A Song About Freda Streeter, written by a guy named Ian Down (+ a 10 minute video that chronicles his swim) (Brilliant)

In 2010 a guy named Ian Down swam the channel in 15 hours and 47 minutes.

Ian had a tough swim, as he was awarded the Best Swimmer in Arduous Conditions for the 2010 season. He also had some tough encounters with Freda Streeter, the mother of The Channel. He wrote a song about her called “The Channel General Song.”

Here it is …

The Channel General sat one day
Surveying her swimmers in the bay
The Wind was soft. The sun was up
Freda drained the tea from her cup

Barry was up, and maxim-making
His shingle stompers to the swimmers taking
She stubbed her fag. She felt sublime
Her red caps were coming in to feed on time

(But one got out and said:)

Can’t do it
Let me quit
My shoulder’s bad I need to moan
I’m hypothermic
Feeling sea sick
I’m tired and I want to go home
Feel horid
And squalid
I need to get out and eat something solid
Can’t do it I’ve had enough

(So Freda said:)

Stop chatting
Go back-to-backing
Or you’ll get an extra hour or so
Quit bleating
My heart’s a-bleeding
If you’re asking to get out, it’s ‘no’
No more yak
Just go back
I’m not fooled by your plan of attack
Get in and start to swim

(But still she heard:)

Don’t want to
I’ve turned blue
I can’t feel my hands no more
Must stop now
Can’t see how
I can swim when I’m so sore
It’s no fun
When you’re stung
By a jellyfish the size of the sun
Can’t do it I’m getting out

(So Freda replied:)

Get to it.
Swim through it.
Do 5 hours and you’ll be through
Listen mate
Nothing great
Is easy in life it’s true
Don’t blubber
Or ask for mama
Just move one hand and then the other
I’ve heard it all before

(no chatting at the walls)

I’ve heard it all before
(come in on time for your feeds)
I’ve heard it all before

(stay close to the shore)
I’ve heard it all before

And here’s his video. We’ll have one of these for Douglas in short order. At the end of this video, watch for the lovely picture of Freda Streeter hugging Ian. Brilliant.

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