the street a-wavin’ all his fists,

But the Luftie never got the chance to do the fucker in before my poor old suffering’ Mammy came and dropped one on his chin.

Id go aroon’ the Catholic clubs a-sellin’ a game o’ chance,

Id toss the penny until she sings and make the dice tae dance, but so’s ah didnae dae ma dash & get flung into Hell,

I’d nip aroon’ the orange lodge & take their money as well.

Ya mighta heard about me in the pubs or on the news,

Though a lie can travel the world before the truth has found its shoes,

I’m an illuminatin’.. Fornicatin’.. Race Relatin’.. Nazi Hatin’.. Exaggeratin’.. Tired o’ waitin..Top o’ the pile McKinley!



Theres a touch o’ rain to greet the train

Where it coughs up all its contents on the town,

From near & far they’ll hug the bar

And the talk gets cheap and nasty by the hour,

The only kiss they’d ever cared for was the bottle

And they’ll fall into a methylated love until whenever,

To run from your shadows half the battle

And they’ll sit & mutter bitter little words about the weather,

Or whatever..

And the bus floor bottles ring

While the Drunks are tryin’ to sing

And I cant feel a thing beneath me.

Though he combs the bins for empty tins

They say that he’s got a fortune stashed away,

And when they toss him out that means the boss is in

Or else they’d let him stay,

The rain rolls down the window, falls like shells on the horizon, Giving rise to all his memories of home,

Where sirens aren’t such pretty things and the fear so paralysin’ It could turn the air you breathe into stone.

The kids run feral up & down the street

And meet their friends for life, or so they swear,

And the bright young man sings ‘Kick the can’

Walking hand in hand with his love to god knows where,

She says ‘this is killin’ me, its been for a year or three

I’ve gotta get away, good luck, take care,’

‘Cos the wind’ll rattle and the wind’ll roar

But the shit’ll only settle at the poor folks door ‘round here,..

I swear.’


An Poc Ar Buile

Ag gabháil dom sior chun Droichead Uí Mhóradha Píce im dhóid ‘s mé ag dul i meithil

Cé casfaí orm i gcuma ceoidh

Ach pocán crón is é ar buile.

Do ritheamar trasna trí ruillógach,

Is do ghluais an comhrac ar fud na muinge,

Is treascairt do bhfuair sé sna turtóga

Chuas ina ainneoin ina dhrom le fuinneamh. Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!

Ailliliú, puilliliú, ailliliú tá an puc ar buile!

Níor fhág sé carraig go raibh scót ann

Ná gur rith le fórsa chun mé a mhilleadh, S’Ansan sea do cháith sé an léim ba mhó.

Le fána mhór na Faille Bríce.

Bhí garda mór i mBaile an Róistigh

Is bhailigh fórsa chun sinn a chlipeadh

Do bhuail sé rop dá adhairc sa tóin ann

S’dá bhríste nua do dhein sé giobail.



I nDaingean Uí Chúis le haghaidh an tráthnóna Bhí an sagart paróiste amach ‘nár gcoinnibh

Is é dúirt gurbh é an diabhal ba Dhóigh leis

A ghaibh an treo ar phocán buile.



In the event of my demise take a spoon & dig out both my eyes,

I’ll see no more the work of loves tender ties,

In the event of my Demise,

Come the day I slip me wind, tie your boots and kick my pumpkin in, So I can't dream of her layin’ there with him,

Come the day I slip me wind.

Not for all the tea in China, dirty oil & solid gold,

Y’now I wouldn’t dare be king of all the world,

And I wouldn't change a thing about her, my Silesian girl.

See the day I pop me clogs, wipe your blades & call off all your dogs, The only good I’ll be is food for all the bugs,

See the day I pop me clogs.

When I go tits-up in a box, plant me o’er beneath that pile o’ rocks,

So I can’t roam around & rattle all her locks,

When I go tits-up in a box.

When I’ve took my final bow, don't fash yerself with all the when & how, If you weren't with me in the here & now,

When I’ve took me final bow

When all my days have turned to night, stuff my lugs wi’ all that straw & shite,

So I can't hear her singing sweetly in the night,

Oh thats the sound of blessed light.



You found me so young and I gave you my heart without thinking, Cast o’ white gold & hung from a silvery chain,

So fresh were my wings I shot out from them shadows still blinking, All to find myself catching my breath in your cold London rain.

Oh, pull me in, don't let me drown here,

My aim is true & I’ve got so much more to give,

Dry my hair & kiss me gently,

And I’ll surrender up my fightin’ heart to you.

Your honey is sweet though you offer it up on a razor,

Roses so pretty, so long as they're plucked from the fire,

For how cold your nights, I’ll remember just how warm your days were, Before your cold London rain could dampen our burning desire.

If you wait for me here, I’ll return with a joy for your sorrows,

A cure for your heart & a wee drop to soften the pain,

And no matter the mark that we make on each others tomorrows,

I will sing to the glory of you and your cold London rain.



Fare Evader.Some cheek you’ve got to call this a city, The busted end of a long dusty road,

I lost a lotta years here, a gutterbound pedestrian, Nailed to a mood as black as dirty coal,

And I’m sick of the death they’ve

Painted on their faces, the rattle in their lungs,

The poison in the guts o’ them is dripping off their tongues, A prick of a town, I’ll live you down,

I swear I’ll find a way,

The way its lookin’, it won’t I reckon be happening today. Fare evader on the 8.15,

She reeks o’ menace, cheap perfume & nicotine, Sometimes she cries for no reason,

A cough like a shotgun, says ‘I’m in love with no-one,

I’m gettin’ my shit together y’know,

I’m just havin’ a bad one,’

A prick of a town, I’ll live you down,

I swear I’ll find a way,

The way its lookin’, it won’t I reckon be happening today. There’s no jewels among the shit here can tempt me,

No heart beats beneath your empty coat,

I lost a lotta souls here to forces just unspeakable,

And I can't see beyond the end of my rope,

But I’ll remember all you taught me,

The violence of women, the cowardice of men,

The courage o’ children who were lookin’ for a friend,

A prick of a town, I’ll live you down,

I swear I’ll find a way,

The way its lookin’, it won’t I reckon be happening today.



Well maybe i’m right and maybe I’m wrong, Maybe I shouldnae go singing’ this song,

But a jury decided, and you may as well, That a fella like me should be roasting in Hell.

Now I had a gaffer his name was O’Rourke,

And he had a terrible passion for work,

Oh in miles and spades he took all he could see, Though he never was greedy, he gave it to me.

Yeuch hi! Yeuch 'til I fall, Yeuch hi! Yeuch 'til I dee..

One day at the work I went round for a smoke,

The door it burst open and there stood O’Rourke, Well he started to swear and he geed me his curse, He insulted my Mother and that was far worse.

He jumped for my throat and it died me a fright,

I was quick on my feet though and stepped to the right, There was nothing to stop him this terrible man,

’Til he landed arse up with his heid in the pan.

I was trembling’ wi’ fear as his head gie a thud,

I looked down and noticed his clashes were aw mud, I knew it was certain to upset his wife,

For they’d never been dirty a day in his life,

He would need to be cleaned up before he went hame, For i knew he could never have faced his wee dame, Yet it wasnae his claithes was the worst o’ his plight, For his heid was still stuck there, a terrible sight

I looked down upon him and unbuckled my belt,

Oh ye never could feel the compassion I felt,

I’ll wash all his claithes were the words that I said, Ach, and while I'm about it, I’ll wash the mans head.

In Barlinnie I wait for the man tae come roond,

That’ll pull on the lever and let me drap doon,

And they’ll pray for O’Rourke as they gie me the tug, For they’ll hang me th’morra for pulling’ the plug!



On the first of January, our Johnnie kissed his Mary,

While Mary squeezed her Johnnies hand they watched the sky explode, By the turn of February our Johnnie missed his Mary,

Oh and Mary sings ‘it breaks my heart to see my Johnnie go,..”

