A Working Boatie Man

Graeme Meek 1986



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Now when I was at my father's knee
A boatie, then, I vowed I'd be.
I longed for a life that was so free
As a working boatie man.

And oh the life of a boatie man
And how I wish that it ne'er began.
Come rain and snow and then I know
I shall curse the life of a boatie.

So as a young man then I'd go
To work the boats from Witcheloe
And up and down the cut I'd go
As a working boatie man.

First to London I would go
With thirty tons of sand in tow
And all who'd see me, they would know
I'm a working boatie man.

Now to Wolverhampton we are bound.
At Sandhole Bridge we load with sand.
It'll take five days to cross the land
For a working boatie man.

Three boats laden high with sand;
Ninety tons to the Midlands bound,
And there we'll shovel it out by hand,
That's a working boatie man.

At Wolverhampton town we then
Unload and turn her round again.
This trip will earn us five pounds ten
For a working boatie man.

Then Leighton bound we are once more
Though none of us can tell for sure
What cargoes they may have in store
For a working boatie man.
The Grand Union Canal at Leighton Buzzard and Linslade was used extensively for carrying sand from the local pits to glass works in the Midlands and for building in the Midlands and London. This song is based around the idea of someone who wants to work on the boats but finds the job rather harder work than expected.


This song is recorded on the Life & Times CD 'Charivari', Wixamtree Recordings WIX051 

Graeme Meek, who wrote the song and kindly provided the words, music and additional information, is a member of song duo 'Life and Times' and dance band 'Time of Your Life'.

See www.lifeandtimes.info, www.timeofyourlife.info, www.lifeandtimes.org.uk & www.myspace.com/broadsidesrevisited

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