Goodbye Tillies Factory

I work at Tillies factory that overlooks the Foyle

We make shirts for all the troops to wear, it’s a life of drudge and toil.

We all love Cissie Kelly and Ruby Clingins too

They both say that any work beats signing on the ‘broo

I put a letter in the shirt and shipped it off to war

A Yank wrote back and said he’d like to meet me in a bar

He was six feet tall and handsome, was brought up in LA

And now he wants to marry me and take me far away


So goodbye Tillies factory, goodbye Creggan Heights

I’m off to California to see all those bright lights.

I’ve got my Yank, I’ll have six kids and live life in the sun

My days in Hogg & Mitchell making shirts is surely done.

I said goodbye to all the girls at the Embassy and the Crit

We married at St Eugene’s, my man was quite a hit.

We cruised across the ocean and landed in New York,

Took a train to California to the sunshine and no work.

And now we live in Fresno, our six kids and the smog

I often think of Creggan Heights, the Lone Moor and the Bog.

I think of all the factory girls, the Strand Road and the Foyle,

Nights dancing with sailors, the days of drudge and toil.


I was a GI bride once, but now I’m middle class

I’ve got no time for bigotry, that Paisley’s such an ass.

But when I think of Derry and the daily factory grind

I cry for all my friends still there and the things I left behind