But He’s off tae cairt the hookey,

ask me nowt ye’ll get no lie,

18 wheeler, dodgy dealer, tested, tried & true,

Aw keep yer hameldaeme,

My Johnnie is my treacle pie,

Watch the wall my darlin’ while his rig goes rollin’ through.

Chanel’s number 4 & 6, knock-off watches caps & kicks,

Pocket tazers, folding razors, all manner o’ hell.

Chinese crackers, party poppers, wads o’ bills to fix the coppers, Dodgy fags & Gucci bags, yer pals’d never tell.

Polish vodka, bootleg whisky,

Bathtub gin & slabs o’ Tyskie,

Potions, draps & poisons for t’ give ye back yer glow.

Fun for all the lonely laddies,

Racy mags & plastic ladies,

Creams & gels & magic pills t’ make yer pecker grow.

18 carat plated copper,

Arsenic for yer hubby’s cuppa,

Turkish wigs & wooden legs all hung up in a row,

Screw your tariffs, dues & taxes,

Up the peddlers, hawks & poachers,

God go with ye Johnnie boy and see ye safely home.



I’ve a dozen good reasons to weep,

To dog my every waking hour & haunt me where I sleep, But you’re gettin’ me low with your litany of woe, Theres others torn to bits & cop it sweet.

For those who’ve travelled far & wide

And come home empty handed,

For those who’ve left us way too early

never having found it,

For what draws us together

And what drives us apart,

Street food for the soul

And good medicine for the heart.

Everybody look at me

Come shower me in your sympathy

I’ve laid it bare for all to share my pain.

I’m failures very progeny

A walking feckin’ tragedy

A curse it is to speak my rotten name.

I’ve got a lotta teeth for a smartarse

I’ve got a lotta gumption for a fool

Well I’ve got a lot to say about the state of us today

But its not my job to take your arse to school.



If it kills me, snuffs out the lamp for ever more,

Kicks me senseless, leaves me bleedin’ at your door,

At least it won’t hurt anymore,

Theres a screamin’ in my head,

And a rattlin’ deep inside,

And it wasn’t the dozen odd jars that I swallowed last night, I just dont feel right.

If it rises in my throat and I fall down chokin’

Just drag me out o’er the old hill,

If it kills me,.. and it probably will.

When it comes in ashen robes to claim me in the night,

Will you polish my brogues and button my collar down tight, Christ, I must look a sight.

When they carry me away dont let ‘em hear you cry,

Or thankin’ the saints that I finally fucked off and died,

I was leavin’ anyway.

If it snatches me away or it takes me slow,

Like cheap liquor & homemade pills,

If it kills me,.. and it probably will.

Oh one mans shit is another mans sugar,

Just leave it outside & you’ll see,

Its gone the same day though tonight you’ll bring

Someone else old shit home to me,

You squander your favours like a bawdy old sailor,

And laugh while I beg for the change,

Oh, you’re cruel and you’re strange.

Will you see me? will I cross your room each night?

Or do the sulphurous lamps of this city all burn too bright? You should really get away.

From the concrete and the wire. the long and angry days, Y’know they’re hardly the stuff to set your soul ablaze, You’ve been smoulderin’ for years.

If it rips through my veins, tears me flesh from bone,

I’ll hear the voices of the faithful ‘You’ll never walk alone..’

If it kills me, if you wake and I’m gone,

If I’m dust on the wind and you’re left to your own,

I’ll love you,.. if it kills me,..

And it probably will.



Some twunt said I wasn’t punk enough,

Am I not dirty filthy stinkin fucking drunk enough?

I guess I’m gonna have to learn to suck it up,

all on my Pat Malone.

I’m more skinhead than you,

Me boots were made in Eng-ur-land, I did me own tattoos,

I’d show ‘em to ya here but they would prolly start a blue,

I’m more skinhead than you.

My bloods greener than yours,

My neighbours sisters boyfriend used to roadie for The Corrs,

Though its been eight generations since we kissed Old Erins shores, My bloods greener than yours.

Some twunt said I wasn’t punk enough,

Am I not dirty filthy stinkin fucking drunk enough?

I swear this shit is real, I couldn’t make it up!

Some twunt said I wasn’t punk enough,

Am I not dirty filthy stinkin fucking drunk enough?

You tell me theres no rules and I’ll still fuck it up,

How? I’ll never know!

You new skool punx gimme the shits,

I was into Green Day when you were only kids,

And me old man says that song o’ theirs was written by the skids,

You new skool punx gimme the shits.

I’m a bigger greaser by far,

Though my psyco/punka/rocks-billy girlfriends got the car,

‘cause she needs it where she’s working at that topless titty-bar,

To pay of the photographer who took them pinup snaps of her,

And cupcakes! what the fucks with cupcakes?!!

I think I made a mistake by lending her my car.

Theres cupcakes comin’ out her arse, they drive me round the bend, Theres cupcakes for her ditzy-dozy polka dotted friends,

Theres cupcakes made of wax, but you can’t eat ‘em, they’re for show, For show to who? I’ll never ever know, I’ll never ever know..



Patron Saint O Thieves 

A Christmas song from behind the wire.
Auld Nick patron saint o thieves, murderers & sailors
Strike these shackles from me uh-huh
Slide the bolt from out the door & tear down all the wire
My babys growin cold & im on fire
The aind that whistles off the hills & carries her perfume
Carries too a lonely carol badly out of tune
For just tonight beyond them walls id lay a mountain low
And sing to her like only i know how

They dont hang no fairy lights these rusty iron bars
So ill burn a paper lamp for her to see
Though shes left like a widow of a war that never was
Theres a light still burns in me

Auld Nick patron saint o' merchants, pawnmen & the judges
Who barter with the lives o men the battlers & the bludgers
Go haunt the dogs awhile they sleep & thrash em round to sense
Theres to many good bkys this side of the fence

Theres boys in here for liftin gear from non-be-wary strangers
Newly minted ner-do-wells & them born with the dangers
For ljvin less than fruitful lives, toppin less than faithful wives
A broken line o' fools that span the ages

Auld Nick patron saint o' fools from both sides of the law
For his sake wipe the dirty grin off that fat bastards jaw
For we're lovers of tradition & we might yet find a way
To hold them bloody keys come boxing day

Zielona Gora 

A beautiful Polish town in Lubusz province, where Bacchus,
the Roman god of wine peers from every nook & crevice.

Hot as hell Zielona Gora crackling smile
You thief o hearts where were you all the while?
Laughter like a spray o rain
To cool my wheels & slow the train
Showed me up forall my cruel denial

Dont let me wander, come twist me round your finger
Stick me in our pocket far away from any danger
At night take me dancin round the square
Where the summer breeze'll dry your hair

I sang to you my song of missin home
You whispered me youll never walk alone
So i kissed the blessed virgins feet
& dropped some pennies in the street
A token for the kindness id been shown

Light me up Zielona Gora sparkling eyes
I like the way you cut me down to size
Now dontthink any less o me
But i let her get tbe best o me
Charming little trickster in disguise

Pleasant dreams Zielona Gora sleepy town
I like the way you lay me gently down
Til crushed like Bacchus' grapes I cried
And wished to hell I couldve died
As morning found me lonely Dresden bound

A Fistful O' Roses

Oh I’ve loved you from afar, I’ve borne you like a scar,
Sung your name across the bloody Colfiorito,
But a poison took your heart, you charmless little tart,
Now you’ve nary a jot o’ bother at all for me-o,
This old town has gone to bits, all the folk are off their tits,
Screamin’, “Hoo-rah! Hurry the fuck t’blazes!”
A right parade o’ fools come to stomp all o’er yer jewels,
Like a fistful o’ half dead roses.

And we’re here again, ho again, let the whisky flow again,
Let the taps blow again, sound away the knell,
Like a fistful o’ roses, we’ll take ‘em to the grave,
Every last tale there is to tell.

Oh, this boozer is a wreck, all up & down the deck,
Like a tired old sinner off her game,
Wi’ her blood red lips, and her youth about her hips,
Still the regulars all love her just the same,
Where the mud-spat boots cut their way among the suits,
And the Sally’s come to rattle the can for Jesus,
‘Til they chain up all the doors & toss out all the whores,
Wi’ a fistful o’ half dead roses.

