We're Going to Pump Out Old Lake Erie
The season is dry, old timer (yes)
And water won't run uphill,
So let's do our best and forget the rest
Oh, and keep our levels fill'd.
cho: We're going to pump out Lake Erie
We're going to begin next June,
And when we are done you can tell by the sun
There'll be whiskers on the moon.
For the canal needs the water
To keep things all afloat;
And I never will put wheels
On my canal boat
For I love the old towpath
And all things that float,
So you cannot make a wagon
Of my grand old boat.
The Portage Lakes often fail us (yes)
And often our summit's low;
Oh then for some rain we would have to wait
With a load we cannot go,
We'll all watch our gates and paddles (yes)
The tumbles and wasteways, too;
They'll help us along with their merry song
And will see that we get through,
From A Folk Song History of America, Forcucci
note: Low water was a real problem for canalers.