Song of the Waterways by Ian H Bruce (2009) Working all hours ’til the sun has long set To provide for the family and keep out of debt While the clip-clop of hooves or the Bolinder’s beat Provide the rhythm of life while you’re dead on your feet That's the song of the waterways There’s time to reflect on the seven mile pound As old Daisy dawdles through wet muddy ground Dance tunes and melodies swirl round in my mind An escape from the boredom of life’s daily grind That's the song of the waterways Life don’t come easy for boat folk like me But music and dancing's what fills me with glee In the evening in the ale house beneath the gas-light Me mate and me dance and sing into the night That's the song of the waterways Now I have long gone and there’s silence below No boatmen, no music, no more heel and toe Only echoes of history and those sweet natural sounds ’Til pleasure boats brought life and noise back to the pounds That's the song of the waterways Now modern canal pubs serve froth and meat pies Have karaoke evenings and TV with Sky Progress brings a new sound while the old disappears Though the old boatman's ghost has fingers in his ears That's the song of the waterways Some who sing of the past take a rose-tinted view Of endeavour, invention, but real hardship too Let's look to the future and sing out and praise The resilience and splendour of our waterways Sing more songs of the waterways Whilst standing on the back of a boat in quiet surroundings with or without the rhythmical pulse of the engine, there is plenty of time to mentally sing along to a favourite song or perhaps compose one. Today, technology encourages a more passive role and a boater is more likely to be listening to an iPod or inflicting their music on others with a 'ghetto-blaster'. Well, that’s progress for you. Recorded on :
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