May all the Autumn leaves turn to Twenties at yer feet,
And the high & mighty come to know your thunder,
We could set the world ablaze, but these are early days,
And there’s still a hell of a road for us tae wander,
And there’s one here among us’ll outlive the rest,
Take a tipple to his foibles & his praises,
‘Til they strike him off the roll & chuck him doon a hole,
Wi’ a fistful o’ half dead roses.
Fact'ry Jack

Pearls of wisdom from a sparkly eyed old barfly.

Old Jack Drury worked at the brewery
Luggin' them bottles & cans
'Til the steam age came crushed six mens jobs
And Jackies two good hands
So they killed the lights & chained the doors
They were fresh back from a bloody war
So for three whole days kept the coppers at bay
Raidin' the company store

Our Jack he were a hell of a clown
Even the march o' years couldnt run him down
He were a real human, rough-cut diamond
Theyre never many around
He said, 'Angers wasted on the youth
And wisdom on the old its the truth
I put the kids through hell but I taught em well
How to tip it all on its roof.'

Oh dear what can the matter be?
Seven young men they were locked in a factory
They were there fromThursday to Saturday
Oh what a horrid affair,
Oh dear what can the matter be?
Seven young men they were locked in a factory
They were there fromThursday to Saturday
Oh what a sorry affair,

He sad, 'The black people & the white
Should be out hookin' up tonight
Makin' pretty little brown skinned babies
With one less reason to fight,
Dont set your watch by Sydney trains
And dont ever try to build
On them sacred lands, on tidal sands
Or tne hearts of foolish girls.'

'They say Saturdays child works a long hard day
And ive given it all i can give
So you can stop tryin' to sell me a funeral plan
I've only just learned how to live
So pass the dutchie, wreck the halls
Lea e public art on public walls
And get crackin' on a way to keep evil at bay
Dont say you werent told..'

Eight Beers' McGee

A true story & a tribute to the life of one young man,.. speak his name.

With achin' heart & steady hand
Im puttin pen to paper father dear
I trust these words'll find you
And pray that you can read 'em through your tears
They say a man thats born to sing
Can scare away his woes
And banish all his anger & his pain
But the screamin' jn my head
Killed the singin' in my soul
And i fear i'll never recall the tune again

Ive trouble with the sleepin'
My shadows weight impossible to bear
I hear my Sister weepin'
And callin to me from that other where
The names o' them I loved
Are carved into my skin
The greatest crew a fightr ever had
They call us gypsy bastards
And say it like its sin
That all our wars are merry
And all our songs are sad.

Tell em I went out dancin' tell em I went to war
Tell em whatever you want to all the same
Its said a man dies first when hes parted wi' his soul
And second when folk forget to speak his name

Derry born & barely raised
Id hardly bear to see the place again
'Til in merrie bloody England
I found myself a brother to the end
Its proper that youre grievin'
Yer poorer for me leavin'
The best & fairest any given day
Let Matty, Marco, Luke & John
Bless the slab im lyin on
Kiss me arse & send me on me way

A half a dozen monkeys
The Devil sent to snap me o'er his knee
I slapped their filthy tongues back in their skulls
And did it laughin' wickedly
Smash the right & fuck the left
I'll curse em with my dyin' breath
As bent as each t'other I would say
The only drum i march to is me Irish bloody heart
Kickin' out against its brittle cage.

Murder Shanty

Relax, geez..  its only a tale of the passing of the seasons & the cycle of life,
if Nick Cave had written it youd be jerking off by now.

Here lie the bones o' my wayward love
Have mercy on 'em God above
Here lie the bones o' my wayward love
Have mercy on 'em God above
As she would you if she were you
And you were my wayward love

I kissed her on the cusp o' spring
I gave to her my siller ring
I kissed her on the cusp o' spring
Gave to her my siller ring
And she thought it such a wondrous thing too..

The summer sun that scorched the land
And turned to glass them desert sands
The summer sun that scorched the land
Turned to glass them desert sands
And steadied hrearts & trembling hands

She stole away from me for hours
And doused the fire with autumn showers
She stole away from me for hours
Doused the fire with autumn showers
Bitter is the wine that sours

To where & whom i asked to know
She smiled, a cruelly mocking blow
She'll never smile that way again
I ruined her for other men
And sent her to her wintry end with a..

Les Darcy

A man quizzes his local priest with a view to securing his eternal soul.

Tell me Father whats the craic
Is Jesus really coming back
And if he does d'ye think he'll live here in the 'burbs?
Cos id like to help out round the place
A few odd jobs for holy grace
And i'll even let you preach your strange old words
For ive been a Godless fool
They thrashed it outta me at school
And i swore id never take a knee again
But if you can guarantee me theres
A heaven up & a hell down there
My wicked sinful ways i'll seek to mend

If all them stars above are saints in some acord
And Les Darcy is among em, then i'll make peace with the Lord
I were spat on, I were beat
I were tossed into the street
Where I lay cackling in the filthy bloody rain
I went from bar to bar

Callin dogs jus what they were
Until the next one tried to slap me round the brains
A bottle of cheap whisky was the key

Unlocking beasts inside o' me
That oughtn't see the the light of day
I'd shower on all fours
Go punch holes in all the doors
And drag my heart around like it were dying prey
Ive heard him called so many things
'Hey-Sue Christy' 'King of Kings'
Is it Mister Father, Son or Holy Ghost?
He could turn the water into wine
And we can have a laugh about the time
He popped up on that old dears slice o' toast
Ive been around & seen some things
Slept with witches, fought for Kings
And ive sung a song o' joy in many lands
But if my dog cant get to Heaven
While some mongrels go on livin'
I'm not sure he's got the whole world in his hands

Dead To Me

A 'good riddance' to poisonous folk.

O Billy were a villain o' high degree
Wi a left eye made o' glass
A wooden heel & a plate o' steel
Mig welded tae his arse
He'd carve a horn frae his Mammy's skull
Tae sound his own salute
And stick you with the rusty blade
He kept tucked in his boot

Dont talk about him, he's dead to me
He's dead to me, he's dead to me
Dont talk about him, he's dead to me
An' sure it is nae wonder
Dont talk about him, he's dead to me
He's dead to me, he's dead to me
Dont talk about him, he's dead to me
An' buried six feet under

Ella were a hoor o' the highest order
Gave it away for nowt
All whips & chains & shite for brains
An' a cheeky bas'urt mouth
She'd turn yer hide tae a rattlin drum
Tae beat her own tattoo
An' wipe you like a lump o' shite
That stuck to her pretty shoe

Dont talk about her she's dead to me..


A tribute from the singer to his Mother & Father.

When he fell to his knee she thought
He mustve spied a penny at his feet
And the water in his eye was just the rain
Over the Glasgow city street
She rifles through her coat
To find a cigarette,
A' to give her shakin hands something to do
'For Chrissakes Jimmy,
How longs it take to tie yer shoe?'

Kathleen, wont you take this ring?
Its not the worst thats ever happened
Or the cheapest piece o' shit youve evr seen
O Kathleen, while me hairs all me own
And I still have a song left to sing

Ive had enough o sleepin rough
I want a warm safe place of all me own
We can stack a pile o bricks out in the sticks
And build ourselves a home
And down all the years youll pretend not to notice
Ive been swappin all yer whisky for tea
When I go singin in the chapel
Youll go sittin three rows from me.

With that fire in yer belly
You can help me keep the wolves from the door
We can go to bed hungry
So the children dont know that we're poor
We'll teach em love tackles hate
And be they sinner or a saint
We can hold em up as heroes all the same
May they be strangers to the devil
And a choir o angels sing their name

When he fell to his knee she thought
He mustve had a crisis of the soul
And the sorrow in his eye was just him
Lookin for a steady hand to hold
'Through the laughter & the tears
We grew silver with the years
While so many gave each other up for dead'
Though at times they hardly spoke y'know
They stayed together, its just what people did.

