My Old Man

Ewan MacColl, Peggy SeegerBuy this song

Ewan MacColl

James Henry Miller (25 January 1915 – 22 October 1989) who used the stage name Ewan MacColl was a British folk singer, songwriter, socialist, actor, poet, playwright, and record producer. He was married to theatre director Joan Littlewood, and later to American folksinger Peggy Seeger. He collabo… more »

My old man was a good old man
 Skilled in the moulding trade
In the stinking heat of the iron foundry 
My old man was made
Down on his knees in the moulding sand
He wore his trade like a company brand
He was one of the cyclops' smoky band
Yes, that was my old man

My old man wasn't really old
It's just that I was young 
And anybody over twelve years old
Was halfway to the tomb
He was loyal to his workmates all his life
Gave his pay packet to his wife
Had a few jars on a Saturday night
Yes, that was my old man

My old man was a union man
 Fought hard all his days
He understood the system 
And was wise to the boss' ways
He says, you want what's yours by right 
You have to struggle with all your might 
They'll rob you blind if you don't fight 
Yes, that was my old man

My old man was a proud old man
At home on the foundry floor
 Until the day they laid him off
And showed him to the door
They gave him his card, said, things are slack 
We've got a machine can learn the knack 
Of doing your job, so don't come back
The end of my old man

My old man he was fifty-one
What was he to do?
A craftsman moulder on the dole
In nineteen thirty-two
He felt he'd given all he could give
So he did what thousands of others did
 Abandoned hope and the will to live
They killed him, my old man

My old man he is dead and gone
Now I am your old man
And my advice to you, my son
Is to fight back while you can
 Watch out for the man with the silicon chip
Hold on to your job with a good firm grip
'Cause if you don't you'll have had your chips 
The same as my old man


Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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My Old Man