Braunston Belle
and the Number One

by Roger Gall

boat

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When I first saw my Rosie, my heart flew like a bird
Our eyes met at Braunston Junction, smiled but ne'r spoke a word
I watched, as she drifted on the lock-side, like a swan on Tixall Wide
Her hair, was plaited like a fender, head held up, so full of pride

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

I asked for her hand in marriage and to her father we did run
But he'd vowed, that when she married, it would be to a Number One
My heart fell, when he started speaking, then Rosie, she held the floor
"I'll wed this man or no other, till then I'll work the cut no more"

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

I swore, that to this place I'd not travel, not to see her work on the land
I may leave here a company man, but worthy will return to take her hand
She said, she would wait for me, there, each and every Whitsun Day
Years passed, and I would hear tell, of my Braunston Belle, from all who passed that way

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

In time a Number One, I became, 'The Rosie' and the butty 'Ben'
Turned south, upon the 'Shroppie' for to see my Rosie again
As I passed, all the boat's would cheer, bright ribbons and bunting flew
They cleared all the flights for me, for it seemed the whole country knew

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours

The next time, I saw my Rosie, my heart flew like a bird
Our eyes meet a Braunston Junction, smiled but ne'r spoke a word
I watched as she drifted on the lock-side, like a swan on Tixall Wide
Dressed in white, in all her splendour, as she walked on to be my bride

Roses and castles, hearts and flowers
Counting the days, counting the hours