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Lock-Keeper

This song is by Stan Rogers and appears on the album From Fresh Water (1984).

Spoken: There is an extensive system of locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
The locks have a marvellous history.
It's a pity they couldn't speak half the tales they've been privy to.
I guess it probably goes without saying that everyone who has to travel to make a living will relate to the
parallels in this song.
Stan loved the road and performing was life's-blood, but he wanted very badly to be the lock-keeper.


You say, "Well-met again, Lock-keeper!
We're laden even deeper that the time before
Oriental oils and tea brought down from Singapore"
As we wait for my lock to cycle
I say, "My wife has just given me a son"
"A son!" you cry, "Is that all that you've done?"

She wears bougainvilla blossoms
You pluck 'em from her hair and toss 'em in the tide
Sweep her in your arms and carry her inside
Her sighs catch on your shoulder
Her moonlit eyes grow bold and wiser through her tears
And I say, "How could you stand to leave her for a year?"

"Then come with me" you say, "to where the Southern Cross
Rides high upon your shoulder"
"Come with me!" you cry
"Each day you tend this lock, you're one day older
While your blood runs colder"
But that anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your life for one hour of home

Sure I'm stuck here on the Seaway
While you compensate for leeway through the Trades
And you shoot the stars to see the miles you've made
And you laugh at hearts you've riven
But which of these has given us more love of life
You, your tropic maids, or me, my wife

"Then come with me" you say, "to where the Southern Cross
Rides high upon your shoulder"
"Ah come with me!" you cry
"Each day you tend this lock, you're one day older
While your blood runs colder"
But that anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your life for one hour of home
Ah your anchor chain's a fetter
And with it you are tethered to the foam
And I wouldn't trade your whole life for just one hour of home

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