The Sixty Foot Narrowboat

by Ian H Bruce (2008)

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I stand on the stern of a sixty foot narrow-boat
Fifty-five feet from the solid fuel stove
Cold and alone, drenched to the bone
Oh where is my mate? Oh where is my love?

Me mate's in the cabin of the sixty foot narrow-boat
Forty five feet from the cold and the wet
She’s cosy and warm, sheltering from storms
I asked for a hot brew, she’d best not forget

The kettle’s been on in the sixty foot narrow-boat
The tea long-since brewed has now all been drunk
Me mate’s in a comfy chair, eating fresh cream éclairs
My hopes of a hot drink seem scuppered and sunk

There are problems galore on a sixty foot narrow-boat
Communication being one for a start
An intercom was installed, so me mate could be called
But dead dry-cell batteries now keep us apart

I've not been forgotten on the sixty foot narrow-boat
Me mate ventures out with refreshments at last
And though I’d prefer a tea, she brings a cold coffee
With an iced currant rock bun whose sell-by’s long past

Though luxuries abound on this sixty-foot narrow-boat
Few are apparent as I stand and steer
Miserable, feeling blue, desperately needing loo
Cross-legged I pray that my mate will appear

Temperature’s rise in the sixty-foot narrow-boat
Resentment and anger, simmer and grow
When the silence is broken, harsh words are spoken
And me mate returns tearful to the cabin below

And what is the name of this sixty-foot narrow-boat
What name was it given by my mate and me?
Was it Odin or Thor or some god of war?
No, my mate and me live on board ‘Harmony’.

'Call this a Holiday?' puts forward one view of narrowboating and I felt obliged to write another song to provide balance. My wife would like me to point out that this song is entirely fictitious and is in no way based on anything that happens on our 48 foot narrowboat.