Ghosts © Colin Bargery 1980 Our names are not in history books We are in the space between the pages What lay within our muddied skin No-one cared and no-one wondered Our chroniclers were the inky clerks Who kept the record of our wages And the checking men who counted us Yet counted we remain un-numbered Our deeds are in between the rows Of numbers in the calculations Of rates of pay and yards per day And in jottings made by engineers Our lives are measured in the length, The depth and breadth of navigation The locks and bridges that we made To damn our sweat and span our years Our deaths are buried in reports Of soft earth that the rain made softer Of falling rock, collapsing locks And disease among the workmen's huts Our headstones are the registers Of costs against the parish coffers So much to pay the parson's fee So much to dig the six-foot cut Our memorial is in the bricks The banks, the puddle and the mortar Our cenotaph is the towing path Where now you take your recreation And our requiem is in the breeze That whispers on the silent water We leave no fame We leave no name But we have left the navigation Kindly contributed by Tony Haynes who performs it in the above clip.
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