Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

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276         Ballads and Songs of Michigan
in THE WILD MUSTARD RIVER
Reprinted from Mr. Russell Gore, The Detroit News, April 29, 1934, p. 7.
1   Down on the Wild Mustard River, Down by the old Emric Dam,
We arose from our blankets one morning To flood from the reservoir dam.
2   When the water came rustling and rolling, Our pikes and peavies we'd apply,
Not thinking that one of our number That day had so horribly to die.
3   On the river there was none any better On a log than our friend Johnny Stile; He had worked oftener than any other, And he always was reckless and wild.
4   But today his luck went against him, And his foot it got caught in the jam;
For you know how that creek runs a-howling When we flood from the reservoir dam.
5   But we were all there in a moment, Just as soon as he gave his first shout,
For you know how that creek runs a-howlingó It rolls in, but it never rolls out.
6   We worked for an hour and a quarter Till our time it had come to a spare;
We had got a hole well worked through her When like lightning she hauled out of there.
7   We rode her down and pulled up in dead water; We worked till the sweat down us poured. We pulled his dead body from in under,
But it looked like poor Johnny no more.
8   His flesh was all cut up in ringlets And rolled out as flat as your hand. We'll hold peace on this earth for his body While the Lord holds his soul in command.







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