WKND (flash new breeks)

A raging tribute to the two most sacred days in any working week.

Sixteen straight shifts, bust a gut for bugger-all
'Til the gaffer hits the bell & spits me outta hell
Firin' curses at me bouncin' out the door
Smoke em up, slam the pedal to the floor
Or the monkey on me back'll chip away until I crack
And i forget what all me words are really for
The lollipo girls with their t'ick Irish brogue
Are tellin me to take it slow,.. they should better know

Me old friend weekend, first one for weeks
I've a fresh eam o' dollars in me flash new breeks
Ill find a good woman & some self respect
And i'll be #%$*ed if I dont lose em all by monday

All the good folk are safe indoors
With their chicken & their wine, god bless em all the swine
All born undergentler stars
Ive a date with a dozen dirty jars
Like a tomcat on the tiles, ill go rovin out for miles
To where tney punish all them second hand guitars
Where them old sniffr dogs and the neckless feckin trogs
And them honeyskins'll never think to roam,.. Youll find me at home

As sunday bloody sunday comes & goes
With a jagged little start and a stutter in me heart
Still enshrouded in me saturday clothes
Its back into the bevvy's I suppose
Before the monday blues catch me dyin' in me shoes
Still dreaming of that kiss from a rose
And a voice in me heart & the sickness in me gut
Are all tellin me to take it slow, they'll ever know.

Them Fallen

A big heart fallen on tough times, it could easily be any one of us.

I know you exist, for years i have said so
Though my arms couldnt hold you, my heart couldnt let go
Are you somewhere out there tonight still singin to me?
Ive been tempted to skip to the edge of the story
Uncover whatever this lifes keepin for me
But i know in my heart that I'd yearn all the years in between
Oh are you somewhere out there tonight still singin to me?

If fortune favours the brave & nothin much favours a slave
But the bones o them fallen make poor company
Until youve pissed all yyer fridays away

Three blasts on hr whistle to tell me she's leavin me
Onto her next port of call
Now her portarait will hang like the rest down 'The Fortune of War'
And she knows i cant sleep with no roof there above me
No matter how bitterly cold
Me old patch by the steps to the harbour'll do me no harm
No nevr so long as Ive courage & strength in me arm

I still see their faces, the names though escape me
Some whisper greetin's & some o' them hate me
Theyve murdered this city I love & silenced her call
And its them who would say it was better to love
They dont sound like theyve lost much at all
Oh, and you pray for my soul?
Ive no Gods & no masters above me & no further to fall.

The Pot & Kettle

An urban parable built around the famous saying 'pot calling the kettle black'.

One smoky day in a darkened scullery
Doon by the river in a factory town
Where bad things happen & the walls are drippn'
And the ghosts are flittin' frae the cold hard ground
A pot & kettle on the hob were settled
A' hissin' their patter so bileous cruel
An awfy matter o' clout & claterin'
Battlin' wits in a hideous duel

Lids a rattlin' belchin steam
Life aint nothin but a fevered dream
'Youre a lowly villain'
'Youre a terrible liar'
'But were both here cookin on the same old fire'
Guts a bubblin belchin steam
Life aint nothin but a fevered dream
'Youre a chanty pot'
'And youre a shite for brains'
'But were both here hangin on the same old chains'

"Ive roasted a wealth of exotic things
All torn to ribbons at the hands of kings
Polished copper how I proudly shone
Stealin the fire of the blazing sun"

"Ye've boilt nae mair'n 'em old soup bones
Ive boilt the tea for them stately homes
I were rattled like a drum each Hogmanay
Then scrubbed tae the devil on the follwin' day"

"O kettle yer metal is a terrible hue
Riddled wi' holes cannae hold yer brew
Yer lids all crooked & yer sides bashed in
It'll no be long afore ye see the bin"

"Pot your not so bright as me
A hags old cauldron is all you'd be
You reek o' gruel & yourenone too young
Fit for to carry but the peels & dung"

Lids a rattlin' belchin steam
Life aint nothin but a fevered dream
'Youre a lowly villain'
'Youre a terrible liar'
'But were both here cookin on the same old fire'
Guts a bubblin belchin steam
Life aint nothin but a fevered dream
'Youre an old piss bucket'
'Youre a dented can'
'But we're neither as black as that roasting pan..'



Home Rule  

She bore half a ton o' sons & had to bury all but one,
Who's locked away in prison for not takin' up his gun,
Now all she has to comfort her from this day to her last,
Are a box of old white feathers some lumps o' brass,

She sings 'keep yer boys at home by fires warm & bright,
Let the generals look stupid when there’s no one there to fight,
Let 'em sort it out among 'emselves, or kill each other tryin',
So that better men than they are kept from dyin''

Home rule! (Keep 'em at home) rule,
Put pressure where it bleeds,
We're rippin’ out the roses with the weeds.

The walls are all bruised with the damp,
The curtains are drawn all 'round,
There’s great piles o' leaves, paint flakes from the eaves,
Where they’ve hung like her poor worried brow,

"Oh where did you go to my lovely?
This house is no longer a home,

It'll rot like a shell each day you’re in hell,
Oh why'd you go leave me alone?"

Their pictures hang crooked, no glass in the frame,
They've been stuck back together though they're never the same,
"Choked wi' pride,
I’m buckled with shame!"

No Pockets in a Shroud  

I’d bet you heads or tails if
I could find a coin to toss,
Tho they say the coin that can’t be found’s the coin that cant be lost,
If you’d spare a coin old stranger for a pint o liquid gold,
I’ll regale you with the greatest story never told.

Youll catch us in the 5am parade o’ the living dead,
Long before the sun has taken up it’s post above yer head,
All ordinary heroes, sweatin’ is our trade,
He type that never get to see the money that we’ve made.

No pockets in a shroud we sing, no pockets in a shroud,
Leave yer old regrets behind, no pockets in a shroud,
Yer riches and yer trappin’s oh, I fear they’re not allowed,
Ye cannae take ‘em with ye theres no pockets in a shroud!

Ive the perfect medicine to help restore yer sight,
Kick off yer heels & corporate deals m’darlin we’re alright,
And loosen that white collar man & come pull up a seat,
Among the dirty, filthy, stinkin richest folk you’d ever meet,


My teacher Bobby Mitchell, used to flog me through the years,
How I swore I’d take that leather strap & wrap it ‘round his ears,
‘Til I saw him walkin’ with a cane, it chilled me to the bone,
He got the drinks & then methinks I got him safely home.


Well I'm livin' with the mistakes I've made,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
I’m robbin' peter so Paul gets paid,
'plenty more where I'm from.'
I’ve strayed so far from the open road,
I've been places my shadow refused to go.
I went to school but they called me slow,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
They couldn't teach me what I needed to know,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
My heart still breaks & my throat it swells,
Like a dirty lump o' coal at the New Year bell's.

A song of hope to lift my spirits if you please,
Or a tale of old rebellion if you dare,
I hope I live to see the day I laugh at days like these,
And walk the walk of one without a care.

I'll shift my share but I won't shift the blame,
‘plenty more where I'm from',

I respect my neighbour and expect the same,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
I’ve strayed so far from the open road,
I've been places my shadow refused to go.
I don't trust what I can't see,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
But I believe in something higher than me,
‘plenty more where I'm from',
My heart still breaks & my throat it swells,
Like a dirty lump o' coal at the New Year bell's.

Blows & Unkind Words

Oh now come fellow traveller, bend an ear t’ward me,
Come cease all yer rabble & row,
All yer shrill empty laughter is slicin’ right through me,
And there’s feck all so funny no never, no how.
Ye’d as well tell the Devil his work is complete,
We’ll sing ‘share the love’ but we can’t share the streets,
It’s the kick in the arse it’s the kiss on the cheek,
It’s the blows & unkind words.

My conscience rings like a siller bell & I can waltz like a dervish my dear,
Two boots full o’ gravel through your blazin’ hell
With a shit-smeared grin from ear to ear.
Some hearts are like lightning in a bottle, and others like a moth in a can,
Some hearts are a Dead Sea apple, a poison to God & man,
I’m the sweetest bag o’ rats that you’ve ever seen,
I look like trouble & I walk like a king,
It’s my thing, why bawl when I can sing
Of all the blows & unkind words?

