The Boatman’s Song by Mike Donald Romans built the Foss Dyke Cross the Lincoln fens Brindley crossed the Mersey With his pick and shovel men Water bridge and water They beat the turnpike toll Duke became a millionaire With a knock-down price for coal Mill lords and river men Fought for the right Turn the river into gold Almost stole the night Titus Salt and Jessop Sheffield's iron men Cut up and straightened out The river came to them Coal, salt and chemicals Cornish china clay Gaily painted long boats All along the narrow way Horse, marines and leggers Cross the pennine chain Blasting out the millstone grit Was the navvies' game Folk lived like gypsies Ruled by wind and tide Always in blue gansey With a squeeze box by their side Telling tales of summer drought Boats marooned by flood Icey days when lock gates froze Rum flowed in their blood Sometimes I walk along The reed lined old canal I'm from East Marton With a sheepdog for a pal See the fancy coloured craft With the sounds of Radio 1 Happy times a plenty Came too late for some Written and sung by the late Mike Donald, this track is from the 1972 lp 'North by North East' (Galliard 4020)
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