The Finest of Them All

by Dave Ritchie

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Oh the morn was cold and raw
As we loaded at Park Royal
With a cargo of barrels that was fifty tons or more
'Twere the finest you ever saw

Chorus:
Finest you ever saw
Finest you ever saw
On the Union Staffordshire or Birmingham Canal
We're the finest you ever saw

In winter's icy claw
No road nor rail at all
It were left to the narrow boats to get the cargo through
To the finest you ever saw

Away from the wharf we draw
With the butty close behind
We'll be back down from Birmingham in under seven days
On the finest you ever saw

At last by the 'Lame Jackdaw'
We are moored and the casks are away
But word is up from Acton that they need us once again
Need the finest you ever saw

To the tunnel's dark wet maw
And on through flights we steer
Past pub bridge and winding hole we battle through each mile
On the finest you ever saw

Now a strong pint we'll draw
At the brewers wharf we lie
We're a pair down from Birmingham in thirty seven hours
We're the finest of them all

Finest of them all
Finest of them all
We're a pair down from Birmingham in thirty seven hours
We're the finest of them all
The magazine 'English Dance and Song' held a song-writing competition in 1971 and this was the winner. Between 1941 and 1948 Guiness was transported between Park Royal and Birmingham by narrow boats because of the lack of other means of transport. A speed record for working narrowboats was set when a pair of boats did the journey in 37 hours.

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