You get around gob draggin’ on the ground like lifes gone pissin’ in yer mince,
Were you bullied as a child? Abandoned to the wild?
And been blamin’ every fucker ever since?
We’re all born blind but we’re born with a spine,
So get up & stop hatin’ all the world,
Keep callin’ out to me ‘cos its growin’ hard to see
Through all the blows & unkind words.

Oh get back to yer corners ye filthy wee savages,
No terror hast though for the brave,
Wi’ yer four letter words all at three second intervals,
Two clicks away from a frosty old grave,
If ye’re spoilin’ tae rumble then piss off to war,
And for all o’ yer trouble get hee-feckin’-haw,
For we’re staunch, fit & proud and we’ll suffer no more,
O’ yer blows & unkind words.

Let the putrid little shites while away their lonely nights,
Sayin’ all they wouldn’t dare by light of day,
And if the church or the state can’t find a cure for all the hate,
Then I can’t find the need to vote or even pray.
Ding dang Daisy go ahead & call me crazy,
But this shootin’ match could all be over soon,
And the big fat dame with the foreign sounding name,
Is backstage firin’ up a tune.

Oh you’ve a penny, I’ve a pound, let’s get drunk & fuck around,
We’ll barricade the door against the world,
A kiss o’ life before you leave, ‘cos its growin’ hard to breathe,
Through all the blows & unkind words.

You’ve a penny, I’ve a pound, let’s get drunk & fuck around,
We’ll barricade the door against the world,
I can’t take another night watchin’ grown men fight,
To music made for teenage girls.         

400 Miles Away

I'll ride again o'er the border, if it takes me all my days,
Where the sun rises through the pollution & sets her walls ablaze,
Gimme somethin to help with the shakin' or to kill the roarin' pain,
It's the sound of a sweet heart breakin' 400 miles

Oh, have ye known the sting of sweet regret?
Or have ye no started living yet?

And the cheap lousy dram trembles there in his hand
as he struggles to recall what she wore,
He can still see her face in that charming old plac
e & he'll never forget how she swore,
'In all fairness' he says, 'it’s all good I suppose'
And his eyes turn the colour of his crooked old nose,
He drains the tumbler & straightens his clothes,
And he's away with the wind, away..

In all these broken windows, through the tattoos and the scars,
He'll catch his own reflection across a thousand other bars,
Until he rides again o'er the border, if it takes him all his days,
To where the sun rises through the pollution,
400 miles away.


They married in the civic hall, avoiding all the rigmarole,
A prick of a man we liked to call ‘Cock-a-doodled-Andy',
Drank a pint o’ ‘truth-be-told’, called the bride a filthy moll,
There the party lost control & rioted ‘til Sunday.

Toward the quay they went, spewed all o'er the pavement,
Torched the halls o’ Parliament & smashed up all the stores,
The crusty invalids, the men, the women, the rusty lids,
All played a game o' busty-heads & settled up old scores.

Our Fathers never taught us nowt can fall into a fist,
Our mothers never told us there'd be DAYS LIKE THIS!
Now we're screamin’ at the coppers with a belly full o piss,
What a helluva way to celebrate yer day.


Oh I love you so, I hope I get to let you know before they lock my silly arse away,
Oh I love you so, don't forget to write me tho' & I'll return to you one summers day.

"No bottles! No blades allowed" shouted Father Hugh MacLeod,
Who kissed his beads, blessed the crowd & rolled upboth his sleeves,
Soon I found me on the toes o' Blackie Anderson,

Who promised he would put me on me arse before he leaves.

He gouged an eye, he took an ear to match the one he took the year,
I took away his Mary dear & made her all me own,
The right, the left, the hook, he played the fox, I played the chook,
And I carved him like a turkey to the bone,

Sticks, stones, broken bones, bleedin' hearts & broken homes,
All screamin' for the preacher wi' his holy wine & wafer,
Still the pipes o' war howled away & way before thedust had even settled,
We were in the mornin' paper.

By the Merc'n'tile the mob were near collapse,
When Casey barred the door & kicked the head off all the taps,
And we pissed away the pain of all the punches and the slaps,
'til the wallopers came to sweep us off the bay.

Sober & Godless

I'd sing for you a song if i could carry a tune,
Or even put two words together for a start,
But I'm all at odds y'see, half the bloke I used to be,
A tin man without his famous heart.

I once sported language that could strip the walls o' paint
And draw colour to the cheeks o' toughened crooks,
I'd argue with the scholars 'til their words caught in their collars
And they scurried home to burn their precious books.

Until I ran into a shadow & chased her down the alley
where she had her way with me against a wall,
Laid me with a curse that left me sober & godless,
Saved my life and took away my soul.

I'd bend a ball around defenders, outrun the money lenders,
And played pool like I were fightin bloody war,
And if they fancied me at darts a trail o' broken hearts
Coulda led to me through any boozer door,

One hand would carry tiles, lay concrete pipe for miles,
While the other one was back fillin the trench,
I could dead-lift a barrel, flog the arse aff 'Bump
er Farrell'
All before this evil stole away my strength.

I'd struggle; Oh I'm sure if I only had a conscience,
'round Hogmanay or March seventeen,
Surely it’s a sin to be sober & godless
When half the bloody world is wearin' green.

I’d sing a song of old, draw tears from a statue,
And I wasnae one to spare the beast the rod,
Tho’ I still feared the mystic powers of smoke & strong whisky
To lay me low before an angry God.

I'm like a ship without an anchor, no tenderness nor rancour,
doomed never to see heaven nor a hell,
A ragged empty coat blowin' round these mortal streets
until I find a way to lift this spell.
No Love, no hate, no substance, no weight,
A jilted lover in an arsehole of a state!..

The Leaky Tub

Oh this Amsterdam O' bawdy southern climes,
All awash in amber neon & sin,
'll see yer guts for galluses, sixes for yer nine's,
The cruelest place that I have ever been,

Oh there's women here blow hot & icy cold,
And they’ll fight like rotten gull's to pick yer cage,
On the arms o' villains who'll see yer kidneys sold,
They'll spare condition, sex nor age.

And I'll curse the day a thousand shades o' blue,
When I swapped my Scottish Lion for a boxing kangaroo,
And I'll have one for the Mary, for Rollin' Annie too,
And one for the leaky tub that brought me here to you.

She were cut from the rock by the rare old stock,
Sent to hell in the devil's jewelry,
In her crown of fire & twisted bloody wire,
Tryin' to drive us all back into the sea.

Where you took my hand & helped me understand,
What it’s like without them shackles just a while,
And we blazed our way around Blackwattle Bay,
And danced along The Hungry Mile.

Iron'll rust & corn'll ripen,
All the oceans’ll turn to steam,
Whate'er'll pass and whatever'll happen,
You’ll remain my lucid dream,

Oh the winds'll roar & cities’ll crumble,
All that steam'll fall as tears,
And achin' hearts’ll sing along in chorus,
Across all the miles and down the years.

Sargeant wheres mine?

I'm lyin' in bed, I'm in room twenty-six
Thinkin' on things that I've done
Like drinkin' wi' squaddies and bullin' my boots
I'm countin' the medals I've won

These hospital wards are such drab lookin' joints
But the ceiling's as much as I see
It could do with a wee touch of paper or paint
But then again, maybe that's me

Oh, Sergeant, is this the adventure you meant
When I put my name down on the line
All yer talk of computers and sunshine and skis
Oh, I'm askin' you, sergeant, where's mine

I've a brother in Glasgow wi' long, curly hair
When I joined up he said I was daft
He said shootin' strangers just wisnae his game
That brother of mine is nae saft

But I can put up wi' most things I've done in the time
I can even put up with the pain
But what do you do with a gun in your hand
And youre facin’ a hundred odd wanes

The Reaper & Tam McCorty  

Tam he woke tae find a shadow by the bed,
Blamed it on the vapors still beleaguerin' his head,
Scrubbed his chops & dragged an oily bug rake through his hair,
And wiped the mirror tae find the bogey mimickin' his stare,

He boilt the jug tae quench his mug & baked a lump o' toast,
Hid behind the racin' pages from the hoary ghost,
"Awfy ghostie if yer here tae make me dead,
Spare me life & bother me wife or Mother-in-law instead!"

