original lyrics

Get 'Em In Geordie

© Richard Ridley

It’s better than laying a keel on the slipway
It’s better than hauling an anchor chain
It’s better than welding, caulking, gouging
In Wallsend dry dock in the rain

So get ‘em in Geordie
Get another pint in
Old Brown Dog or Ex will do
If the beer keeps flowing
And the crack keeps going
We’ll stay in the pub for the whole day through

It’s better than hauling nets from the ocean
It’s better than cleaning fish all day
It’s better than fixing a broken engine
Adrift in a swell in Tynemouth bay


It’s better than working in coal and grime
It’s better than choking down the mine
It’s better than shoveling, hammering and struggling
And hewing out coal from under the Tyne


It’s better than sweating like a pig on the footplate
It’s better than throwing in coal by the ton
It’s better than breathing ash from the furnace
It’s better steaming on the Shildon run


And all in all you’ve got to say
It’s a nicer way to spend your day
But if you’re tempted and you stay
You’ll feel the pain when you collect your pay


I was inspecting welds on a pipe support bridge at Sellarfield in Cumbria when I noticed the work force, on the ground way below me, downing tools and leaving site. I was told that a worker had been killed in an accident on site so the men had gone to the pub to have a drink in memory of their deceased workmate and have a collection for his widow. By leaving site they would lose a day’s pay. I suggested it may have been a better to stay at work and donate the whole day’s pay to the widow. My informant said, “What? And spoil a good excuse to go down the pub!”

When I worked at Swan Hunters in Wallsend we didn’t need such dramatic excuses. The "Ex" at the Coronation Club was divine, especially on a Friday afternoon.—Richard

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