The Ballad of Rosie Cooper

by Sue Lee



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They call me Rosie Cooper, I doubt you've heard the name
I was born in eighteen eighty five, from Brentford Town we came
Me father was a boatman, we lived on narrow boat
And we worked canals of England, from our own home afloat

Chorus :
Through the cold and rain and the hunger pain
We worked the old Grand Junction

Our boats were brightly painted with castles in the sky
And roses all around the door, so sweet it'd make ya cry
Our days were long and hard then as we battled through the gales
Up flights of locks, thro' tunnels dark, our bodies hard as nails!

When I was only fourteen, cold winter struck us hard
Our boats were frozen to the banks, we could not move a yard
With the water frozen solid our horses could not grip
We tried in vain the locks to gain but on towpath we did slip

Me Mother took it hardest, with seven mouths to feed
No work meant no cash no cash comin' in, for food we had to plead!
Cruel farmers they did scorn us and from their land did chase
That winter saw a hundred dead - God take them to a better place!

But now I've met me lad from Bruerne, he proposed to me last Spring
We'll be married in the Summer and I'll wear his golden ring
He's good man, he's a strong man and he's a Number One
So we'll work hard together, spend our lives on the Grand Junction

My thanks to Keepers Lock for permission to use the video.

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