Now all my life I've lived beside
The waters that they call the Clyde
I build the ships and watch them glide
Down the Broomielaw, sir
Trudge to work in sleet and rain
Labour for another's gain
Know your place and don't complain
That's the rich man's law, sir

When I was young I read with pride
How Scotland's heroes fought and died
To keep the nation fortified
Against the English crown sir
Scots wae hae with Wallace led
By clerics fancy were misled
Fought amang themselves instead
By it were brought down, sir

When the Billy Boys were marching in
The sash their fathers wore
The day they slew the Fenien crew
three hundred years before
The gentry give a smile and lift their glasses to John Bull
Who keeps us all in poverty with the old divide and rule

The pipes did play the drums did beat
On heathered glen and cobbled street
The solemn tramp of marching feet
Returned the call to arms, sir
In the field where cattle grazed
Brother's hand to brother raised
Thus the name of God was praised
In the smoke of burning farms, sir

Oh would that I might see the day
When tyranny is swept away
Honest work for honest pay
Becomes the right of all sir
As for gentile so for Jew
Protestant and Catholic too
Every race and every hue
Secure within four walls sir

And the Billy Boy and Fenian
Together make a stand
To raise the flag of workers' power
All across the land
Declare in the factory the office and the school
We'll put and end to poverty and the old divide and rule

Lyrics submitted by zel999

The Old Divide and Rule song meanings
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