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ADD: Woodsman's Alphabet / Lumberman's Alphabet

DigiTrad:
A YOU'RE ADORABLE
SAILOR'S ALPHABET
THE LUMBERMAN'S ALPHABET


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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Lumberman's Alphabet / Woodman's Alphabet


Uncle_DaveO 20 Dec 00 - 09:18 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Dec 00 - 09:31 AM
Uncle_DaveO 20 Dec 00 - 09:49 AM
dick greenhaus 21 Dec 00 - 12:11 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 04 - 04:03 PM
HiHo_Silver 28 Apr 04 - 06:25 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 04 - 08:12 PM
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Subject: RE: The Alphabet Song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Dec 00 - 09:18 AM

There is a Woodsman's Alphabet song on an old 10 inch LP in my music cabinet, which starts:

A is for axe, as you very well know.
B is for the boys, that use them just so.
C is for the chopping that soon will begin
And D is for the danger that we always stand in!

Sing Hi derry O! So merry are we
There's no-one one half as happy as we.
Sing Hi derry O! Hi, derry dong!
At the woodsman's shanty there's nothin' goes wrong.

I disremember most of the rest of it, but I'll dig it out and post the complete text for the DT. Now if I could only submit the tune, too!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: The Alphabet Song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Dec 00 - 09:31 AM

I just checked, and there is a version of The Woodsman's Alphabet in the DT already, with tune.

Frankly I like my set of words better. My feeling is that the version given in the DT is probably a sort of degenerate version, one of those songs where the folk process went wrong, losing meaning in a number of places. I think I'll post my version, and the elves can decide whether the difference is enough to justify listing both.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WOODSMAN'S ALPHABET
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 20 Dec 00 - 09:49 AM

Elves, here's the text as I have it. You decide whether to put it in the DT or not.

THE WOODSMAN'S ALPHABET

A is for axe, as you very well know;
B is for boys that use them just so.
C is for the chopping that soon will begin
And D is for danger we always stand in.

CHORUS:

Sing hi derry O! So merry are we!
There's no-one one half as happy as we.
Sing hi derry o! Hi, derry dong!
At the woodsman's shanty there's nothing goes wrong.

E is the echoes that through the woods ring.
F is the foreman, the head of our gang;
G is for the grindstone that swiftly goes 'round
And H is the handle, so smooth and so round.

I is for Iron with which we mark pine;
J is for jolly boys all in a line;
K is the keen edge our axes we keep
And L is the lice that over us creep.

M is the moss we patch in the cracks
And N is the needle which mendeth our pants;
O is for the owls that hoot in the night
And P is the pine that always falls right.

Q is for quarrels that we don't have 'round;
R is the river where we drive our logs down
S is the sleds so stout and so strong
And T is the teams that draw them along.

U is for use that we put our teams to;
V is the valley where we draw our logs through;
W is the woods that we leave in the spring
And now I have sung all I'm going to sing.

[spoken] That's all! Except....

(CHORUS)


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Subject: RE: The Alphabet Song
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 21 Dec 00 - 12:11 AM

In the words of Steve Wright, "I wonder why the alphabet is in that order. Could it have something to do with the song?"

I'll put it into the next possible edition of the DT; it belongs. Even if, as a wee child, I thought there was a letter called elemeno. Came before P.


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Subject: ADD: Lumberman's Alphabet
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 04:03 PM

Here's a slightly different version from a grammar-school textbook, which says:
    This song had only six verses for a long time. Then some inventive lumberjack added a seventh.
...or could it have been an "inventive textbook editor"? I couldn't find a source citation for this particular song in the textbook; although, to its credit, the book does give attributions for many songs.
-Joe Offer-

Lumberman's Alphabet

1. A is for Ax, and that we all know
And B is for Boy that can use it also
C is for Chopping we first do begin,
And D is for Danger we often fall in.

CHORUS:
So merry, so merry are we,
No mortals on earth are as happy as we.
To me I derry O derry I derry down,
Use shanty boys well and there's nothing goes wrong.

2. E is for Echo that through the woods rang,
And F is for Foreman, the head of our gang;
G is for Grindstone at night we do turn,
And H is for Handle so smoothly worn.

3. I is for Iron which we mark our pine,
And J is for Jovial we're always incline';
K is for Keen Edge our axes we keep,
And L is for Lice that keep us from sleep.

4. M is for Moss which we chink our camp,
And N is for Needle with which we mend our pants;
O is for Owl which hooted at night,
And P is for Pine which we always fall right.

5. Q is for Quickness we put ourselves to,
R is for River we haul the logs to;
S is for Sleds we haul the logs on,
T is for Team that pulls them along.

6. U is for Uses we put ourselves to,
And V is for Valley we haul the logs through;
And W is for Woods we leave in the spring,
And now I have sung all I'm going to sing.

2. E is for Echo that through the woods rang,
And F is for Foreman, the head of our gang;
G is for Grindstone at night we do turn,
And H is for Handle so smoothly worn.

7. X is for Christmas when the yarding's all done,
Y is for Yonder, the set of the sun;
Zed is for Zero, in the cold winter time,
And now I have brought all these letters in rhyme.

source: Music in Our Country, Silver Burdett Fifth-Grade music textbook, 1956

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Here's the Traditional Baddlad Index entry on the song:

Logger's Alphabet, The

DESCRIPTION: A song by which lumbermen remember the alphabet and tell of their "merry" lives: "A is for axes as all of you know / And B is for boys who can use them also.... So merry, so merry, so merry are we / No mortals on earth are as happy as we"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1926 (Rickaby)
KEYWORDS: logger nonballad lumbering wordplay
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE) Canada(Mar,Ont)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 207-208, "The Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune, plus a sort of personalized appendix, "The Shantyboy's Song," on p. 209)
Flanders/Olney, pp. 112-113, "Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text)
FSCatskills 3, "The Woodsman's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Rickaby 6, "The Shanty-Man's Alphabet" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
Fowke-Lumbering #1 , "The Shantyboy's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 173-175, "The Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 168-170, "The Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 564-565, "The Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck 5, "Alphabet Song" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 335-336, "The Lumberman's Alphabet" (1 text)
DT, LUMBALPH*

Roud #159
RECORDINGS:
Gus Schaffer, "Lumberjack's Alphabet" (on AFS, 1938; on LC56)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Sailor's Alphabet" (subject)
cf. "The Bawdy Alphabet" (subject)
cf. "A Is for Apple Pie" (subject)
cf. "The Average Boy" (subject)
cf. "Alphabet Songs" (subject)
cf. "Building a Slide" (tune, lyrics)
File: Doe207

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2003 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Woodsman's Alphabet / Lumberman's Alphabet
From: HiHo_Silver
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 06:25 PM

Here is a last verse as sung around the logging camps in my area.

There are three more letters I can't put in rhyme
But it's love if you marry please tell me in time
The train's at the station and the whistle did blow
So farewell my darling to the woods I must go.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Woodsman's Alphabet / Lumberman's Alphabet
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 04 - 08:12 PM

That's much more satisfying than the textbook version, Silver.
-Joe Offfer-


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