The Swan Song

© Tony Haynes 1975



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Swan, what do you see
Swan, when you see me?

Pardon me for being so bold
I won't disturb your noble world
I've come in peace to feel your power
Please let me stay for just this hour

Canal so overgrown
Canal what have we done

You served us well in years gone by
When horse drawn barges used to ply
There loads of timber coal and stone
From Lancaster to Kendal town

Now a motorway
Has carved it's mindless way
Across your contour winding track
Where six lane asphalt broke your back
And engine's roar and pass you by
And man ignores you while you die

Swan what do you find
Swan have we lost our minds
For progress sake must we destroy
Why can't we build and still enjoy
The peaceful times of by-gone days
I am ashamed to meet your gaze

Swan what do you see
Swan, when you see me?

The above lyrics and recording have kindly been provided by Tony Haynes. The following passage is taken from a description of an associated YouTube video.

Written in 1975 during an hour break on a heavy haulage journey from Watford to Glasgow.
When they built the M6 in about 1966, instead of bridging the old Lancaster canal, they culverted it, leaving oxbows of derelict canal on either side of the motorway.
It is much the same today, although there is a scheme to restore the upper reaches, if they can get the money, by bypassing two of the culverts and dropping the canal beneath the motorway at Tewitfield by moving the top lock in the flight from the east to the west side. I really hope this happens.