They call me George the blacksmith, I work in the paper mill;
Every morning the whistle blows and calls me down the hill
To a place of smoke and steam and ash and the roar of big machines,
Where but for friendly faces you might think it’s hell you’ve seen;
Then I open up the blacksmith shop, and fire up the forge,
And soon the boys come dropping by with “Can you help me, George?”
Then its grapple dogs for the carriage saw, heavy chains to mend,
New brackets for the paper machines and chisels for a friend.
CHORUS: Bellows blow, the fire glows,
The metal’s hot as hell;
And it’s hammer and tong and sing this song,
Ringing like a bell, ringing like a bell.
It’s a long way from a farmer’s field in south Saskatchewan,
Riding rails and tramping streets ‘til I made this B.C. town;
And though my back it may get stiff, my mind is stiffer still,
A working man needs a living wage for his fam’ly up the hill.
Oh, I have a couple of kids who think the world is their peach;
I’m glad they feel that all their dreams lie within their reach.
But that’s not how it was when I was of a youthful age;
Then we had to fight back when they treated us like slaves. [CHORUS]
Now you may think I’m one of those hard-nosed union men;
I don’t mind, but I’ve seen a time we must not see again.
Oh yes, I am a union man, I will be ‘til the end;
Like the tempered steel I make, on that I will not bend.
The dirty thirties labour camps were like a crucible,
They threw us in together and red we soon did glow;
The hammer blows of corp’rate bulls hardened us inside,
And the quench that froze it all within were the union friends who died
So here’s one for all the un-armed lads
Who fell to a pistol shot,
And one for all who rode the rails
And never made their stop. [CHORUS]
FINALE: Ringing like a bell, you know I’m ringing like a bell!