There were once hundreds of steps or stairs on the Thames now there are few and are mostly in a poor state of repair. As taxi drivers on the roads learn the Knowledge of every road in London so the watermen knew all the stairs and their adjoining streets. They gave access to the river for the watermen to load and unload goods and passengers.
I wrote the tune for tin whistle in about 2011 when I was at the height of my skill on the instrument. Unfortunately I never mastered the art of singing and playing tin whistle at the same time so this remains the only recording.