James Brindley


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James Brindley came to Lancashire in 1759
To help the Duke of Bridgewater drain out his Worsley mine
A cut from here to Manchester, this was the master plan
And on this duly made canal the Duke's coal barges ran
They ran, they ran, the Duke's coal barges ran
And on this duly made canal the Duke's coal barges ran

For industry was changing, the age of steam at hand
And factories were rising all across the land
To feed the hungry engines the cities needed coal
To get it to them cheaply, this was Brindley's goal
His goal, his goal, this was Brindley's goal
To get it to them cheaply, this was Brindley's goal

Now Brindley was a working man, no or Lord or Duke was he
Apprenticed to a millwright in 1733
The man who worked in water, the dreamer with the skills
He was the famous man who made the water run uphill
Uphill, uphill, the water run uphill
He was the famous man who made the water run uphill

Although he was unlettered, the cross he made was grand
He made it stretch from north to south and right across the land
To get an act through Parliament to back his schemes with law
Brindley went before the Lords, drew pictures on the floor
The floor, the floor, drew pictures on the floor
Brindley went before the Lords, drew pictures on the floor

And when at last through overwork James Brindley was struck down
His friend Josiah Wedgewood wrote these words to London town
"His excellent constitution was worn down by his mind
Too ardently intent on work to benefit mankind"
Mankind, mankind, to benefit mankind
Too ardently intent on work to benefit mankind



The words above were transcribed from a 1983 BBC TV programme featuring The Spinners and with narration by Mike Harding. The video above starts at 28m 4s to play this song. The full programme can be viewed here.