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 workin 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..’