The Easter Boatman

by Johnny Handle (1990)

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Cruising down the waterway, on an Easter's afternoon,
It's not quite nice to break the ice, to break the ice, We'll have to do it soon...
The gas bottle's quite empty, the dog's pissed on the coals,
We've ate all the grub, it's two mile to the pub, We're really in a hole!

We've just run out of diesel, and we're stuck across the bridge,
Me wallet's fallen over the side, ne beer left in the fridge,
Wor Lass has just vanished down the towpath, takin' all the kids,
A holiday on the owld canal? Aa think Aa'll flip me lid

But here's a seventy footer, it really gives iss courage
It's full of eighteen -yer old old lassies, from the local trainin' college,
They're swarmin' over me bulkheads, and balancin' me trim,
Aa'll get a tow, Aa'm certain now, the future's not so grim.

Now they've rubbed me gooseflesh off, Aa'm getting back me power,
A nubile ginger matron's showed iss how te work the shower,
They've tekktn' iss on their hire craft, until Aa can recover,
Aa'm startin te like me boatin' days, Aa think Aa'll stop forever!

I am indebted to Johnny Handle who has taken the time to provide me with printed copies of his canal songs. Johnny has written many songs, mainly about coal mining and his native north-east of England - an area deprived of canals. More details of Johnny Handle's work can be found on his website and Pete Wood has recently (2017) written his biography.