The Miller's Ghost	©Brian Hooper 1979

As I walked o'er the causeway, 
Bound for the Village Bells,
There came a rumbling in the air
Like the turning of some wheels.
It might have been the tide mill,
But it's rusted many a year;
So I put it down to motor-cars
And turned my thoughts to beer.
And the tide rolls on, at the bidding of the moon;
When the hatches rise, the miller's prize
Comes tumbling from the stone.

        Then later in the evening, as homeward I did go,
        I paused a while upon the bridge to watch the waters flow.
        A dusty figure there appeared, and the miller he did say
        "We'll have good flour in the sack before the break of day."
	        And the tide rolls on ……

                It's oft I pass the mill-house and listen for the sound
                Of water on the paddles and the stones a-turning round;
                But the mill is ever quiet, only time still grinds away,
                And rats and rust and woodworm are the millers in his pay.
	                And the tide rolls on ……

                        But now the wheels turn again and life has been restored;
                        The power's found, the flour's ground the way it was before.
                        There's a brand new set of paddles and the stones are newly dressed;
                        So now the ghostly miller can lie down and take his rest.
	                        And the tide rolls on ……
Eling Tide Mill, on Bartley Water just before it joins the Test to flow into Southampton Water, was restored in the 1970s to become the only working tide mill in western Europe.  There’s been a mill there since Roman times.  I and some friends made an EP, on the Forest Tracks label, to help raise funds, and this was my songwriting contribution.  The EP was called “The Flour of the Forest” and that name is now used for flour produced and sold at the mill.