Ditchcrawler Dreamer

by Ian H Bruce (2018)



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I'm a ditchcrawler dreamer
Not a poser, nor schemer
Not a vagabond, wastrel or cheat
I drift through the land, tiller in hand
See the best in the folks that I meet

Life's propellor may churn
But through each twist and turn
Let worries drift off in your wake
Banish workaday blues
Take a spirit fuelled cruise
And delight in the friendships you make

It's not the cut of your coat
Nor the state of your boat
Which determines your value or worth
But by utterance and deed
Make other boaters concede
You're a waterway salt of the earth

When a breakdown occurs
Your emotions are stirred
'Til there's help from some passer by
Their random kind act
Will leave your faith intact
So "three cheers" for the unsung good guy

When you're down in the lock
And your partner's up top
But is struggling to open the gate
You hear chatter and cheer
Then the lock gate swings clear
'Cos some strangers have added their weight

You will soon drift away
As your boat gently sways
But of peace there's no guarantee
So avoid towpath louts
And boaters who shout
We don't want any argy bargee

Boats that pass on the right
May be ships in the night
You may see them again or may not
But don't pass and ignore
Establish some brief rapport
Remember, courtesy costs not a lot

Canal boaters are sometimes refered to as ditchcrawlers. While steering a canal boat there is always plenty of time for thinking or dreaming so the term 'ditchcrawler dreamer' has been in my mind for some time. I decided that this song should try to reflect the more positive aspects of boating.