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I am a navigational and I come from County Cork,
And I had to leave me native home to find a job of work.
The crops were bad in Ireland and the tax too much to pay
And so here I am in England digging up the waterway.

Once I was a ploughman and I did a decent job,
I worked from dawn 'til darkness just to earn me copule o' bob,
But when the praties died on us I couldn't pay me way,
And so here I am in England ploughing up the waterway.

The lads who built the waterway they are a motley crew,
And when we've sweated all day long we like a drink or two,
The local folk don't take to use, but still I'm proud to say,
In years to come our monument will be the waterway.

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Source: Singing Together, Spring 1981, BBC Publications

The notes say "Words and music by Ian Campbell taken from Come listen published by Ginn & Co Ltd." I know the tune from versions of The Roving Journeyman, but I am not sure with tune came first.


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