‘Tis well I remember the day of renown
When the Swilly came steaming into our wee town
With a load of pork parings and Brewster’s sweet bread,
“Twould put hair on your chest, never mind on your head.
And early next morning, she steamed off like mad
With a cargo of poteen that came from Glengad:
And our friend, Archie Porter did sample the store,
So he fell off at Collin and was heard of no more.

When she came back that night it was hours after dark.
All the dogs down in Priestown – they started to bark.
Though she often came late, sure that was no harm;
Sure she never forgot for to come back to Carn.
When coming at Collin, the whistle was blown
And crowds gathered out for to welcome her home.
Nicely sailing along she was not due till nine
But they got into trouble with a cow on the line.

For to work on the Swilly was my great desire
So I filled up a form and Pat Cole pulled the wire.
“Twas then that I started a stoker to trade:
My wages were small, but I always got paid.
I worked hard all week and my job it was hot
And my wages, those days, didn’t come to a lot.
But I thought myself the big noise of the town
When I went down on Saturday for my half-crown.

For thirty five years sure we steamed out and in
Through hail, rain and snow we went thick and thin.
When the coal it was scarce, ah! Sure we didn’t mind,
With our shoulders together we pushed from behind.
Breakdowns, we’ve had many and strikes without pay.
If a hen crossed the line ’twas another delay.
When the rails they got shaky and the journey seemed long
We feared not the danger, we still carried on.

Now sad is the story I have to relate,
Sure they called home the engine and shut up the gate;
And now I’m left idle with no fortune made,
Just to see the line wrecked by the crowbar brigade.
They lifted the sleepers and off they did march-
I’ve seen them myself down behind the dry arch;
And while they have timber to brighten the fire,
We have to put up with the jags of barbed wire.

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