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izquierdaThe Hot Asphaltderecha

Ewan McColl    (James Henry Miller)

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Good evening all me jolly lads
I'm glad to see you're well
If you'll gather all around me now
the story I will tell
For I've got a situation
and begorrah and begob
I can whisper I've the weekly wage
of nineteen bob
'Tis twelve months come October
since I left me native home
After helping in Killarney, boys,
to bring the harvest down
But now I wear a geansai
and around me waist a belt
I'm the gaffer of the squad
that makes the hot asphalt

Well, we laid it in the hollows
and we laid it in the flat
And if it doesn't last forever
sure I swear I'll eat me hat
Well, I've wandered up and down the world
but sure I never felt
any surface that was equal
to the hot asphalt

The other night a copper comes
and he says to me, "McGuire,
Would you kindly let me light me pipe
down at your boiler fire?"
And he planks himself right down in front,
with hobnails up, till late
And says I, "Me dacent man, you'd better
go and find your bate"
He ups and yells, "I'm down on you,
I'm up to all yer pranks
Don't I know you for a traitor
from the Tipperary ranks?"
Boys, I hit straight from the shoulder
and I gave him such a belt
That I knocked him into the boiler
full of hot asphalt

We quickly pulled him out again
and we threw him in the tub
And with soap and warm water
we began to rub and scrub
But devil the thing, it hardened
and it turned him hard as stone
And with every other rub sure
you could hear the copper groan
"I'm thinkin'", says O'Reilly,
"that he's lookin' like Ould Nick
And burn me if I'm not inclined
to claim him with me pick"
"Now", says I, "it would be easier
to boil him till he melts
And to stir him nice and easy
in the hot asphalt

You may talk about yer sailorlads,
ballad singers and the rest
Your shoemakers and your tailors
but we please the ladies best
The only ones who know the way
their flinty hearts to melt
Are the lads around the boiler
making hot asphalt
With rubbing and with scrubbing
sure I caught me death of cold
And for scientific purposes
me body it was sold
In the Kelvingrove museum me boys,
I'm hangin' in me pelt
As a monument to the Irish
making hot asphalt