"Tam McCorty I'm not here to make you cry,
I know youre just a broken man wi' longing in his eye,
I'll say my say & go my way a-carving through the rye,
Tam McCorty, its not your day to die."

"By the way ye've hung yer tools o' trade & mantle I can tell,
Ye willnae leave until ye've seen me safely intae hell,
So follow me down the 'Horse & Crown' of liquor I'm sae fond,
I'll drink meself tae death & haunt the witches from beyond."

They drank to fallen heroes, they spat & cursed the Queen,
They argued o'er 'Black Caviar' - The finest ever seen?
They smoked cigars & played at cards for pots o' Gilbeys Gin,
Roarin' as the fiery liqour, it spilled all down their chin.

They staggered home along the tracks & pissed against a post,
The dogs a' barkin' madly, all as though they'd seen a ghost,
"Oh take me now I beg you, pick yer mark & pick it well,
I'm tired o' livin' & there I think I hear the hounds o' HELL!"

Death threw his cloak across him where he passed out in his chair,
And whispered in a frosty tone directly in his ear,
"Best you learn to live again, forgive yerself yer past,
For when you see me next Tam, it'll be your last."

I Smell Trouble

I smell trouble, its stinkin' up the streets,
I'm tapin' up the windows & I'm burnin' all the sheets,
Trouble, come walkin' through the door,
Like I trod in somethin' horrible & dragged o'er the floor.

It’s gone spooked the milkin' beasts, set the cock’s a-crowin',
Made vinegar of all the wine & stopped the fruit a-growin',
It's bakin' in the desert & its boilin' out to sea,
Theres trouble in the way she looks at me.

I smell trouble, when I'm ridin' on the train,
It whispers on the wind & I can taste it in the rain,
Oh trouble, Like static in the air,
A thousand little sparra' claws pullin' at my hair.

Comes seepin' through the cracks, fills us all with fear & hunger,
The broken willnae die & all the strong are fallin'younger,
Its stirrin' up the captives, imprisoning the free,
Theres trouble in the way she looks at me.

I smell trouble, we're runnin' outta time,
Its the eyeball at the keyhole, its the echo down the line,
Oh trouble, its gonna be here soon,
Upsettin' all the simple folk, theyre shootin' at the moon

It's pissin' on the family hearth, laid waste to the larder,
The winters never were so long & the clay was never harder,
It’s the white noise on the radio, the snow on my TV,
Theres trouble in the way she looks at me.

I smell trouble, its stinkin' up the streets,
I'm tapin' up the windows & I'm burnin' all the sheets,
Trouble come walkin' through the door,
Like I trod in somethin' horrible & dragged o'er the floor,

It's lurkin' in the stairwell & drinkin' in the park,
It's smokin' in the shadows when I'm headin' home from work,
It’s the water in the whisky; it’s the poison in my tea,
Theres trouble in the way she looks at me.

Barred for life       

Nobby was a shit-for-brains,
Tho everybody loved him to his boots for all his pains,
Dirty racist pig was no friend o' mine,
I'm glad I won't be drinkin' there again,
(Barred for Life!)
I'm just a regular boy lookin' for a rockin' girl; they're not too many,
That takes pride and joy in workin' hard to live a life less ordinary,
I dont wanna die in this town, I'll smash it up for tearin' me down,
I'll leave you to yerselves, you can fight like cats & dogs,
And call each other sheilas, poofs & wogs,

Chronically unemployed, nice & tall, sorta smart & kinda pretty,
She likes the Boy-Oi-Oi,s, the dirty rats that dwell beneath this silver city,
Brag it up, no woman no cry, if you can still look me square in the eye,
I'll leave you to yer mates and yer cheap domestic beer,
To call each other Darkies, Dykes & Queers,

What became of all the 'pleases & thank you's'?
They went down fightin' all the 'me first's & fuck you's'
Radio say’s theres more bad weather on the way,

Man-up & soldier on, I only hope I don't live to regret it,
We don't know what we want, but sure as hell we'll
kill each other just to get it,
Shallow waters always make the most noise,
Mutton heads make for scared little boys,
Ace it up, no need to act so tough,
I'm sorry Sir I think youve had ENOUGH!

One mans banner's just as bad as the other,
I dont march for anybody else..

Me old Ball & Chain.  

Right! Hand me down that bottle of tequila from the shelf,
I’ll have a beer to follow & all, here take one for yerself,
I’ve been off the piss for ten long years & I’ve a bloody thirst,
And I won’t be leavin’ here until you carry me feet first,

‘Til I’ve tripped over the speakers & I’ve fallen through the band,
And told the chubby bouncer ‘geeza shout if ye need a hand!’
I’m screamin o’er the bar & I’m spittin’ in yer ear,
And signin’ wi’ my hands for ya to geez another beer.

Me old ball & chain is in a shallow grave,
I don’t have to suffer anymore.

‘Til I’ve kicked shit out yer jukebox & broken all yer darts,
& talked the friggin ears off my reflection in the glass,
I’ve spewed all down the front o’ me & pissed all down me leg,
And I’m propped up in the corner like a fuckin’ rusty keg.

‘Til I’m snorin’ like a chainsaw & I’m layin there catchin’ flies,
And you ye cheeky bugger pops two pennies in me eyes,
“God love ye and protect ye, get yer knees up Missus Brown,
She’s topped her flamin’ hubby & she’s torn up half the town!”


Take me please I beg you, across the emerald sea,
I'm nearly dead from waiting for your hand to reach for me,
The day is near upon us, turning a bluish-grey,
The air is getting warmer & it's time we hauled away,

Turn for home, will ye go lassie go?
We've done all we can, so let’s sail away from the things of man now, go..

Time is near upon us, I long to see the day,
When all is put to balance and the evil cast away,
Do you hear me trying to reach you with every breath I take?
I call you down from the mountain top, will ya cometo break me,
Come to take me.. Home..

Oh take me please I beg you, across that crimson lake,
The blood of ancient heroes foaming in our wake,
The broken savage coast ahead will recognise her own,
Rocks will march into the sea & guard our passage home..



Big Man Down

They in their black battalion go,
Fit to weep, dressed to kill, to the chapel on the hill,
Through the wind and the blistering snow,
Unafraid, undisguised, to put pennies in his eyes,
The twist of a grin, the whiskers on his chin,
Hide the teeth of a giant, broken, yellow and defiant,
His bones lay crossed, he’ll no be back,
He arrived in screaming pink, now he’ll leave in silent black.
Cheer up ye lousy cadgers, I’ll no be missed,
I’ve given ye all the day off work & leave to hit the piss,
So tart me up in finery & put me to the flame,
Don’t plant me in the ground tho’ for fear I’ll grow again!
I know each & every line on your chiselled ugly faces,
Every red & bloated inch from noses down to laces,
Your nervous ticks, your treats & tricks, your secrets & your lies,
Oh if you could only see yourself through these old hollow eyes,
You’d surely die!
Oh its farewell for now my lovelies,
Goodbye to your taunts & your charms,
To stout hearted fellows with tunes for the burning,
To waltzing in sweet Lassies arms,
I’m off on the blood red rattler,
With these villainous slappers & clowns,
With the coughing, the wheezing , the farting & sneezing,
Malevolent ghosts & their hounds.
As a choking cloud he rose,
To suffocate the lamp, the air was growing damp,
Oily black the river flowed,
The plough-beasts went blind, fruit hung rotten on the vine,
The holy ones prepare a sacrificial virgin,
The need for sinners to repent was ne’er before so urgent,
The tired & lame are goners, strong men have soiled their breeks,
All the roads are cut & its been pissing down for weeks!

