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Crew of the Whirlwind

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The Crew of the Whirlwind

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The Crew of the Whirlwind
(Fred Gee)

We work on the good barge Whirlwind, we're the toughest crew around.
We visit every ale house in ev'ry single town
Up and down the old chenango, we move a long with ease
'Cause we'll cuff and wetten any man at any time we please.

cho: A weel away Hey! We're the crew of the Whirlwind.
     A weel away Hey! We will come again,
     A weel away Hey! When the clock strikes ten,
     We'll toast to the fine establishment that dared to let us in.

We'd just set out from Binghamton with some Lackawanna coal,
When the cook she let out a terrible shout," There's a dead rat in the bowl!"
But we all laughed till we hit that floor and the lines all pulled away,
And the hoagies had a terrible time a-roundin' up the stray.

Just before we reached the akkerduct at the southern end of Greene
Captain Steuer's "Lillie" passed us by and a sweet girl was seen.
We turned our heads and whistled loud, "Low bridge," we did not hear
And we all were swept right overboard and the captain he lost an ear.

We passed by Brisben that fine day when a new boat was released,
The crew was new and a bit green too aand their braggin' would not cease
So we decided there and then to end their foolish pride,
And we whipped them with the wet towlines until they really cried.

The collector at the Oxford toll said, "What is down inside?"
We told him of the tons of coal and the captain's pretty bride.
He said,"That's fine but just the same I'd rather have a look
He was found upon the kitchen floor a-rollin' with the cook."

By the time we got to Noridge we were in a terrible race
The Meteor was gainin' fast and we dare not lose our place
We reached the locks together no decision had been made
So we beat on them for many an hour and won the right of way.

We hurried on to Sherburne Town in just three hours flat
We'd been moving well with a great big swell and we were proud of that
But there stood an inspector with a fine, we had gone too fast
So we went down to the local bar and forgot about the past.

As we were leaving Earlville the off mule he got lame;
But we drove him on to Hamilton it's the captain who's to blame,
The mule he died that very night it was sad to see him go,
But we drank some rye we had set aside and our spirits seemed to grow.

Now the days of the canawleers is past, we have gone our separate ways
The captain he married the merry cook and hoggy's gone west, they say;
And all that's left of the crew is me to share with you this tale
Just give me a flask of some whiskey rye and a quart of the very best ale.

Copyright Fred Gee, 1980
Recorded on A Place Called Chenango, Folkways
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