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American Ballads and Folk Songs
A maid of fifty summers was she, the most of her body was on the
floor, And when at night she went to bed, oh, suffering how she'd snore!
Whoa! Back! Get up! and tighten up your line— And watch the playful flies as on the mules they climb* Whoa! Back, duck your nut, forget it I never shall, When I drove a team of spavin mules on the Erie Canal.
Sung by Henry "Kip" Conway, Morrisburg, Ontario:
The Erie's raging and the gin is going low,
We'll never get another drink till we get to Buffalo.
The cook I had on deck stood six foot in her sock,
Had a hoof like an elephant and her breath would open a lock}
She could kick, smile, or dance—forget I never shall
When I drove the team of mules on the Erie-I Canal.
Hit 'er, shove 'er, go up in the juber-ju;
Give her a line and let her go, ol' Kip'll pull her through.
I had a second cousin on the towpath treading dirt, Git aboard, you son of a gun, with your lousy undershirt. Hit 'er, shove 'er, go up in the juber-ju; Give her a line and let her go, ol' Kip'll pull her through.
Three nights out of Hudson
We struck a rock of coal,
Which gave the boat a h—1 of a shock (fearful shock)
And stove in quite a hole.
I hollered to my driver on the towpath treading dirt j And he jumped aboard and stopped the leak With his lousy undershirt.
One night on the Erie I couldn't sleep a wink, The crew they all bore down on me