Big River

Walking on cobbled stones, little bits o' skin and bone
Jumping on the tram car for a ride
I can remember then, 'cause I was just a boy of ten
Hanging around the old quayside
Now all the capstans and the cargo boats
And stevadores are gone
To where all the old ships go
But memories just like the seas 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 coaly tyne

Chorus 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 seas 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


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 you believe that there's a bond
Between our future and our past
Then try to hold on to what we have
We build them strong, we build to last
'Cause this is a mighty town, built upon solid ground
And everything they've tried so hard to kill
We will rebuild


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

Performed and written by Jimmy Nail.