Uncle Tommy

Early one November me Uncle Tommy joined the army,
Kitted him out for danger & ferried him o’er the sea,
He threw me o’er his shoulder, sang to me a dirty ditty,
Telling me when I were older “you’ll be just like me”,
A half a bottle o’ whisky, tattoo of a pretty lady,
Half a dozen Havana’s & his Aunties rosary,
A-thunderin’ oe’r the border, guns a-blazin’, hells a-raisin’,
“Here I am ya bastards, ye’ll no be havin’ me!”
Tommy was a rifle, Tommy was a razor,
Tommy was a ramblin’ man,
A silver blade in the dyin’ shade,
Oor Tommy was a fightin’ man!
The following December he sent a card to Auntie Annie,
Tellin’ her he were frozen half to death upon a hill,
Sick o’ the sound o’ trash cans, kickin’ in doors on dear old ladies,
Sick o’ the screamin’ babies, he had lost the bottle tae kill.
He earn’t his scars in German bars,
And breakin’ the hearts o’ the maids o’ Norway,
Trained his guns upon the Huns,
And boxed the sons o’ proud old Galway,
Tommy was a rifle, Tommy was a razor,
Tommy was a Ramblin’ man,
Quick with a pound when yer luck was down,
Oor Tommy was a Jerry can.
Early one November me Uncle Tommy left the army,
Stripped him o’ his regalia & ferried him o’er the main,
He took me by the shoulder, sang to me a dirty ditty,
“bastard’s only love ye when ye’re shootin’ at yer ain!”

An Irish Pub Song

There's a county map to go on the wall,
A hurling stick & a shinty ball,
The bric, the brac, the craic & all,
Lets call it an Irish pub,
Caffreys, Harp, Kilkenny on tap,
The Guinness pie & that cabbage crap,
The ideal wannabee Paddy trap,
We'll call it an Irish pub,

Whale, oil, beef, hooked! I swear upon the holy book,
The only 'craic' you'll get is a slap in the ear,
Whale, oil, beef, hooked! I'll up & burst yer filthy mug,
If you draw one more shamrock in me beer!

We'll raise the price o' beer a dollar,
We'll make em wear a shirt & collar,
We'll fly a bloody tri-colour,
And call it an Irish pub,
Jager bombs & double shots,
The underagers think its tops,
We'll spike the drinks & pay the cops,
We got us an Irish pub.

The quick one in the filthy bog,
The partin' glass across the lug,
O' the lady-O, the dirty dog,
We got us an Irish pub,
It's over to me and over to you,
We'll skip along the Avenue,
And who t'hell is Ronnie Drew?
We got us an Irish pub.

Plasma screens & neon lights,
Kara-farkin-oke nights,
The bouncers they can pick the fights,
We'll call it an Irish pub,
Plastic cups, a polished floor,
We'll hose the blood right out the door,
And let the knucklers back for more,
We got us an Irish pub,

Oh top o' the mornin', Garryowen,
Kiss me I'm Irish, Molly Malone,
Failte, Slainte, Pog ma thon,
We got us an Irish pub,
Spike the punch & strip the willow,
Strike me up the rakes o' Mallow,
The Liffey never ran so shallow,
We got us an Irish pub.

Jolly Executioner

It said his blade weighed half a tonne,
O’ Spanish steel, Christ how it shone,
With a whistle & thump yer dash were done,
And the axe cared not for who you were,
He kept a cell below the tower,
Where he signed the cross every half an hour,
With a calf skin drum & a rattle tat taa,
The Jolly Executioner.
He had a son, a drunken sailor,
Coulda been a Tinker, Tyke, or tailor,
Sailed away to far Australia,
To be the executioner,
His rope were short, his knots were tight,
He’d plait the hemp by candle light,
With a crack & twang ye bade goodnight,
To the Jolly Executioner.
String em high & stretch em well,
Burn a candle, strike a bell,
Pipe their rotten souls to hell,
For the Jolly Executioner.
Then some bloke with a kite & key,
Invented electricity,
And the job were handed down to me,
So fortunate you wish you were,
I’ve cooked em all, the crooks & crumbs,
The vagabonds & hapless bums,
With a crackle & pop, ‘Ol’ Sparky’ sung,
For the Jolly Executioner.
I had a son, near broke me heart,
A stand alone, a breed apart,
Brought death unto a dying art,
A general Practitioner,
All white lab coats & PHD’s,
And 10cc’s of anti-freeze,
A noble art brought to its knees,
Farewell to the Executioner.

My Time Again

My Daddy he were just a boy when he walked outta school,
His Mammy said there’d soon be one more hungry mouth to fill,
He said ‘the learnin’ and the schoolin’ wurnae bad for them that could,
Tho’ I can read & write my bloody name & sign it where I should’,
And he said..
‘If I had my time again, I know I’d be a learned man,
An artisan in high demand, a Doctor or a Teacher,
As sure as guns are made of iron, I were born a working man,
I’d live & die right where I stand if I’d my time again’.
He went wide eyed down tae Johnny Brown, he were a big lad for his years,
And there he worked so long if he ever cried there’d be iron ore in his tears,
He’d tumble in of a Friday night a Haddie for yer tea,
And he’d sing to me their dirty songs & diddle me on his knee,
And he’d sing..
‘If I had my time again, I know I’d be a rovin’ man,
I’d rove away to far Japan to court the Emperors daughter..’
With his mates he’d belt the plates on fleets of shining awe,
To carry all the well-to-do to golden foreign shores,
They all coughed themselves to an early grave half filled with bloody rain,
As the people sang ‘The Long Black Limousine’,
We all sing!..
‘If I had my time again, I know I’d be a fightin’ man,
In far Malay or Vietnam, tho’ I am more a lover..’

McLaughlin's Rant

Well I’ve come here for the gargle, not tae cop a blast,
Ye great thick headit ape, I’ll stick yer chin right out yer arse,
Come lookin’ for your pound o’ flesh, but I’ve got nothin’ left,
Cause Christian Brothers & Brides o’ Christ’ve flogged me half to death.
Suck on this ye Succubus, your star’ll never rise,
Ye’ve the smell o’ death about your breath & bullet holes for eyes,
I wish that I were sober, the day I made you mine,
Oh pull the piggin door behind ye, thank you for your time,
Bastards! A shower o’ pricks, the likes ye’ve never known,
Rake em, break em, Devil may take em, down to Hell below.
Oh as I set out on my way all naked and alone,
Guard my back, guide me forth & bring me safely home,
Geez half a life, a decent wife, my share o’ love & trust,
And when I’m gone, the long & restful slumber of the just.
They’ll ride ye to the gates o’ Hell, drive ye to the brew,
‘til every penny’s splashin’ off the wall against your shoe,
Ye’ll get yer feed o’ spurs & a few choice feckin’ words,
Then its back to picks & shovels, cause that’s all they’ll let ye do.

The Black Matilda

By the windy shores o Canada bay I broke my fast for Lucia’s day,
A beguiling figure she blew my way & rattled me rovin’ heart,
The snipers crack, the metronome of pricy heels on polished stone,
That I were soon to call my own by way o’ the ancient art.
I were cozened by a whiff-o-the-whim that scours the Costa harryin’,
The likes o’ men who’ve lost the lamp, the rudderless and bewildered,
The sands below are littered wi’ bones o’ those who’ve taken a belly o’ stones,
And turned their backs on wives & homes to follow the black Matilda.
Ho-ro m’lovelies cross yer hearts & hope to die,
If e’er ye’re drawn beneath a murky fathom of her eye,
Ho-ro my lovelies kiss yer arse a fond goodbye,
Ye’ll never again be able to lift yer head so bloody high.
For even the boys of Inverary know, from Tortuga to Jericho,
She took three hundred souls below off the deck o’ the Andalusia,
The poets and the Sages tried to warn us down the ages,
Their blood drips from the pages where they tell o’ the Black Matilda.
She pursed her lips & spun a tune as fine as any silk cocoon,
That’s ever left McEacherns loom & held me there in a tawper,
A bastard I was born y’ken? I lived as tho’ I’d never end,
I’ll die a disenchanted man, they’ll bury me as a pauper,
For men have drowned & men have swung, the brig at Iron Cove were hung,
Wi’ a garland of the old, the young, all battered & unfamiliar,
Theres no poetry theres no tune, no point in howlin’ at the moon,
A caution to ye very soon ye’ll waltz yer Black Matilda.
By the windy shores O’ Canada bay I blew my friggin brains away,
Its not as tho’ i’m proud to say, its not as tho I coulda killed her,
I’m off to Hells begotten shores where men like me have sailed before,
And they shall sail forever more in the name o’ the Black Matilda.
Ho-Ro m’lovelies cross yer hearts & hope to die,
Its enough to make ye cry, enough to make ye cry!
Ho-Ro m’lovelies kiss yer arse a fond goodbye,
Its enough to make ye cry, enough to make ye DIE!..

