Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Death of Harry Bradford

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Death of Harry Bradford

Death of Harry Bradford

Come all ye true-born lumbering boys, both fellows young and old,
A story I will tell to you that'll make your blood run cold,
 Concerning a poor unfortunate lad who was known both far and near.
He was killed on the deck at Essex Mill, as you will quickly hear

He walked out in the morning with little fear or doubt
That before the whistle blew at noon his life would be crushed out.
His father was the foreman here of this brave lumbering crew,
And he never dreamed that his son so dear would meet his fatal doom.

'Twas on the twenty-ninth of January in nineteen hundred two;
Little did we think a life'd be lost in our brave lumbering  crew.
Little did we think in the morning that before the close of day
Our noble friend would be doomed to go to his cold and silent grave

It is only three months ago since his little sister died.
Poor Harry was killed in this rollway; he'll be buried by her side.
On the thirty-first of January Young Harry was laid to rest.
His body was laid in the silent tomb; his spirit is with the blest.

And now I'll try to explain to you the last words that he said.
They chained the log and they set their hooks as they stood side by side.
He spoke up to his partner, saying, "I'll bet you a cigar
That this is the highest rollway that stands in this big yard."

"I'll bet you once," said his partner George, " there's another just as high."
"All right, we'll shake and make a bet," Young Harry he did cry.
He gave a waving signal to the lad that pulled the chain;
The team was quickly on the move, and he never spoke again.

The log came rolling up the skids, dropped over on the deck.
Every man was leaning on his hook, not a man Of them did speak.
While the team was trying to jump the log, they scarcely made the raise;
The log dropped back and jarred the face, which sent him to his grave.

While the logs were rolling towards him, he tried to climb the tiers;
To the very top of this highest deck Young Harry tried to steer.
While trying to climb a l
Which carried him back down in the jam as you will understand.

The logs came pounding over him like thunder from the skies.
The boys they stood and gasped for breath when they saw that he must die.
"Poor Harry's killed," Smith Rogers cried. "Come quick.  Bring the team around.
These logs must all be cleared away. His body must be found."

The chain was placed around the logs; they were quickly pulled away,
So the boys could see down in the jam where the mangled body lay.
His ribs were broke, his back was broke, his legs were broke also;
And his brains they lay beneath the deck in the cold and bloody snow.

His father was on the road to camp when the dreadful deed was done.
As soon as he reached the shanty, he heard news of his son.
One of our crew spoke up and said, " Our rollway has given way,
And an accident has happened. I have something bad to  say.

"Come down by the shanty -- "  And he slowly walked away.
As they were walking down the road this young man to him did say,
"Do you know that, Mr. Bradford, y
"Oh no! I can't believe it, and I know I never will! "

And by the time they'd reached the jam where the mangled body lay,
He walked up there within three rods and then slowly turned away.
He walked back and forth with head bowed down with not a word to say,
While the boys were working very fast to take his body away.

The dreadful news was carried to his kind old mother dear.
No one knows how she must have felt when the sad news reached her ear.
Little no one knows what dreadful pain has touched that mother's heart
When the truth at last it came to pass that from him she must part.

I'll bid farewell to our noble friend that we will see no more.
God bless his loving parents whose hearts will suffer sore;
God bless his loving sister who'll mourn so silently;
And now we'll say farewell, dear friend. He's gone to Eternity.
(( THE DEATH or HARRY BRADFORD" is frankly in imitation of the
  tale of the death of Jack Monroe in "The Jam on Gerry's Rocks"
  The tune is the same as the most common "Jack Monroe" tune.
  Mrs. Ramsey, of Cadillac, says that W. J. Taylor wrote the song
  about an accident that occurred at Phelps's camp, north of Torch
  Lake. Mrs. Frank LaNore, of Central Lake, informs me that she
  knew the lad's mother.  The Bradfords lived at Central Lake.
  This particular version came from the lips of a shanty-boy singer,
  Edward Sayer, of the Murphy-Diggins camp.)) Beck

DT #836
Laws C12
From Beck, Lumberjack Songs
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