The Voyage of the Dreamcatcher

by George Rodger

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We sailed the Dreamcatcher from the Uxbridge locale
Up the Thames and the Kennet and Avon Canal
At Bristol a permanent mooring presents
So the Dreamcatcher’s bound for her new residence

We cruised the backwaters where the willow trees droop
Where the water voles splash and the Kingfishers swoop
She’ll ride beside towpaths for the next 90 days
With a volunteer crew to her new resting place

Chorus :
Dreamalong Dreamcatcher of when canals ruled our land
For an army of Irishmen dug them by hand
They carried the ale and the coal and the flour
All around the whole country at 4 miles an hour

A light hand on the tiller’s the plan of attack
For the front of the boat is so far from the back
A twitch of the wrist sends the rudder astray
Then a narrowboat moves in mysterious ways

As the land falls or rises a lock will await
So with windlass in hand we run to the lock gate
As we heave at the beams and the sluices unwind
We know that an ale house is just round the bend.

Chorus
Three lines as Chorus above, then last line:
10 tons at a time with just one horse power

With many encounters on our odyssey west
She sailed through six counties as she fled to her nest
We climbed down a 29 lock flight one day
And she lifted her skirt and sailed on her way

It’s now been three months since our voyage began
Since the Dreamcatcher sailed for the far setting sun
Her paintwork is scarred from the brickwork we bashed
Now thank God, the Dreamcatcher's in her mooring at last

Chorus
Three lines as Chorus above then last line:
To all points of the compass, at 4 miles an hour

Final Chorus
Dreamalong, Dreamcatcher, the Narrowboat supreme
Who knows what adventures await you downstream?
Fare thee well, Dreamcatcher for your dues have been paid
By the dreams that you’ve captured and the memories you’ve made
George Rodger kindly provided the song and the recording with the following explanation : 'A few months ago, I helped a friend who had just purchased a narrowboat, the Dreamcatcher, which was moored in Uxbridge. He wanted to shift it to a mooring near Bristol so we all pitched in and helped for a few miles each. This is the story of the voyage which took three months. I would add that my stint was a bit hair raising, never having piloted a narrowboat before.'