Works in the Bulletin 1914
   Len's a pipe er baccer, Bill.
      Siddown over there.
Bloomin' contrac's been 'ung up again.
   Aw, there's no use worryin';
      Whips er time to spare;
Blokes will 'ave their quarrils now an' then.
   'Ere's them flamin' managers
      Scrappin' like the dooce,
Playin' at the same ole silly game.
   Chuck yer pick an' shovel down,
      Wot's the bloomin' use?
We kin dror our wages orl the same!

Toil to do? Er course ther' is - 'Eaps er solid work; 'Nough to keep us goin' overtime. But when bosses chucks it in An' begins to strike, Well, fer me an' you it ain't no crime. Ther's that darn ole Tariff Wall Ain't been mended yet, Said they'd 'tend to that long years ago. Aw, don't bust yer boiler, Bill! You've no call to fret.
Pay-day's comin' all the same, yeh know. Yus, I'm pretty sick of it, 'Anging 'round the job, While they squabbles all the 'ole day long. 'Ere, when one bloke does a bit, 'Nother silly yob Comes an' pulls it down, becos it's wrong. Then they starts to mix it up, 'Ell fer leather. Biff! Yow! An' goes an' wastes a month in talk. Only fer the pay I'd be Orf in 'alf a jiff. Struth! I'd pick me dunnage up an' walk!
It's the flamin' system, Bill, Got us in its grip: Me, an' you an' orl the blessed lot. If they don't soon alter it, Take my dead sure tip, Things on this 'ere job 'ull go to pot. Orl lars' shift they torks a treat, Gittin' nithin' done; 'Ere, this shift they starts to tork some more. Jist sit back in comfort, Bill; Stay an' watch the fun. Ther's a bit er wages still to dror.
Dunno wot 'e's thinkin' of, Bloke 'oo owns these works. If 'twas me I wouldn't wait fer munce. Orl this brawlin' crowd 'ud git Swift an' suddin jerks. Out into the cold, 'ard world at once. I'd not stand this sorter thng, Not fer arf a day: Runnin' contracks at a dead sure loss. If yeh carn't agree, git it out! That'd be my way. But, er course, I ain't the bloomin' boss.
Say, I've 'eard this boss uv ours 'E's the simple kind; Dunno where 'e are or wot 'e thinks; Dunno 'ow to manige things, Carn't make up 'is mind. Shouldn't be su'prsed to 'ear 'e drinks. These 'ere toughs 'as got 'im fair On a bit er string; Pulls 'is leg a treat when they wants cops. Then, when 'e ingages 'em It's another thing; An' orl thort er toil they gently drops.
Listen to 'em howlin', Bill.... Give it to 'em, Joe! Sool 'em, Andy! Keep it goin', boys! Buck in, Willie! Use yer boot! Land 'im with yer toe!.... Strike me up a wattle: Wot a noise! Spare me! Ain't it boshter, Bill? Better un a play. Work, they calls it! Wot a bit er kid! An' fer thise 'ere sorter thing Ev'ry bloomin' day 'Ere's the boss shells out five 'undred quid!
Aw! Don't start to worry, Bill. Work? We ain't allowed! Put yet feet up 'ere an' 'ave a smoke. We jist gotter loaf eround Same as orl the crowd. Work? Well, you're a funny sorter bloke! Contrack's stopped! I'm tellin' yeh - While they squabbles....Ho! Look at Joseph gettin' shirty! Yow! Ain't 'e workin' fer 'is money? Bash 'is 'ed in, Joe!.... Come on Bill, our cheques is ready now.

The Bulletin, 7 May 1914, p7

This is how the poem was printed in The Bulletin, which seems to imply that the last line of the second stanza is missing.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004