The Fray Bentos Tinned Pie by Ian H Bruce (2008) Chorus : Fallen trees block your way The propeller’s stuck fast Or the pound it has simply run dry There're no pubs close at hand Fresh food’s sell-by’s long past So get out the Fray Bentos tinned pie Some ideas of a British canal holiday May be gleaned from a glossy Blakes guide The reality offers experiences new Like the famous Fray Bentos tinned pie Every boat on the system carries these pies Some use them as ballast I’m told They are useful because they never get used For emergencies only they’re stored When provisions are low and there’s no food left fresh There’s a desperate search for some ‘eats’ We could eat the tinned pie some wag suggests With puff pastry and its dubious* meats You can’t eat the tinned pie, comes quick the retort For emergencies only it says We may have no food but we will not starve There’s a take-away ten miles that way The emergency comes and the pie must be ate We’re marooned just before Tixall Wide Though the circular tin looks so inviting With no opener we can’t get inside When I throw the tin overboard Dame Fortune smiles I just cannot believe my good luck To go with the store-cupboard soy sauce and rice We can now add one crispy dazed duck! * This may be replaced by 'delicious' depending on your point of view or fear of prosecution. Since writing this I have been amazed by the number of fellow boaters who have admitted to having out-of-date tinned pies on their boats.
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