C Am Walking through long wet grass Dm G Swinging my old windlass C Am F G I trudge from lock to lock, rarely on board C Am Stepping through muddy pools Dm G Why am I such a fool? C Am G C A love of canals should bring more reward C Am Dm G Raise up the paddle and push on the balance beam C Am F G Cold in the pouring rain, Open that gate C Am Dm G Then trudge round t’other side, Why is it just too wide C Am G C Don’t drop the windlass, Whoops, it’s too late! He’s steers a narrowboat Why’s that so difficult? Eating and drinking while floating along, Slowing to say hello Listening to Status Quo Swearing at fishermen, all the day long Call this a holiday? All I see’s work not play Cooking and cleaning’s no labour of love Then when the locks appear Open those lock gates, dear! Cries from the captain to give one more shove Hands slip on balance beam I let out such a scream Turn black and blue with each full bloodied bruise While down in the lock below He sips a red Bordeaux Senses KO’d by a skinful of booze Then when the boating’s done He thinks it’s time for fun Batteries charged from sitting all day He grins like a Cheshire cat Until he’s turned down flat The captain deflates like a cooling soufflé © I H Bruce 2008
Call this a Holiday?
I think this was one of the the first canal songs I wrote. The lines 'walking through long wet grass, swinging my old windlass' came about as I did just that on the Staffs and Worcs Canal near Gailey. Unlike a seemingly high proportion of male boaters, I do actually operate locks, where I meet a seemingly high proportion of women doing the same. As they often do all the household (boat) chores and the cooking, I wondered just how much of a holiday it was for them. The song is written from that female perspective.
Capo 3
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