Dream Captain

© Tony Haynes 1977

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Chorus :
Dream captain, where are you goin to?
Dream captain, where you gonna turn?
Dream captain, the waterways are calling you
Canals have made you their queen
You're captain of the narrowboat dream


When your mother died, you hardly cried
For childhood pain left you empty inside
But in her will she remembered you still
Her legacy gave you your thrill

Just enough to buy your 'Dream'
A floating home of red and green
Seventy feet with a seven foot beam
You're captain of the narrowboat Dream

Chorus

Life was grand in the early days
As you slipped like sand through the waterways
Without a care in the world to share
With the sun on your cheeks and the wind in your hair

The rippling hull soothed your troubled brow
As the thudding diesel called the cows
Who chewed the cud as you stirred the mud
From the bottom of the cut... like navvies' blood

Chorus

You locked her through the failing year
Thrilling to the sound of the paddle gear
And John was singing by your side
His songs of love that you can't hide

His hand on the tiller as he steered her through
The bridge holes as they yawned in view
And the unborn child moved in your womb
And your mind was freed from the family's tomb

Chorus

Then came the dawn when the child was born
And Johnny, he left you the following morn
To 'try his hand with a new jug band
On one night stands throughout the land'

And now you bleed in your hour of need
And the child is crying for her feed
And the money's gone like a fading song
And winter nights are drawing long

Chorus

Now you're all alone in your floating home
And through the trees the wild winds moan
And on the towpath lies the snow
And past the hull cold waters flow

And as you stare in dark despair
Reflected in your own nightmare
You know full well you'll have to sell
This floating 'Dream' has become your hell!


Kindly contributed by Tony Haynes. He states : Written after dreaming that I heard the song on the radio. Originally I didn't like the dreamt ending, so I gave it a happy ending. But the following night I had the same dream, and changed the ending back to how it was originally. 3rd August 1977
A true story? Who knows? Whenever I see a boat called Dream, I wonder. It is no accident that my own boat, acquired 22 years later, is called 'Dreamcatcher'.