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American Ballads and Folk Songs
THE ERIE CANAL BALLAD
From Professor J. V. Denney, Head of the English Department, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Sung to the tune of "Old Black Joe."
Once I was a brakeman on the E-r-i-e Canal j I fell in love with the cook, a cross-eyed gal named Sal, She shook me for the driver, a red-headed son of a gun And left me here as you may see—a poor old bum.
I'm going, I'm going, for I know my time has come! And to the workhouse I must go, a poor old bum. As a free-lunch destroyer, I'm the terror of the route, I can wrastle with the sausage or a plate of sauerkraut And when I get a plate of beans, oh, don't I make them
hum! They're such a solid comfort to a poor old bum.
From E. R. Herriman, Syracuse, New York, about May 1, 1933:
I've just come down from Buffalo Upon the great boat "Danger; Had a long trip on the Erie And I feel just like a stranger.
Haul in your bowlines,
Stand by your saddle mules,
Don't dodge your head for low bridges,
Don't act so like a fool!
Keep up your courage, boys,
We'll land you safely in,
And when we get to Buffalo, boys,
We'll roll in barrels of gin.