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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Wm Tune Req: Derry Down (110* d) RE: Tune Req: Derry Down 23 Sep 19

This is in Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan, collected and edited by Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner and Geraldine Jencks Chickering (1939). (A scan of the volume is available at No tune is indicated (and no chorus given), but Derry Down is an obvious choice. It's also a clever example of its genre.



Sung in 1932 by Mr. Bert E. Eddy, Romeo; he had learned the song about 1887 from Mr. Sherm Eddy, who had worked in Ward's camp in Manistee, Michigan, and in other lumber camps.

Come all my good friends, I'll sing you a song;
It's my own intention, and it won't take me long.
What I'm going to tell you is what happened to me
When I was a-lumbering up on the Manistee.

'Twas on one bright morning I started away;
I went to the woods there expecting to stay;
I was not alone, for I had a good pard,
And we were both lumbering for old David Ward.

Now I will tell you the style of our camp:
If we didn't nail down, we were set out to tramp;
And man's the good man who has got his discharge,
And they kept the small boys who were not very large.

Now the grub that we got there was not very nice;
'Twas mush and molasses, with codfish and rice,
Pork and corn beef with a very course grain;
We were turned out long days in the snow and the rain.

Now there was the foreman, a very nice man;
He was always at work contriving some plan.
Our pockets he'd pick, and our clothes he would sell,
And get drunk on the money at the Greeland Hotel.

Now there was young Charlie, a very poor sort;
He would go through the bush for to get a sly peek.
If he saw a man straight just to rest his lame back,
He would go to the office and give him the sack.

Now there was old David, along with the rest,
Like an old settin' hen just got off from her nest;
He'd cluck, and he'd sputter and look rather blue,
And swear at us boys for soldiering, too.

Now there was the scaler, I nearly forgot;
He was the worst reprobate in the whole lot.
If he was sent up to have his just dues,
He would go to jail barefoot without any shoes.

And now to conclude and to finish this rhyme;
To sing any more I don't feel inclined.
But now that I'm out, I won't go back again
To be turned out long days in the snow and the rain.

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