She's sparkling clean, this newborn ship
But one old thing is clear
The orders they propose above
We execute down here...
We'll watch from here as up above
They'll catch a whiff of glory
This wonder ship may be brand new
But it's the same old story...
Stoke the fire down in the hold
As the men draw back...
Feed the heat in the hold
As the men draw back
And the dust of the coal in the air is black
And a trickle of sweat runs down your back...
And what are the boys from
Midlands doing here?
Coal it is that makes the steam
That runs the machines that run the world
That sends the men below the ground
To mine the coal
From the Leicestershire and Nottingham
Us lads who worked down in the pit
Knew if you got above the ground
You'd save your soul
Get out of the pit
And westward I knew that I could run
And ship out to sea and there my new life was begun...
And the screws are turning at seventy-one...
It became my dream to go out to sea...
Further out from the mine you couldn't be...
But, born to the coal, there's no place for you elsewhere
You trade a life of dank and gloom
To shovel in the boiler room
But now you're seven decks below
A lady's dainty feet...
And nothing has changed
There's nothing a miner can do
The pit and your mates
Turned into the hold and crew...
And the screws are turning at seventy-two...
Faster and faster we watch as we gain evermore
Seventy-three, and too soon it is seventy-four...
For a record speed I believe we strive!
For the maiden trip that's too hard to drive
If you push her faster than seventy-five.
That is the truth