The Terrible Sea

The wind howls mournful & low o’er the hole in his heart,
Left a note for his Mother to say he’d be joinin’ his Da’,
He said “The Devils all pissed ‘cause I danced with his daughter,
I were born to be hung, so I don’t fear the water,
If he wants me he can chase me below the terrible sea.”
There’s a pinch of tobacco tucked into the sleeve of his coat,
And a dirty black penny to pay the old man on the boat,
He honours the rocks with a cruciform pose,
Singin’ “my love is like a red, red rose”,
In a single explosion he’s gone to the terrible sea.

Green Ginger Wine

Oh kiss me Maggie & take me home,
For I sure dinnae feel like dyin’ alone,
Gawn geez a shot, chuck a doggie a bone,
Or a penny for me rattlin’ can,
As sure as Christ it’s a bitter pill,
But if you won’t have me, yer sister will,
I’ll cart me arse doon Surry Hills & call her out this evenin’,
Go on, go well, ye’re no catch o’ mine,
Yer clothes in rags, ye reek o’ fags & old green ginger wine,
My sisters aye a leezie into the drinkin’, dogs & cards,
My poor departed Father couldn’t flog her at the yards,
I’m a man o’ some renown ‘Jack the Lad’ about the town,
We’ll share a plate of oysters, crack the neck o’ Billy Brown,
Sly grog & salty treats, I’ll not grant yer wish,
I’m promised to the toll collector boy upon the bridge.
Like good whisky in bad wounds,
Like honey on a toothache, you’ll never be mine,
Tho’ we can dance, b’Jesus, we’ll swing like the razors,
Of Kate Leigh & Tilly Devine.
Why wait until yer dancin’ shoes are scuffed and in the bin?
I’ll stitch my holey duds, scrape the whiskers from me chin,
We’ll get ye down yer scarlet gown, I’ll steal you somethin’ blue,
I’d waltz off Millers point before I walk the aisle with you!
Oh I’ll sing you ‘six ribbons’!
Aye when your ‘three sheets’!
Yer drunken, brawlin’ caterwaulin’ echoes through the streets,
Y’know I’m not yet very old,
Sure it’s poison when its cold,
And a dear old southerly belters sure to blow!

McAlpines Fusiliers

As down the glen came McAlpines men with their shovels slung behind them
‘Twas in the pub that they drank the sub and up 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 Darkie Flynn way down upon the Isle of Grain
Wi’ that horsed Face O’Toole, sure we knew the rule, no money if you stopped for rain.
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 Bear O’Shea fell into a concrete stairs.
What Horse Face said when he saw him dead it wasn’t what the rich called prayers.
“I’m a navvy short” was the one retort that reached unto my ears,
When the going’s rough, sure you must be tough with McAlpine’s Fusiliers
I’ve worked ’til the sweat nearly had me bet, with Russian, Czech and Pole.
On shuddering jams up the hydro dams or underneath the Thames in a hole.
I’ve grabbed it hard and I’ve 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

Roll Away Alone

Come pull up a stump with an angry young man,
I’ll talk a lot o’ pish until I can barely stand,
And I’ll roll away alone, all alone.
Oh I’ll roll away, live to fight another day,
Oh I’ll roll away & I’ll roll away alone,
Oh I’ll roll away, live to fight another day,
Oh, and I’ll roll away alone,
I’m as sober as a Preacher with a pocket load o’ pennies,
And I couldnae get ma hole in a barrel load o’ fannies,
The band is soundin’ shite & all the pricks are out tonight,
So I’ll roll away alone, all alone,
No more will I roam gie’in pony rides tae lassies,
The cheeky little upstarts wi’ bony little arses,
They can lead their merry dance, I’ll keep me pecker in me pants,
And I’ll roll away alone, all alone.


If I buy you a drink will you leave me alone?
I’m a bug-eyed young stranger ‘round here,
I’ll tell ye nowt ye don’t already know,
And my brogues too thick for your ear.
See I landed this mornin’ unwashed and unfed,
Yer man thought I were Greek, wouldn’t give me a bed,
And I’ve walked all o’ Sydney wi’ a heart of pure lead,
And a half a warm bottle of beer.
Tho my room lay as quiet as the old guns o’ Pinchgut,
My heart beats a lonesome & steady tattoo,
For a smile that I met on the boat frae Southampton,
Oh Christ! What am I gonnae do?
D’ye know I’m a full qualified engineer?
Tho the paper I’ve got’s no good to me here,
We built the damned ships that brought you all here,
All we’re good for is digging a hole!
Oh your frosty old evening commands me respect,
And your sun locks its jaws on the back of me neck,
As I pocket me pride & line up for a cheque,
Oh Christ! What am I gonnae do?
Oh Christ! what am I gonnae do?
If you buy me a drink, I’ll leave you alone,
I’ve talked your damned ears off, its time you were home,
Spare me the floorboards, I’ll dig you a hole,
Big enough to swallow the moon.

Spit in the Street

Oh I lie awake, I’m fit to break,
And my head won’t leave me alone,
I’ve to make my way through one more day,
Strippin’ knuckle to the glistenin’ bone,
Oh it’s a shit-fight! hell-right! down to the Boulevarde,
Crackles in the blisterin’ heat,
Where all the women they dress like high priced hookers,
And the men all spit in the street.
Oh I set out this mornin’ in steel capped shoes,
I paid a hard earned dollar for all the bad news,
All to sell my soul to these ignorant mongrels,
They can’t stop me thinkin’ of you.
Oh, I shove aside the human tide,
And I struggle just to keep control,
Through the lines o cabs, the angry stabs,
Of the traffic all split my skull,
Where the railway cops lay into the drunks,
And the people never seem to see,
And all the posh kids roll to the soul-less drivel,
Of a pissy little MP3.
I’ve been wearin’ my dreams like tattered old jeans,
All beer soaked & bloodied, the arse showin’ through,
And if I come home tonight without a knife in the neck,
Whats left of me belongs to you.
Follow me & we can drown together in a smoky little room,
Help carry me by the light of the angry moon.
A pocketful o’ nails, the screechin’ rails,
Air thick enough to make ya choke,
Five days o’ grief for two relief,
It doesn’t ever seem enough, I know,
I need my white-hot fix o’ my teenage kicks,
I gotta get back to me,
Among the boys o’ Hades and the painted Ladies,
Of this city’s where I’ve got to be…

Bar the Door Casey

Bar the door Casey, don’t let me in,
My shade’ll not cross your dear threshold again,
Bar the door Casey, mind the way well,
And send my poor ghost on to heaven or hell.
We’ve fought scores of sailors for the suds frae a keg,
O’er the draw of a card, or a rare glimpse of leg,
We’ve graced Kuta’s beaches with our pallid white skin,
Now Casey old mate, my barge has come in.
We’ve stormed foreign strands & taken our knocks,
Held fast to our picket & lay siege to the docks,
We’ve mourned pals & lovers too long fore their time,
Now Casey old China, the parting is mine.
I’ve penned a few lines to my missus of years,
If ye find where she’s staying, don’t wait for the tears,
And I’ve left a wee sum for to see me away,
And a pint to fond memory at the close o