Ballads & Songs of Southern Michigan-songbook

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

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For texts which are somewhat similar, but which have many variations from this Michigan text, see Flanders and Brown, pp. 43-45, "The Green Mountain Boys," which is supposed to have originated in a Vermont lumber camp; Rickaby, pp. 132-133; and Shoemaker, pp 54-55. Shearin and Combs, p. 20, mention a song, "Old Grey," which tells a similar story Also compare with the Michigan version stanza 3 and parts of stanzas 4, 5, and 6 of "When I Was On&and-Twenty," Cox, p. 404. The present version was sung in 1934 by Mrs. Eliza Youngs, Greenville.
i It was on a Monday's morning in eighteen hundred and five; I woke up quite happy to find myself alive; I geared up my team and my business to pursue; I went to hauling wood as I used for to do.
2   The still house being open and liquor it being free, When one glass was empty another was filled for me; Instead of hauling five loads, I didn't haul but four. For I got so deuced drunk I couldn't haul no more.
3   I met an old acquaintance, his name I dare not tell; He told me that night where there was to be a ball; Being hard to persuade but at last I did agree
To meet him that night where the fiddle was to play.
4   I put the saddle on my back and went to the barn, And saddled up old Grey, not a-thinking any harm; I saddled up old Grey and I rode away so still
That I scarcely drew a long breath till I got to Sugar Hill.
5   I peeked in every keyhole where I could spy a light Till my locks were all wet with the dews of the night. Now, my boys, I'll tell you how the ball it did ovance; There were four of us good fellows got on the floor to dance.
6   Our fiddler he being willin' and his arm it being strong, He played the "Bows of Ireland," it was full four hours long. Now, you old ladies that carries the news about,
Don't make it any worse, for it's bad enough without.

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