My Waterway World

by Ian H Bruce (2009)

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My waterway world is a wonderful place
Where everyone greets me with smiles on their face
Always tee-shirt and shorts, never jacket and tie
As that wearisome working world passes me by

Chorus:
I'm going boating, to slow down, unwind
I'm a dreamboat navigator, leaving all cares behind

In my waterway world the sun always shines
On a Kodachrome landscape that's frozen in time
No rain ever falls from a bright azure sky
Though crystal clear water levels always are high

In my waterway world every boater’s my mate
There're no dead-lines to meet so I’m never late
Nothing breaks down, so there’s nothing to mend
And there’s always a real ale pub round the next bend

In my waterway world the props always free
'Cos the cut contains none of our urban debris
Ropes never tangle, there’s no waiting at locks
It’s a lifestyle not governed by wristwatch or clocks

My waterway world provides a narrow escape
From a life of brown envelopes, rules and red tape
Navigating a system at mere walking speed
Avoiding commercial aggression and greed

But my waterway world is a foolish ideal
A Utopian fantasy, it just isn’t real
I’ll not list the problems, that's a ten verse encore
So I’ll just close my eyes and dream a bit more

This was inspired by John Connolly's 'Fiddlers Green' which describes a fishing boat crew's idea of utopia. In this canal song I just had to balance the 'dream' with the reality. After writing several verses about moody boaters, miserable fishermen, invisible waterway workers, broken lock gates, British Waterways, etc. I felt that the song was becoming rather depressing and so settled for the last verse. It would be very nice if the canals could be an escape from the realities of life, but life on a canal is just like anywhere else. Indeed, just recently, I came to the conclusion that it contains more than its fair share of unsociable individuals and 'miserable old gits'. This is therefore a song of hope for next year's boating season.