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Turners Camp on the Chifpewa

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Turner's Camp on the Chifpewa

Turner's Camp on the Chifpewa

Come all you jolly lumbermen
That do a-lumbering go,
Come listen to my story,
Which I relate to you,

Of the hardships and the dangers
We undergo each day
While working up in Turner's camp
On the banks of the Chippewa.

I started out from Saginaw,
The weather being fair,
And fetched up at eleven o'clock
At a little place called Glare.

The place it was so stumpy
I thought it must be Hell;
 So I jumped aboard of Skanker Stage
And rode into Isabelle.

While bumping around Isabelle
I thought I'd go to work
Away up in the lumber woods,
Where there's no time to shirk.

So I started after dinner
For to take a little tramp,
And fetched up just at suppertime
In Charlie Turner's camp.

At five o'clock next morning
The cook his horn did blow
To call the boys to eat their hash
So to the woods they'd go.

At first they put me sawing,
But found it did not pay;
So when the boys from Quebec quit
They sent me to load the dray.

While loading of that damned old dray,
Of course I was so green,
Such piling up of top logs
Before I'd never seen.

The driver being in a hurry
For to get over his route,
It was lift a log and roll a log
And cant a log about.

When the last log was loaded
To the river we did go;
The way he made those horses climb
You bet it was not slow.

To see him driving on the road
You'd swear that he was drunk,
For he never was known to make a trip
But he hung up on a stump.

When the last load was on the dray
To the shanty he would go,
Where the boys would tell us of the things
That happened years ago.

Some would sing of Johnnie Troy
And some of the Cumberland crew,
But of all the songs, that I liked best
Was of bold Jack Donohue.

The boys were glad when Sunday came,
That they might have a rest;
Some would go a-visiting
All dressed up in their best;

Some would gather round the caboose,
And more would grind the ax;
Some would mend up their old clothes,
And more their old shoepacks.

It was on the first of April
The birds began to sing;
We began to break the rollways,
So I thought it must be spring.

But the boss came up from Saginaw
And looked over the books
And said, " My boys, you'll have to stay
Two more weeks on Stoney Brook."

Now the winter, it is over,
Our work it is done.
We will all go down to Saginaw
And have a little fun.

Some will go on Skanker Stage,
And more will take the train.
If you get there before I do,
It's whoop-'er-up, Liza Jane.

The song has been recalled by Charlie Griffin, of Sumner;
Jim Joslen, of Glare; H. A. McCaslin, of Flint;
Nelt Bailey, of Harrison; Tom Knight, of Houghton Lake;
C. L. McKibben, of Beaverton; Alf Levely, of Edenville; and
Peter Mahon, of Deerfield Center. This version is from
Mrs. McDonald, of Mt. Pleasant, and L. M. Converse,
of Buchanan.
DT #840
Laws C23
From Earl Beck, Songs of the Michigan Lumberjacks
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III