Tixall Wide

by Allen Maslen (Accolade Music)
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I am the narrow boat
And I steer my course along
The waterways of England
From each dawn to setting sun
And with every beat of my Bolinder heart
I pray you'll keep my spirit
When my working life is done
For you and I, we've worked as one
And the mist still rolls on, every fine summer's morning
Every sunrise brings the light into my eye
But I know one day I'll be on that staircase to heaven
And those pearly gate paddles in the sky

Chorus :
So please remember when I've died
When I'm all used and dried
Oh, how the waterways I used to walk beside
In this world they are my joy
In the next they are my pride
So burn me with this fire I hold inside
And sink my ashes down the Tixall Wide

I steer the narrow boat
And no greater joy I've found
Than every day another flight
Every night another pound
And I'd give each turn of this old windlass heart
If you will keep my spirit
And I'll keep the sights and sounds
You'll never lay me in cold ground
And the mist still rolls on . . .

CHORUS

He's never known the house of stone
Where cold winds never blow
His destiny runs freer than the winding rivers flow
The tiller arm's his only friend
Out in the wind and snow
And all this makes the boatman
The richest man I know
Allen Maslen is a member of the folk-rock band 'Meet on the Ledge'. The lyrics come from their web-site.
Tixall Wide is a beautiful wide stretch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal close to the junction with the Trent and Mersey Canal. When the canal was built the landowner at Tixall give permission for construction of the canal on condition that the canal should be made to look like a lake. Apparently this is a popular spot for the scattering of canal lovers' ashes and this is what the song is about.