Waterways

by Vincent Dunn

boat

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In days gone by now
So I've been told
These narrowboats built
To carry grain and coal

So wide the mills
Where worked the looms
When cotton was the rage
Men stoked the fires
That gave us steam
Young boy watched the gauge

Chorus :
Waterways round our town
History before you
So close your eyes and you'll agree
What I say is true

Towpaths are well worn
Where horses trod
With his master beside him
And sounds of his clogs

In my mind's eye I see
A face wracked with pain
Both man and beast they tow the boat
Through the mist and rain

Chorus

Wildlife abundant
Flora and streams
Those filled in sections
Water ran free

Flatties queued for the locks
Tidings exchanged
While overhead on aqueducts
Through the air we sailed

Chorus

Now those days have long gone
And industry's changed
But the waters around us
They still remain

The old man's retired, the horse has died
And the engine's took its place
But the Castlefield and the Mary Grey
And Atilla still remain

Chorus

Written and sung by the late Vincent Dunn with the Manchester folk band Rum All In, which featured actor John Henshaw and Ged Collins, David King, Gerard Gyves and Bernard Wilson. Waterways is about the history of the canals around Manchester and Salford. The band was formed in the 1980s.