THE LUMBER CAMP SONG ("The Shanty Boy's Song")
Now, boys, if you will listen, I will sing to you a song,
It's all about the shanty-boys and how they get along;
They are a jovial set of boys, so merry and so fine,
They spend a pleasant winter in cutting down the pine.
Some will leave their homes and friends whom they love dear,
And for the lonesome pine woods their pathway they will steer;
They are going to the pine woods, all winter to remain,
Awaiting for the springtime ere they return again.
There are farmers, and sailors, likewise mechanics, too,
And all sorts of tradesmen, found with a lumber crew;
The choppers and the sawyers, they lay the timber low,
While the swampers and the skidders, they haul it to and fro.
Noon time rolls around, the foreman loudly screams,
"Lay down your saws and axes, boys, and haste to pork and beans!
Arrived at the shanty, the splashing does begin;
There's the rattle of the waterpail, and the banging of the tin.
It is, "Hurry in, my boys! you, Tom, Dick or Joe,
For you must take the pail and for some water go!
The cook he halloos, "Dinner!" they all get up and go.
It's not the style of a shanty boy to miss his pie, you know.
Dinner being over, to their shanty they all go;
They all load up their pipes, and smoke till all is blue.
"It's time you were out, boys," the foreman soon will say.
They all take up their hats and mitts, to the woods they haste away.
Oh, each goes out with cheerful heart, and with contented mind,
For wintry winds do not blow cold among the waving pine;
Loudly their axes ring, until the sun goes down.
"Hurrah! my boys, the day is done, for the shanty we are bound."
Arrived at the shanty, with wet and cold feet,
They off with their boots and packs, for supper they must eat;
The cook, he halloos "Supper!" they all get up and go,
It's not the style of a shanty boy to miss his hash, you know.
The boots, the packs, the rubbers, are all thrown to one side.
The mitts, the socks, the rags, are all hung up and dried;
At nine o'clock or thereabouts, into their bunks they crawl,
To sleep away the few short hours until the morning call.
At four o'clock next morning, the foreman loudly shouts:
"Hurrah, there! you teamsters, 'tis time that you were out!
The teamsters they get up, all in a fretful way.
Says one, "I've lost my boot-packs, and my socks have gone astray!"
The choppers they get up, and their socks they cannot find.
They lay it to the teamsters, and curse them in their mind.
One says, "I've lost my socks-1 don't know what to do."
Another has lost his boot-packs, and he is ruined, too.
Springtime rolls around; the foreman he will say:
"Lay down your saws and axes, boys, and haste to break the way."
And when the floating ice goes out, in business we'll thrive.
Hundreds of able-bodied men are wanted on the drive.
From Shantymen and Shanty Boys, Doerflinger
TUNE FILE: SHNTYBOY
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