Songs of the Inland Waterways - Title

When I first had a holiday on the British canals in the mid 1970s, somewhere on my journey I bought the long playing record "Straight from the Tunnel's Mouth" by The Boatmen. Along with "The Bold Navigators" which I bought a few years later, it has remained a treasured possession. Decades later with interests in canals, folk music and computing I realised how difficult it was to find songs about the UK waterways, even with the wonders of the internet. So, over 10 years ago, I created this website to gather together and provide links to songs, old and new, which relate to British and Irish waterways. It has always been a hobby project and has no commercial purpose.

Over the years I have been fortunate to be contacted by many people who have provided useful information about songs and links to useful websites or videos. My thanks to them all. Lyrics for the 300+ songs on this site are given with tunes and/or chords where possible. Contributions of missing tunes/chords are always welcome.

Snippets of commercial recordings, generally one verse (and chorus), are included to give a better idea of the songs' rhythms and melodies. Full recordings of songs which have been provided by the songwriter can also be found on the site as well as an increasing number of videos. The audio recordings are intended to open for use by your usual media player in a new window though this may not be the case with some browesers. It should therefore be possible to listen to the song whilst viewing the words or music.

When recordings are currently commercially available, details of where they can be purchased are included. Additional explanatory or historical information about the songs is included when it is known, along with links to appropriate web-sites.

Contributions from song-writers who might wish to make their songs available to others would be most welcome. Similarly, if any artist objects to the inclusion of lyrics or recordings, please let me know.

Over 300 songs related to the British canal system can be accessed via the Song Menu which lists them alphabetically. The collection can also be searched with a conventional search box.
The Reference Section lists song books and recordings of canal songs. Further details about these recordings can be accessed via the CD or lp cover image.

Whilst some of the songs in this collection are over 100 years old, there don't appear to be many 'traditional' canal songs as such, if by that we mean songs sung by the canal workers and boaters from the days when the canals were a working system. The Tommy Note and The Greasy Wheel being, perhaps, solitary examples. Most canal songs are of more recent origin, starting in the days when the canals were in danger of closure and their subsequent restoration. Since then many leisure boaters and canal enthusiasts have added to their number.

Where possible the origins of a song have been tracked down and the author(s) given full credit.

Some full recordings of older long-playing records can be accessed via the Reference section. There appears little chance of these being made commercially available and some are available elsewhere on the internet anyway. These are included for the benefit of the canal song enthusiast. If any copyright holder objects to their inclusion I will remove them.

Please e-mail with any comments or contributions. Many thanks to all those who have already contacted me with songs and information.


Home            Song Menu