Evan Mathieson header



Lyrics and Music: Harry Robertson

From the workshop off we go, toolkits heavy in our hands,
To a big ship that’s come in, from a trip to foreign lands,
Salty streaks of rust have marked her, but her moorings hold her tight,
And we’ll work to fix her engines, all today and half the night.

Don’t wait up for me this evening — I’ll be out all night again
Working on the Brisbane River with the ship repairing men.

Oil-fired boilers throb with power, drinking up the furnace heat,
Water turns to driving steam to make the engines beat,
But the feed pump’s sighing wail to us cuts through all other sound,
As it sings a song of triumph, for the valves that we have ground.


Engine bearings that knocked and hammered through the wild and stormy seas,
Will be machined and fitted ’til they run with silent ease,
And that winch that rattles every time the piston turns the shaft,
Will hum along and sing its song, to men skilled in their craft.


When you see an ocean liner, glide between the river banks,
And the Captain in his gold braid orders men of lesser ranks,
Have you thought perhaps this stately craft might never sail again,
If it wasn’t for the toil and sweat, of ship repairing men.


© Harry Robertson
and subsequently ©1995 Mrs Rita Robertson, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Registered with APRA/AMCOS www.apra-amcos.com.au