Push Boys Push(Dudley Canal Tunnel Song)Dudley Canal Trust We're going though this tunnel, push boys pushWe're trying to save this tunnel, push boys pushIt's the pride of Dudley TownAnd they're trying to close it downSo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushWe'll go through Castle Mill, push boys pushCathedral Arch as well, push boys pushThere's no more fresh-air smellWhen you pass by the WellSo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushThe boat's been going through, push boys pushSince seventeen-ninety-two, push boys pushIt's a crime and it's a shameThat we cannot do the sameSo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushDon't let your strength to fail, push boys push'Cos we're coming to the Jail, push boys pushWe may get stuck insideIf the boat it is too wideSo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushThe tunnel's two miles long, push boys pushThat's why we sing this song, push boys pushIt keeps our spirits highWhile we cannot see the skySo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushAnd now we're coming nigh, push boys pushOh don't you see the sky, push boys pushWe'll have a celebrationNow we've sung it to the nationSo, push boys pushHo! push boys pushYes! push boys pushNow! push boys pushWell, push boys pushThe words to "Push Boys Push" were written, circa 1966, during a trip through Dudley Tunnel by Glyn Phillips and other members of the then Dudley Canal Tunnel Preservation Society, and later added to the tune composed by Glyn. DCTPS became Dudley Canal Trust. Jon Raven took the song and performed a slightly different version. (Information kindly provided by Tony Gregory).Dudley Tunnel is a very narrow tunnel running under the town, connecting the Dudley Canal to the Birmingham Main Line at Tipton. This 3000 yard tunnel was opened in 1792 and as it had no towing path, boats had to be legged through. The closure of the canal was proposed in 1959 but a group of enthusiasts resisted the closure, forming what became the Dudley Canal Trust. The canal was re-opened in 1973 and as the ventilation is poor, boats must still be legged through or pulled by an electrically operated tug.The tunnel contains old limestone workings, and is not a simple straight-through tunnel.The various features referred to in the song are: Castle Mill - a basin open to the surface; Cathedral Arch - the underground junction of two tunnels; the Well - an air shaft; the Jail - a kink in the tunnel.This film from the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) (1964)came to my attention thanks to the efforts of Tim Lewis.Recorded on :
Recorded by The Black Country Three on ‘The Jolly Machine’ which was an LP record made by Michael Raven and Joan Mills with folk group Saga in 1974 for the Folk Heritage label (FHR053). Subtitled: Songs of Industrial Protest and Social Discontent from the West Midlands as printed in the book of the same name. It was released in CD format and is available from the Mike Raven website.