Joe Jencks

Rosie The Riveter Revisited

from Rise As One

Linda wrote this song to honor the women who worked in the Bremerton shipyards during WWII. It is among the finest songs I have ever sung. A wonderful homage to a difficult time.

My strong right arm built the ship
Built the ship that sailed to war
My strong right arm built the ship
Built the ship, and what was that all for

In nineteen forty one the war had just begun
Jim was so young, but soon was off to hold a gun
I was nineteen, our child was only three
When the papers said the shipyards needed me

I moved to Bremerton in nineteen forty two
I learned to weld, I was the best one on our crew
The work was hard, the heat would burn my lungs all day
But when the paycheck came we girls would feel ok

In nineteen forty three, August, 8 AM
I'd not been sleeping well, my mind was full of Jim
There was a knock, a man in uniform stood there
He said my Jim was dead, I hadn't seen him in two years

In 1945 the war came to an end
And on that very day the big boss he came in
He said my girls, the boys are coming home
You've earned a rest, go home, your work here now is done

Picked up a scrap of metal and I carved my name full bore
So my child would know, I was a welder in the war
No place to go, I was a widow with a child
So I waitressed and I cooked, and I married in a while

Sometimes I see that metal with my name carved in so deep
And I recall the day the boss told me to leave
How I felt like some old rag they'd tossed aside
As useless as my patriotic pride

My strong right arm built the ship
Built the ship that sailed to war
My strong right arm built the ship
Built the ship, and what was that all for?


© 1984 Linda Allen, October Rose Productions

updated: 9 years ago