The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54759   Message #855387
Posted By: MMario
30-Dec-02 - 02:14 PM
Thread Name: Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman
Subject: Lyr Add: TOMAH STREAM
TOMAH STREAM
(from the singing of Robert MacArthur - attributed by the singer to Larry Gorman)
(Doerflinger - 'Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman' - pp216-217)

Come all you Mill-town row-dies that drink and have no fear,
I'll have you not to touch a drop in the fall of the year;
For if you do, you'll sure-lye rue, like-wise my-self I've seen,
Be care-ful, do not hire out to work on To-mah Stream.

For the last fall that ever was, I was drunk and on a spree.
I swore that I would hire, and the very first sight I'd see.
The first it was old Natty Lamb, and up to him I steered.
I hired to work on Tomah and to drive six little steers.

He said the chance for lumbering was the best I ever did see,
The spruce they stand upon a ridge, as thick as thick can be.
The provisions I'll provide for you, and of the very best kind!
The cook will dish 'er up for you and have yer males on time.

But when I got to Squirrel Point, 'twas there I was struck dumb
To see the load of provision that into the camp must come.
there was three little loaves of bread as black as the Ace of Spades
And about a quarter of a pound of teas and an old bull's shoulder blade.

We packed our provisions up and put them on a sled,
We hitched behind an old gray mare that had a broken leg.
We all marched up the turnpike behind this fancy team.
That is the fate of any man who works on Tomah Stream.

At length we got to Tomah; 'twas there we made a stop
We hitched the old mare to a tree and cast about the lot.
The way we had to travel, it was a muddy tramp.
Each man he had to sack a load that night in to the camp.

At length the camp it hove in view; it was a sight to see.
There laid an old dead porcupine, full as large as me.
A piece of an old hemp carpet, 'twas wore as thin as gauze,
This was the beddin' that Natty had for to keep out the frost

We rested hard that night, my boys, we shivered with the cold.
We rose by day in the morning a sight for to behold.
We kindled up a fire and the frost was cutting keen.
I cursed the day I hired out to work on Tomah Stream.

About ten o'clock in the morning Old Natty he appeared.
We all rushed to the door and grieved him with a cheer.
He said, you look quite happy, all in your little abode,
A pox upon the devil, boys! Why didn't you skid the road?