The Coal Wharf
is a Noddy Basin Now

by David Blagrove

boat

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I've pulled my slide hole shut, smacked my windlass in the cut,
I've raked the ash and cinders from the range.
My mate has scrubbed the floor, now we've locked the cabin door,
And I'm going down to see the labour exchange.

Chorus :
'Cos it's hard, yes it's hard,
O God Our Kid its hard,
When the job you know is finished, you'll allow.
It cuts you like a knife when you lose your way of life,
And the Coal wharf is a noddy basin now.

We've got curtains made of net in our Council maisonette,
It's a handy place and on the thirteenth floor.
I'm the envy of my mates, 'cos I'm paying rent and rates,
And electric bills come floating through the door.

Chorus

On the darkest winter's night you would see our fore end light
As it crept along the high embankment's edge.
In weather fair or foul you would hear our engine's growl,
You'ld see our smoke above the towpath hedge.

Chorus

In the publics where we'd tie, when we wasn't working fly,
The locals made us welcome in the bar.
Now the walls are hung with tat, roses, castles and all that,
And the customers arrive by motor car.

Chorus
David Blagrove stated that this was 'written in 1982 on hearing that an old friend, a retired boatman, had been moved out of his "Company House" in Birmingham and into a multi-storey block of Council flats. The tune and lyrics were inspired by Max Boyce's song "The Pithead Bath's a Supermarket now".'