Lyrics: Paul O’Brien.
Tune: Paul O’Brien.
My father, a carter on the dockside in Dublin
When the hours of work were from dawn until dark,
His only pleasures, the love of my mother,
A pint on a Sunday, and a stroll in the park.
The big man came then, and he founded the Union.
My da agreed with him and stood on his side.
He shared Larkin’s vision that all working people
Must never bow down but stand up in pride.
They lived through those bad days, and Christ! they were sad days.
He often went home with a cut on his head.
My ma gave him comfort, attended his wounds,
Saying, “We must stick it out, or we’re better off dead!”
When the bosses called on them to fight the Great War game,
He answered, “We’re fighting on here at home.
Your cause is profit; your weapons are guns.
But ours is the Union; our cause is our own.”
They lived for the three score and a bit more.
Both are now dead, but, their spirits, alive.
In the words they passed on that I tell you now, son,
“Demand what is yours, or you’ll never survive!”