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American Ballads and Folk Songs
From "An old Buffalo girl," May 10, 1933:
A light on the Erie Canal,
The water was three feet deep,
The pollywog swallowed his tail
And the tears rolled down his cheeks*
From N. E. Bugbee, Cortland, New York, May 13, 1933:
I've traveled all around this world and Tonawanda, too, Was cast on desert islands, was beaten black and blue, Was shot and cut at Bull's Run, I've wandered since a boyj But I'll ne'er forget the trip I drove from Buffalo to Troy.
For it was tramp, tramp and tighten up your lines, And watch the playful horse flies 'round the mules they climb, For it was cuss, kick, and swish, forget it I never shall When I drove a team of sorrel mules on the Erie Canal.
The cook we had on board that boat stood six feet in her sock, Her hand was like an elephant's ear, her breath would open a lock} A maiden of sixty summers was she, she slept upon the floor, And when at night she'd get to sleep, phew! Sufferin'! How she'd snore!
From D. Gillispie, Buffalo, New York, May 13, 1933. "Sung by Johnny Bartley in the eighties, at the Alhambra Varieties on Commercial Street near the Erie Canal."
I've traveled all around this world and Tonawanda too. I've been cast on desert islands and beaten black and blue. I fought and bled at Bull's Run and wandered since a boy— But I'll never forget the trip I took from Buffalo to Troy. Whoa! Back! Get up! Forget it I never shall, When I drove a team of spavin mules on the Erie Canal.
The cook we had on board the deck stood six feet in her socks— Her hand was like an elephant's ear and her breath would open the locks.