Mudcat Café message #2963109 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #76431   Message #2963109
Posted By: Pig William
11-Aug-10 - 04:11 PM
Thread Name: songs about building boats/ships?
Subject: Lyr Add: OAK KNEES AND COPPER NAILS
Some great songs mentioned above. Just to add to the mix, here's one I wrote a few years ago inspired by the title of an exhibition in Whitstable about the history of the local shipbuilding industry - the phrase "Oak knees and copper nails" seemed too good not to be in a song, so I made one up to go with it.

OAK KNEES AND COPPER NAILS
Words and music by Mark Ashworth

The wisest choice I ever made
Was to sign on for the shipwright's trade
I work all day by the salt sea strand
But I sleep each night upon dry land
I learned my trade the best I could
I choose the trees, I shape the wood
With a careful eye and a steady hand
For a hull that will the waves withstand

CHORUS:
Oak knees and copper nails
To build a boat to bear the sails
To carry a crew of Kent-born men
Safely out and home again

My brother works on an oyster smack
He says the dredging damn' near breaks your back
It's hard enough work for little pay
But he seldom sails beyond the bay
While the colliers ply 'neath skies like lead
To keep the fires of London fed
On the cold North Sea far out from shore
From Tyne to Thames and back once more

(CHORUS)

And there's not a family along this shore
But knows the danger sailors do endure
And when their loved ones on the seas must roam
They hope for fair winds to bring them home
So as I labour by the water's side
I watch the sky, the waves and tide
And I pray my work it will not fail
To bring men safe through storm and gale

(CHORUS)