The Single Bolinder by David Blagrove Recorded by The Boatmen I had a single bolinder and she was a fine machine She used to run like hell in the night when all her parts were clean I lit her up one morning at the bottom of Ichington Ten She pulled around the Bascote Pound before she fired again And then she burned a gallon a stroke, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay You could see sod-all for smoke, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay The motor went so fast, I wound her up full blast She pulled out the butties mast, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. Oh do you ken Old Streaty's Men, the ones with heads of teak They take a load, of D.S. down the jam-hole once a week I was standing on the inside along the Langley wide When I sees a pair of boats a-come with half-an-inch a side I said "Good God! just look at that boat", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay It just can't be afloat, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay The captain must be drunk, his butty looks like it's sunk But it's only Jacky Monk, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. I knew a Braunston lassie once, her age was thiry-four She'd never had a man and so, her heart was very sore One night when she was going to bed, she thought she heard a sound And looking underneath her bed, a burgular she found But she didn't shout nor scream, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She didn't scream nor faint, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She made quite sure 'twas a man, then she cried hurrah! She locked the bloody door, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. Myself, the wife, the mother-in-law, went down to the Limehouse Quay The mother-in-law got out in a boat, for a sailor she would be She hadn't been gone a quarter-an-hour, before we hears a shout My mother-in-Law's in the water, and there she's splashing about She shouts "Help! I cannot swim", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay I said "Now's your time to learn!", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay My wife she says "You hound, you'll never watch her drowned ?" I said "I'll shut me bloody eyes!", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. I knew a man on Willow Wren, whose language did embarrass The fellows on the pleasure boats. They called him Georgie Harris So they go up the Shroppie Cut from Helston to Llangollen To get away from Georgie's road and mighty shouts of, "Collin - - Get up that F---in' boat !", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay "I'll punch you up the throat", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay You can travel north and south, you can travel near and far But look out at Worcester Bar, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. As I was walking by the cut down at Common Moor I spied a boaties daughter in the butty hatch's door She asked me in for a cup of tea with all her might and main And after the brew she served to me I'm going there again I slipped me hand along her calves, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She said "Don't do things by halves", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay I stayed to keep her company, now she's very fond of me And I'm a bugger for tea! titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. This is an adaption of the Geordie miners' song called 'Little Chance'. David Blagrove in the sleeve notes to Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth writes : A nonsense song with a strange affinity to the North Country ditty 'Little Chance'. The reference to canal characters dates back to the early 1960s. A Bolinder is an early compression-ignition engine used on the cut from 1910 onwards. Its distinctive slow running but rather erratic rhythm has inspired many devotees. 'Jam 'ole' was the name given to Messrs Kearley and Tonge's Jam factory in Southall Middlesex. 'D.S.' means double screened nuts, a type of industrial coal. 'Langley Wide' is a part of the Grand Union Canal near Kings Langley where the canal runs through the course of a river thus encouraging the boats to travel faster than normal. David has also pointed out that the second verse dates it to the period 1962-70 when Michael Streat, known to his boatmen as 'Mester Streaks' ran Blue Line Canal Carriers of Braunston, hence 'Streaty's men'. Recorded on :
The Single Bolinder by David Blagrove I had a single bolinder and she was a fine machine She used to run like hell in the night when all her parts were clean I lit her up one morning at the bottom of Ichington Ten She pulled around the Bascote Pound before she fired again And then she burned a gallon a stroke, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay You could see sod-all for smoke, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay The motor went so fast, I wound her up full blast She pulled out the butties mast, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. Oh do you ken Old Streaty's Men, the ones with heads of teak They take a load, of D.S. down the jam-hole once a week I was standing on the inside along the Langley wide When I sees a pair of boats a-come with half-an-inch a side I said "Good God! just look at that boat", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay It just can't be afloat, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay The captain must be drunk, his butty looks like it's sunk But it's only Jacky Monk, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. I knew a Braunston lassie once, her age was thiry-four She'd never had a man and so, her heart was very sore One night when she was going to bed, she thought she heard a sound And looking underneath her bed, a burgular she found But she didn't shout nor scream, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She didn't scream nor faint, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She made quite sure 'twas a man, then she cried hurrah! She locked the bloody door, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. Myself, the wife, the mother-in-law, went down to the Limehouse Quay The mother-in-law got out in a boat, for a sailor she would be She hadn't been gone a quarter-an-hour, before we hears a shout My mother-in-Law's in the water, and there she's splashing about She shouts "Help! I cannot swim", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay I said "Now's your time to learn!", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay My wife she says "You hound, you'll never watch her drowned ?" I said "I'll shut me bloody eyes!", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. I knew a man on Willow Wren, whose language did embarrass The fellows on the pleasure boats. They called him Georgie Harris So they go up the Shroppie Cut from Helston to Llangollen To get away from Georgie's road and mighty shouts of, "Collin - - Get up that F---in' boat !", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay "I'll punch you up the throat", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay You can travel north and south, you can travel near and far But look out at Worcester Bar, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. As I was walking by the cut down at Common Moor I spied a boaties daughter in the butty hatch's door She asked me in for a cup of tea with all her might and main And after the brew she served to me I'm going there again I slipped me hand along her calves, titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay She said "Don't do things by halves", titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay I stayed to keep her company, now she's very fond of me And I'm a bugger for tea! titty-fa-la, titty-fa-lay Tra, lah, la-la-la-lah Smackin' it into the cut. This is an adaption of the Geordie miners' song called 'Little Chance'. David Blagrove in the sleeve notes to Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth writes : A nonsense song with a strange affinity to the North Country ditty 'Little Chance'. The reference to canal characters dates back to the early 1960s. A Bolinder is an early compression- ignition engine used on the cut from 1910 onwards. Its distinctive slow running but rather erratic rhythm has inspired many devotees. 'Jam 'ole' was the name given to Messrs Kearley and Tonge's Jam factory in Southall Middlesex. 'D.S.' means double screened nuts, a type of industrial coal. 'Langley Wide' is a part of the Grand Union Canal near Kings Langley where the canal runs through the course of a river thus encouraging the boats to travel faster than normal. David has also pointed out that the second verse dates it to the period 1962-70 when Michael Streat, known to his boatmen as 'Mester Streaks' ran Blue Line Canal Carriers of Braunston, hence 'Streaty's men'. Recorded on :