Words and Music by John Crowe
© The Tollhouse Company (2001)
Brindley and Wilkinson, Wedgwood and Watt,
Boulton and Darby they hatched out a plot
To shape an industrial future and then
We could all sing the praises of practical men.
In the hard heart of England these men had their dream,
They dreamed of the power of water and steam,
Of water and steam and of iron and clay,
They showed us the future and then led the way.
Practical men, practical men,
Come sing the praises of practical men;
A working man's home is his castle again
Thanks to the labours of practical men.
In Brindley's canal now the water is still
Where black, iron barges once ploughed to the mill,
Up to the mill or down to the mine,
Wilkinson's barges, the first of their line.
No satins or silks in the cargo were there
But coal and cast iron and crockery ware,
Pennyworth kettles and cheap pots and pans
To better the home of the labouring man.
So, Brindley and Wilkinson, Wedgwood and Watt,
Boulton and Darby they gave us a lot:
Ranges to cook on and pots of the best,
Cast iron coffins*, the better to rest,
Steam powered factories roaring away
Where practical slaves went to work every day
For we became part of the practical dream
Of clay, coal and iron, of water and steam.
*'bedsteads' can be substituted for 'coffins'.
Words and music by John Crowe of 'The Tollhouse Company'.