Did you ever give a thought to the Navvy on the line
The man who has to run his length, in weather wet or fine,
On starvation wages he lives in a wayside shack
To keep the road in safety, along the Broken Hill track?
The summer brings its nursery, with dust and sandy blight
But the Fettler must keep toiling, to keep the track alright.
For that pride of Mr. Hartigan, the Flying Diesel train,
That shoots along at seventy-five, through dust or blinding rain,
Well the Navvy has demanded a shorter working week
And an increase in his wages, and made the bosses squeak
About the mighty big deficit, and revenue being light,
But theses excuses do not help the Fettler in his plight;
So it's up to every Railwayman, in city or outback,
To help the Navvy win his fight, along the Broken Hill track.
If the Fettler must keep toiling to keep the track alright,
It's up the wages, shorten the week, or else expect a fight.
This poem was published in 1939 in "Magnet" the newspaper of the Council of Railway Shop Committees
From the "Trains of Treasure" CD: Matilda's Mob. Carl Evensen - vocals.
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union songs..........a selection by mark gregory