Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

A Collection of 200+ traditional songs & variations with commentaries including Lyrics & Sheet music

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Occupations                          255
This was a popular song in the lumber camps. For almost identical versions see Eckstorm and Smyth, pp 30-32; Gray, pp. 10-14, Rickaby, pp. 35-38; and Tolman and Eddy, JAFL, XXXV, 413-414
Version A was recorded in 1916 by Miss Florence Myers, Ypsilanti, from the singing of a lumberman who had worked in the nineties in a lumber camp on the Manistee River.
1    A for the ax you very well know,
B for the bullies who use it just so,
C for the chopping that makes the woods ring,
D for the danger we always are in.
So merry, so merry, so merry are we, No mortals on earth are such fighters as we, Sing a hi-dare, a ho-dare, a hi-dare, ho-down, The shanty boy's well, and there's nothing goes wrong.
2    E for the echo that through the woods rang, F for the foreman, the head of our gang,
G is the grindstone so often we turn, H is the handle so smoothly now worn.
3    I is the iron that marketh the pine, J is the jolly boy, never behind,
K is the kinker the broad axes keep, L for the bugs that keep us from sleep.
4    M  is the moss we stuffed in our camps, N  for the needle we use on our pants, O   is the quarreling on which we thrive, P   for the pine that falleth just right.
5    Q is the owl that hoots all the night, R is the river we love so to drive,
S for the sleigh, so stout and so strong, T for the teams that haul them along.

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