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Barge Ballad is the opening track of Written In Salt. This song is a Longest Johns original , written by Josh Bowker.

The chorus of Barge Ballad features an ending line which changes, its instructions growing in each iteration of the chorus.

Lyrics

Once there was a barge lad,
(Way up atop the mast),
shouting to the skipper: we've made it home at last

Well I was that barge lad,
(Way up atop the mast),
But now I'm the skipper
and that young nipper had better be holding fast,

{Chorus}
Oh we're loaded down with bales so high,
you've got to lean backwards if you want to see the sky,
oh the Thames may forgive us, but the Alde never will
So eyes front and away we sail

Oh you've got to be able,
(Way up atop the mast),
Your legs better be nimble and your head better think fast,

Well I was that able,
(Way up atop the mast),
but now I'm the skipper and that young nipper is hearty enough to last

{Chorus}
So eyes front, keep your head, and away we sail

Oh you've eyes like an eagle,
(Way up atop the mast),
spotting all the obstacles that come across your path

Well I was that eagle,
(Way up atop the mast),
but now I'm the skipper and that young nipper will keep us from taking a bath,

{Chorus}
So eyes front, keep your head, clear your throat, and away we sail

Oh you've got to remember,
(Way up atop the mast),
knowing all the river-routes that you never learn from the charts

Well I do remember,
(Way up atop the mast),
but now I'm the skipper and that young nipper is taking the rivers to heart

{Chorus}
So eyes front, keep your head, clear your throat, know your way, fill your pipe, grab on tight, look for the lights, and away we sail

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