The Finest of Them All by Dave Ritchie Oh the morn was cold and raw As we loaded at Park Royal With a cargo of barrels that was fifty tons or more 'Twere the finest you ever saw Chorus: Finest you ever saw Finest you ever saw On the Union Staffordshire or Birmingham Canal We're the finest you ever saw In winter's icy claw No road nor rail at all It were left to the narrow boats to get the cargo through To the finest you ever saw Away from the wharf we draw With the butty close behind We'll be back down from Birmingham in under seven days On the finest you ever saw At last by the 'Lame Jackdaw' We are moored and the casks are away But word is up from Acton that they need us once again Need the finest you ever saw To the tunnel's dark wet maw And on through flights we steer Past pub bridge and winding hole we battle through each mile On the finest you ever saw Now a strong pint we'll draw At the brewers wharf we lie We're a pair down from Birmingham in thirty seven hours We're the finest of them all Finest of them all Finest of them all We're a pair down from Birmingham in thirty seven hours We're the finest of them all The magazine 'English Dance and Song' held a song-writing competition in 1971 and this was the winner. Between 1941 and 1948 Guiness was transported between Park Royal and Birmingham by narrow boats because of the lack of other means of transport. A speed record for working narrowboats was set when a pair of boats did the journey in 37 hours. Susan Catchpole has been kind enough to transcribe the music from a recording and supply a pdf of the score (key of G). This can be downloaded here. Recorded on :
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