Big Ditch Flood - Matthews / While
Written for the BBC Radio 2 documentary ‘Tales from the towpath – the building of the Manchester ship canal’


When the floods came in, showed no mercy on that day.
When the floods came in, broke the bridges down and washed them all away.
When the floods came in, it was a heavy price to pay,
So many went down, so many men drowned,
In the big ditch.


When the waters froze, turned the tide to stone,
When the waters froze, locked the locomotives down below,
When the waters froze, No work now `til the thaw,
Idle hands wont make you rich,
Frozen out of work at the big ditch.


When the seasons changed and the sun had hit the ground,
When the seasons changed, it was devastation that they found.
When the seasons changed, it was time to rally round,
To meet the cost and beat the hitch,
With so much washed away in the big ditch.