Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

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Occupations                         267
For a discussion of the origin of this song see Geraldine Chickering, "The Origin of a Ballad," Modern Language Notes, L, 465-468. For other versions of it see Eckstorm and Smyth, pp. 124-125; Rickaby, pp. 3-10, Sandburg, pp. 392-393; and Shoemaker, pp. 218-219. For a cowboy version of the song see J. Frank Dobie, "More Ballads and Songs of the Frontier Folk," PTFLS, VII, 176-178.
Version A was sung in 1934 by Mr. Chauncey Leach, Kalkaska; he learned the song in Mount Pleasant about 1895 from Mr. Charlie March, who worked on the Muskegon River.
1    I'm a heartbroken raftsman, from Greenville I came; My virtue's departure, alas, I defame.
How the streamlets dark acoople have caused me much grief, Till my heart burst asunder, I can ne'er find relief.
2    I can tell you my troubles without much delay, How my sweet little Lucy my heart stole away.
She was a blacksmith's daughter all by the Flat River side, And I always intended for to make her my bride.
3    My occupation, I am raftsman where the white waters roll; My name 'tis engraved on the rocks and sand shoals.
On shop, bar, and house top, well, I am very well known; They call me Jack Haggerty, I'm the pride of the town.
4    I dressed her in jewels and finest of lace And the costliest muslin myself I was braced. I gave her my wages, all for her a keepsake;
I begrudged her of nothing that I had on the earth.
5    I worked on the river and gained quite a stake;
I was steadfast and stiddy, and I ne'er played the rake. I'm a boy that stands happy on the boiling white stream; My thoughts were of Lucy and she haunted my dreams.
6    One day on the river a letter I received;
She said from all promises herself she'd relieve.
A marriage with her lover she had a long time delayed,
And the next time he saw her she'd no more be a maid.

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