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Shipyard Apprentice - The Battlefield Band

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Published on Aug 14, 2011

Shipyard Apprentice - The Battlefield Band

A great song about Glasgow's shipbuilding heritage and the fierce loyalty and pride of the men who bilt the ships of an empire.

The Shipyard Apprentice, also known as Fairfield Crane, is the most enduring of Archie Fisher's songs. It was written for a BBC radio series called 'Landmarks', the lyrics as a joint production with Norman Buchan, with a tune by Glasgow fiddler and Broomhill Bum Bobby Campbell. None of Norman's verses for the programme have been kept in Archie's sung version. As the fortunes of the Clyde shipyards have changed over the years other hands have wanted to change the song. Alasdair Robertson and John McCreadie have both made amended versions. This version by The Battlefield Band is my personal favourite and comes from their eponymous debut album (Topic Records, 1977).

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