Narrowboat Song

by Daniel Cainer



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It took a thousand navigators to dig out this canal
Cut into the hillside, connecting up the town
With hands and picks and shovels
They moved a million tons of rubble
So they could send the long and narrow boats down

Mr James Brindley, a plumbing engineer
Designer of the system we know now
Without pistons, without funnels
He made the locks and the lifts and the tunnels
And the horses pulled the narrow-boats down

They pulled the narrow-boats down, the narrow-boats down
Coal and iron ore and lime
Before Victoria was Queen, when Britannia reigned supreme
Back in the olden days
Back down the waterways of time

Hail the mighty engine coming down the track
Fail the narrow boat men, the boatmen ran aground
Now we spend our holidays
Chugging down these waterways
And we steer the long and narrow boats down

The long and narrow boats down, the narrow boats down
A haven from the city stress and crime
In your floating caravan you can be Popeye the sailor man
Just like the olden days
Down the waterways of time

Three whole miles an hour won’t take you very far
Floating through the country to the rattling diesel sound
Eating al fresco, stopping off at Tesco
And we steer the long and narrow boat down
Harrison and Collista appreciate the vista
As they steer the long and narrow boat down