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Jack Haggerty (2)

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Jack Haggerty (2)

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Jack Haggerty (2)

I'm a heartbroken raftsman,
From Greenville I came;
All my virtue's departed
With the lass I did fain.
From the strong darts of Cupid
I've suffered much grief;
My heart's broke asunder,
I can ne'er get relief.

Of my trouble I'll tell you
Without much delay;
Of a sweet little lassie
My heart stole away.
She was a blacksmith's daughter
On the Flat River Side,
And I always intended
To make her my bride.

By occupation I was a raftsman
Where the white waters roll
My name I've engraved
On the high rocks and shoal.
I am the boy that stands happy
On the dark purling stream;
My thoughts were on Molly,
She haunted my dream.

I gave her fine jewels,
And the finest of lace;
The costliest muslins
Her form embraced.
I gave her my wages
All for to keep safe,
I deprived her of nothing
I had on this earth.

I worked on the river
Till I earned quite a stake,
Was steadfast, steady,
And ne'er played the rake.
O'er the camp, flat and river
I am very well known.
They call me Jack Haggerty
The pride of the town.

Till one day on the river
A letter I received.
She said from her promise
Herself she'd relieve.
To wed with another
She'd a long time delayed,
And the next time I'd see her
She'd never more be a maid.

To her mother,Jane Tucker,
I laid all the blame;
She caused her to leave me
And go back on my name,
To cast off the riggings
That God would tie,
And leave me a wanderer
Til the day that I die.

Now good-bye to Flat River
For me there is no rest.
I'll shoulder my peavy
And go further West;
I'll go to Muskegon
Some comforts to find,
And leave my old sweetheart
And Flat River behind.

Now come all ye bold raftsmen
with hearts stout and true,
Don't trust to a woman,
You're beat if you do!
But if you do meet one
With a dark chestnut curl,
Remember Jack Haggerty
And the Flat River Girl!

I sang my version of the Mick Hanley version which he of course seems to have
changed, as well. I like the verse about going to Muskegon which he leaves out.
I always thought it was an English or Irish song. The notes confirm Art's story,
that it was a product of the Michigan woods and a spite song. Dan McGinnis was
annoyed that George Mercer, a younger man, had been appointed woods boss over
him. McGinnis and others concocted this song in 1872 about an affair between
Haggerty, a good looking lumberjack at the camp and Anna Tucker, the belle of
Greenville and Mercer's fiance.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III