Shipyard Apprentice

Words: Archie Fisher / Music: Bobby Campbell
Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

I was born in the shadow of a Fairfield's crane
And the blast of a freighter's horn
Was the very first sound that reached my ears
On the morning that I was born
As I lay and listened to the shipyard sounds
Coming out of the unknown
I was lulled to sleep by a mother tongue
That was to be my own

Before I grew to one year old
I heard a siren scream
And a city watched in the blacked-out night
A wandering searchlight's beam
And then one day I awoke and rose
To my first day of peace
But I learned that the battle to stay alive
Was never going to cease

And I've sat and listened to my father tell
Of the days that he once knew
When you either sweated for a measly wage
Or you joined the Parish queue
And as times grew harder day by day
Along the riverside
I've often heard my mother say
It was tears that made the Clyde

I sat in school from nine to four
And dreamed of the world outside
Where the riveters and the platers watched
Their ships slip to the Clyde
And I served my time behind shipyard gates
And I've often mourned my lot
But if anyone tries to mess me about
Then I'll fight like my fathers fought

Song Notes

I occasionally sing this live when the mood is upon me and I recorded it for the Irish-made television documentary "Freedom Highway".

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