Navvy Boy

A young man searching for work is employed by a ganger(1) and lodges in the ganger's house. The ganger's daughter falls in love with him and follows him on the tramp.


When I was young and tender
I left my native home [Note 263.1]
And often to old Scotland
I started out to roam
As I walked down through Bishoptown
A-seeking for employ [Note 263.2]
The ganger(1) he knew by me
I was a navvy boy [Note 263.3]

As soon as I did get employ
For lodgings I did seek
It happened to be that very night
With the Ganger I did sleep
He had one only daughter
And I became her joy [Note 263.4]
For she longed to go and tramp(1)
With her own Navvy boy [Note 263.5]

Say the mother to her daughter
I think it very strange
That you should wed a navvy boy
This wide world for to range
For navvies they are rambling boys
And have but little pay [Note 263.6]
How could a man maintain a wife
With fourteen pence a day 

[Note 263.7]

Says to daughter to the mother
You need not run them down
My father was a navvy boy
When he came to this town
He roamed about from town to town
Just seeking for employ
Go where he will, he's my love still
My bonny navvy boy

Now just a short time after this,
Her father died I'm told
And left unto his daughter
Five hundred pounds in gold,
And when she got the money;
Soon I became her joy
For she longed to go and tramp it with
Her bonny navvy boy.