As down the glen came McAlpines men with their shovels slung behind them
‘Twas in the pub that they drank 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 Darkie Finn way down upon the Isle of Grain
With Horse Face O’Toole, 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 then 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 niggard and many a ganger’s fist across me ears.
If you pride your life won’t your join by Christ, with McAlpine’s Fusiliers