Yesterdays Men (Phil Coulter)

Twas Johnny the weasel that gave us the wire
They were closin’ our factory down
Tho’ we didn’t believe him and we called him a liar
The redundancy letters came down
As we read them in silence I choked back a tear
It is hard to believe after twenty-odd years

Chorus

Farewell my companions, my friends and my workmates
Farewell to the paydays, the pints, and the crack
Oh we gave them our best years, now they’ve paid us back,
By making us yesterdays men sure as hell
By making us yesterday’s men.

So we said our goodbyes by the factory gate
One cold Friday evening last year
And I saw it all there in the eyes of me mates
The anger the sadness the fear
Like our fathers before us we worked there with pride
Now we fought back the bitterness burning inside.

Now Ginny said sure give the kids a few bob,
After all it was Friday night
Ah, how could I tell her I was out of a job?
And now things were going to be tight
How well I remember it cut like a knife
I was never a day on the dole in my life


The machines now are silent, the workbench is bare
And there’s dust on the factory floor
They’ve boarded the windows and they’ve chained up the gate,
And they’ve padlocked the factory door,
And I’m on the scrap heap, and I’m thirty-nine
As one of the hundreds shot down in my prime.

Farewell my companions, my friends and my workmates
Farewell to the paydays, the pints, and the crack
Oh we gave them our best years, now they’ve paid us back,
By making us yesterdays men sure as hell
By making us yesterday’s men.