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American Ballads and Folk Songs
In the month of September, the seventeenth day, Two dollars and a quarter is all they would pay, And on Monday morning the Bridgeport did take The E. C. Roberts out in the lake.
The wind from the southward sprang up a fresh breeze, And away through Lake Michigan the Roberts did roar, And on Friday morning we passed through death's door.
This packet she howled across the mouth of Green Bay, And before her cutwater she dashed the white spray. We rounded the sand point, our anchor let go, We furled in our canvas, and the watch went below.
Next morning we hove alongside the exile, And soon was made fast to an iron-ore pile, They lowered their chutes and like thunder did roar, They spouted into us that red iron ore.
Some sailors took shovels while others got spades, And some took wheelbarrows—each man to his trade. We looked like red devils, our fingers got sore, We cursed Escanaba and that damned iron ore.
The tug Escanaba she towed out of the Minch,
The Roberts she thought she had left in a pinch,
And as she passed us by she bid us good-by,
Saying, "We'll meet you in Cleveland next Fourth of July."
Through Louse Island it blew a fresh breeze;
We made the Foxes, the Beavers, the Skillageesj
We flew by the Minch for to show her the way,
And she never hove in sight till we were off Thunder Bay.