Working Boatman's Way

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Around the pound came the joyful sound
Of the motor pulling fair
Through the water still, moved the forward swill
Of water from a deeply loaded pair
In the morning cold, the grey smoke grow‘d
From the chimney pots with brazen rims so gay
In the early morn when the cruisers yawn
Lies a working boatman's way

When the boats are fast in the icy blast
And the strong nor' easters roar
Then we pay the price of the frost and ice
In laying up and waiting for a thaw
When the credit bills in the cut-side tills
Are steadily increasing every day
Then it‘s cut by half, pay in cash or starve
Is the working boatman's way

A worker true who will get them through
Is the type the water breeds
On a watery rut, like the Moira Cut,
Where every turn is full of mud and weeds
If the water‘s there we will take our pair
No matter what the dismal Jimmies say
When they're all in bed we'll be getting 'em ahead
That's the working boatman‘s way

Thanks to Ray Butler for providing corrections to a previously mis-transcribed version and for pointing out that the 'brazen rims' in the first verse are the brass rings around the chimney. Also that the 'Moira cut' which can be found on the Ashby Canal.

This was specially written by David Blagrove for the BBC Radio Enterprises Record "Narrow Boats" in 1968.

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