Boatmen that Are Gone
Author: Kit Ennis
Singer: Tony Malone

Dublin Core

Title

Boatmen that Are Gone
Author: Kit Ennis
Singer: Tony Malone

Subject

Theme: Local Event

Description

Location: West Carlow, Barrow The title says it all: looking back at a way of life and of work that are gone, the Barrow boys are no more. The author, Kit Ennis, was a lock keeper at Tinnahinch lock (Graiguenamanagh) in the 1920s.

Creator

The Boatmen That Are Gone

Now the Grand Canal is just the same old winding waterway
But it’s old time navigators are now moldering in the clay
Those gentle old world boatmen who sailed those waters o’er
They have departed on a voyage from which they’ll come no more
Though they are gone they’ve left us a memory sweet to save
While summer breezes whisper round their narrow silent graves
May they be with their Master and Heaven’s light shine on
Those one time hardy sons of toil the boatmen that are gone.

Out on that dreary Grand Canal when winter wind did blow
And swept before it’s icy blast the frozen flakes of snow
When others could lie down and sleep, tucked warmly in their bed
The poor old boatman got no chance to rest his weary head
And through the cold dark winter night out in snow and rain
No shelter on their watery way, each side an open plain
Exposed to all the elements they worked their boats along
And kept their drooping spirits up with a good old Irish song.

With hearts within their bosom that knew no art or guile
With honest faces that always bore a kindly welcome smile
Hearts that will never beat again, may the clay lie lightly on
Those poor toil worn bodies of the boatmen that are gone
Their lonesome cold and bitter life with cheerful hearts they bore
And for their loved ones left at home no men could suffer more
‘Till Saint Michael sounds his final call we cannot look upon
Th e faces of those friends of ours the boatmen that are gone.


I miss each old familiar face that has been cut away
Like the bloom of early summer that autumn winds decay
Their sins against the Father e’er He on them did call
Th e lives they led on earth may they atone for all
Now all you men you men who boat, remember ever more
You’ll sail out on that same old track your father sailed before
And just like them will come the day for you to sail out on
That trip from which there’s no return, like the boatmen that are gone.

Files

Citation

The Boatmen That Are Gone Now the Grand Canal is just the same old winding waterway But it’s old time navigators are now moldering in the clay Those gentle old world boatmen who sailed those waters o’er They have departed on a voyage from which they’ll come no more Though they are gone they’ve left us a memory sweet to save While summer breezes whisper round their narrow silent graves May they be with their Master and Heaven’s light shine on Those one time hardy sons of toil the boatmen that are gone. Out on that dreary Grand Canal when winter wind did blow And swept before it’s icy blast the frozen flakes of snow When others could lie down and sleep, tucked warmly in their bed The poor old boatman got no chance to rest his weary head And through the cold dark winter night out in snow and rain No shelter on their watery way, each side an open plain Exposed to all the elements they worked their boats along And kept their drooping spirits up with a good old Irish song. With hearts within their bosom that knew no art or guile With honest faces that always bore a kindly welcome smile Hearts that will never beat again, may the clay lie lightly on Those poor toil worn bodies of the boatmen that are gone Their lonesome cold and bitter life with cheerful hearts they bore And for their loved ones left at home no men could suffer more ‘Till Saint Michael sounds his final call we cannot look upon Th e faces of those friends of ours the boatmen that are gone. I miss each old familiar face that has been cut away Like the bloom of early summer that autumn winds decay Their sins against the Father e’er He on them did call Th e lives they led on earth may they atone for all Now all you men you men who boat, remember ever more You’ll sail out on that same old track your father sailed before And just like them will come the day for you to sail out on That trip from which there’s no return, like the boatmen that are gone. , “Boatmen that Are Gone Author: Kit Ennis Singer: Tony Malone,” From Carlow Streams, accessed November 30, 2021, http://fromcarlowstreams.ie/items/show/151.