THE LUMBER CAMP SONG
Come all you jolly fellows and listen to my song;
It's all about the shanty boys and won't delay you long.
We're the jolliest good bunch of fellows that every you could find,
And how we spend our winter months is hurling down the pine.
At four o'clock in the morning the boss he will shout:
"Heave out my jolly teamsters; it's time to be on the route."
The teamsters they all jump up all in a frightened way:
"Where is me boots?" Where is me pants? Me socks is gone astray!"
The next gets up is the choppers, whose socks they cannot find;
They blames it on the teamsters ans swear with all their mind.
Some other man may have them on and he be standing near.
Laugh it off all with a joke and have a hearty cheer.
At six o'clock it's breakfast and ev'ry man is out.
And if a man he is not sick, he's sure to be on the route.
There's sawyers and choppers to lay the timber low;
There's swampers and loggers to drag it to and fro.
"Crack! Snack! goes my whip; I whistle and I sing;
I sit upon my double sleigh as happy as a king.
My horse is always ready, and I am never sad;
There's no one else so happy as the double-sleigher lad."
The next comes is the loader, all at the break of day:
"Load up my slide, five hundred feet; to the river drive away."
You can hear those axes ringing until the sun goes down.
"Hurrah, my boys! The day is spent. To the shanty we are boun'"
we all arrive at the shanty, cold hands and wet feet.
We there pull off our larrigans, our supper for to eat.
We sing and dance till nine o'clock, then to our bunks we climb.
Those winter months they won't be long in hurling down the pine
The springtime rolls around, and the boss he will say:
"Heave down your saws and axes, b'ys, and help to clear away.
The floating ice it is all gone and business is arrived;
Two hundred able-bodied men are wanted on the drive."
The springtime rolls around and glad will be the day
When folks relate unto their friends, who wander back that way.
So now my song is ended, and don't you think it's true?
But if you doubt one word of it, just ask one of our crew.
Collected from Samuel Roberts, Sally's Cove, 1920.
From Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland, Greenleaf and Mansfield. 193
3, 1968 reprinted.
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