You are a grand old sight
Your colours are quite plain,
Just a standard half red and white,
But when vessels come into the river,
You are a grand old sight.
You have never really been needed,
But at least skippers know you are there,
With cargoes like coal and timber,
The ships’ captains need to take extra care.
If someone did get careless,
By throwing a cigarette end away,
Some of the ships’ cargoes could easily ignite,
Making the captains quite angry they say.
The boat practices time after time,
Which keeps them on their toes,
If a ship’s fire was to happen,
You would put it out in one not two goes.
There is now sad news in the air,
The good old fire boat has had its day,
There are now a new generation of ships,
So the fireboat must go away.
After your years on the Tyne,
You are off to the breakers yard,
It is that time to say again,
On some progress can be very hard.