Alice White by Alan Bell My name is Alice White, I'd have you all to know I left my father's farm, a long long time ago My mother called me a silly lass, she said I'd rue the day That I followed on the heels of the navvies My first man Dandy Jack, was handsome young and fine And we travelled throughout England as we trudged from line to line We lived in shanty houses, had lodgers and children three As I worked to fill the needs of the navvies When Dandy Jack was killed, beneath a fall of stone I wept and cursed the day, that ever I was born But the children needed feeding and many men looked at me So I jumped the brush to stay with the navvies Time came I was deserted, when my children numbered five And I had to take another man, just to keep us all alive And now I've had so many men, they call me Alice Free As I've lived my life away with the navvies And now I'm getting old, and grey before my time With the work and the childbearing, as we trudged from line to line I often think of poor Dandy Jack, lying so cold in his grave He's the only one I loved of the navvies Although this was apparently written for a BBC programme about the Settle and Carlisle Railway which never came to fruition, there are no specific references to railways and so it has been appropriated by the canal fraternity and appears on a number of recordings of canal songs. Recorded on :
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