Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks

A Collection Of Traditional & Folk Songs of the area with Lyrics & Commentaries -online book

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The Alphabet Song
There are probably many variations of this ballad. A is the com­plete form. B gives the same symbolic words as A except for 'S' and 'U'; B lacks the seventh stanza of A and the chorus. C, apparently from Michigan, is closely related to A.
"Alphabet Song," printed in the Maine Sportsman, February, 1904, Vol. XI, No. 126. As to source the paper states: " Since the January issue, a reader who is too modest to allow his name used, but who has a lively interest in these old songs, has sent to this office the full' Alphabet Song,' as he has heard it sung in the woods, and as it was written down for him by a woodsman friend of his."
Regarding the chorus this note is appended: " The chorus was arranged to be sung, not between every two stanzas, but in the above version was given after the first, second and last verses, al­though when the lumbermen felt in the mood for prolonging the song, they would have to have the full chorus after every stanza, the entire crew bursting in at the first word like a cyclone; for these woods songs are productive of quantity, whatever a critic might say of the quality of the music."
i A   is for axes, for we all know,
B   is for boys, that can use them also,
C   is for chopping, we now do begin,
D   is for danger, we ofttimes stand in.
Chorus So it's merry, oh merry are we, No mortal on earth is as happy as we; Hi derry, don derry, hi derry dong, Give a shantyman's grog and there's nothing goes wrong.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III