The Men They Couldn't Hang - Rain, Steam and Speed





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Published on Aug 21, 2006

promo video from the single release in 1989


One man drills a powder hole,
the colour of a bruise
One man blows the bugle and another
one lights the fuse
Blow up! Pick and shovel it!
Carry the earth away
Brains and brawn with hammers
drawn blasting through the clay

Rain is the cold
Steam is the burn
Speed is the way the world turns round

Draughtsmen and surveyors
work at pegging out the shaft
Ten of us to breathe the dust,
ten to do the graft
Underneath the Pennine range
the bodies lie in racks
Forty miles of steel and tile
follow in their tracks

Some men build a monument
Some men build a tomb
Some men move the world around
To give them breathing room
And some men build a statue
Of Isambard Brunel
Some men carve a tunnel into hell

Soon they'll build a tunnel under England
through to France
Will it make the tide run quicker;
will the flow of trade advance?
Underneath the ocean there is limestone,
chalk and sand
But coming up through the virgin rock
will be the human hand

(straight out of Paul Simmonds' 'Bag of Songs')

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