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The Great Ships
Lyrics and melody by R. Gullane
This is one of two songs from Roy which we have recorded for this album, and it deals with Glasgow's most famous industry--shipbuilding. At one time, and not all that long ago, the phrase "Clyde Built" was synonymous with top quality. Shipbuilding and every job involved with supplying the yards with their raw materials was done with great pride in those days. As all of Roy's maternal uncles worked in the yards or their satellite industries, he feels it was inevitable that he would write this song one day. Little did they know that Clyde Valley would become Silicon Glen and that the biggest industry would no longer be shipbuilding by computer chips. The Lizzies and the Mary mentioned in the chorus of this song refer to the three most famous liners ever to have been built on the Clyde: The Queen Mary, The Queen Elizabeth, and the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2).


In the city of Glesga 'twas aye oan the kerds
If ye lived near the river ye'd work in the yerds
The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes
Were the muckle great cranes that reached up tae the skies


Where we built the great ships of iron and steel
The Lizzies, the Mary, we built them right here
We built the great ships, the pride o' the sea
But noo there is nae work for me
And who wid believe that we built the great ships?

At the end o' the forties apprenticed was I
Tae the cream of the welders by the name o' MacKay
"Ye've twa lugs and ane gob so listen, nae lip
And I'll show youse young lads how we build the great ships."


There's scarcely a ship noo and blessed few men
As the river runs silent through Silicon Glen
For an auld clapped oot welder ye'll no get much thanks
Noo there's fish in the river and chips oan its banks





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