Billy was born within sight of the shipyard
First son of a riveter's son
And Billy was raised as the ship grew a shadow
Her great hull would blot out the light of the sun
And six days a week he would watch his poor father
A working man live like a slave
He'd drink every night, and he'd dream of a future,
Of money he never would save

Billy would cry when he thought of the future
Soon came a day when the bottle was broken
They launched the great ship out to sea
He felt he'd been left on a desolate shore
To a future he desperately wanted to flee

What else was there for a ship-builder's son
A new ship to be built, new work to be done
One day he dreamed of the ship in the world
It would carry his father and he
To a place they would never be found
To a place far away from this town
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Trapped in the cage of the skeleton ship
All the workmen suspended like flies
Caught in the flare of acetylene light
A working man works till the industry dies

And Billy would cry when he thought of the future
Then what they call an industrial accident
Crushed those it couldn't forgive
They brought Billy's father back home in an ambulance
A brass watch, a cheque, maybe three weeks to live

What else was there for a riveter's son?
A new ship to be built, new work to be done
That night he dreamed of the ship in the world
It would carry his father and he
To a place they could never be found
To a place far away from this town,
A Newcastle ship with no coals
They would sail to the island of souls
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Island Of Souls Lyrics