Big River, Jimmy Nail.

This song became the anthem of the Women of the Waterfront. I have listened to it on repeat all day and, whilst it’s not about the Mersey, it may as well be! It’s a good job historians went all postmodern as I am very emotionally invested in my project. Don’t worry, I know I need to acknowledge my subjectivity and I will do so in my dissertation. However, right now it is 8:30pm on a rainy July evening and I want to revel in it. The lyrics are great, the song is great, the Women of the Waterfront were (still are) great.

Walking on cobbled stones
Little bits of skin and bone
Jumping on a tram car for a ride

I can remember then
‘Cause I was a just a boy of ten
Hanging around the old Quayside

Now all the capstans and the cargo boats
And Stevedores are gone
To where all the old ships go
But memories, just like the sea live on

‘Cause that was when coal was King
The river was a living thing
And I was just a boy but it was mine
The coal Tyne

For this was a big river
I want you all to know
That I was proud

This was a big river
But that was long ago
That’s not now
That’s not now

My father was a working man
He earned our living with his hands
He had to cross the river every day

He picked up a Union card
Out of the Neptune yard
Mouths to feed and bills to pay

There came a time for him to sail
Across the sea and far away
And finally when that war was won
You brought him home and home he stayed

And when his days were done
Under a golden sun
You took him back to where he longed to be
Back to the sea

For this was a big river
I want you all to know
That I was proud

This was a big river
But that was long ago
That’s not now
That’s not now

That’s not now

The Neptune was the last to go
I heard it on my radio
And then they played
The latest number one

But what do they do all day
And what are they supposed to say
What does a father tell his son?

If you believe that there’s a bond
Between our future and our past
Try to hold on to what we have
We build them strong, we built to last

‘Cause this is a mighty town
Build upon a solid ground
And everything they’ve tried so hard to kill
We will rebuild

For this is a big river
I want you all to know
I’m so very proud

This is a big river
But that was long ago
That’s not now

And this is a big, big river
And in my heart I know
It will rise again
The river will rise again

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