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Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)

16 Apr 04 - 04:14 PM (#1163453)
Subject: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: GUEST,jin

hello all...
Can anyone tell me (or give me)the lyrics to the mad trapper of rat
river by Stan Triggs...
chourds would help too....

thanx jin..

16 Apr 04 - 09:30 PM (#1163633)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Sandy Mc Lean

It was written by Wilf (Montana Slim) Carter. The original title was
" The Capture Of Albert Johnson".
I can't find the lyrics at the moment but if you go to The Record Lady site you can download Wilf singing it . Look on page four.

16 Apr 04 - 09:39 PM (#1163637)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river

16 Apr 04 - 11:09 PM (#1163675)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

I don't believe it is the same song. It has been years since I heard the recording, so not sure. It is listed as (Folkways 03569) "Bunkhouse and Forecastle Songs of the Northwest," Stanley G. Triggs.
It is available from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, as a custom cd at $19.95 or custom casette at $10.95.

17 Apr 04 - 11:29 AM (#1163794)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Carter's is the only song that I know but there may well have been others. Carter's was certainly the one best known about a fascinating incident.
Below is the true story . Writer Don Barnett.

The Mad Trapper was Albert Johnson, a trapper who had done some trading at Fort McPherson. He was a strange sort of character and Constable Edgar "Spike" Millen of the nearby Arctic Red River detachment had talked to him. Shortly after, during the Christmas holiday season of 1931, complaints were received about Johnson bothering people's traps west of Fort McPherson. Millen sent two officers, Alfred King and Joe Bernard into the area to find Johnson. Arriving at Johnson's cabin in 40 degrees below zero weather, they called out when they saw smoke rising from the chimney. Receiving no answer King looked in the window and stared into the face of Johnson, who quickly dropped a burlap sack over the window! Faced with a man maybe with a gun and held up inside the protection of a cabin, the Mounties wisely decided to retreat and get more reinforcements. They travelled 80 miles to Aklavik and picked up two other Mounties, Robert McDowell and Lazarus Sittichinli. Arriving again at Johnson's cabin, they knocked on the door. This time they were greeted with a rifle bullet which rang through the door and hit King in the chest, knocking him into the snow. More shots were exchanged before King was lashed onto a dog-sled and the twenty-hour rush to Aklavik to save his life was made.

This time a nine-man posse with twenty pounds of dynamite confronted the madman held up in his lonely cabin along the Rat River. In the meantime, Johnson had turned his cabin into a fortress. He had pulled up the floor and dug three feet (one metre) below ground level, placed several loop-holes in the walls of the cabin, and had reinforced the base of the walls with extra logs and frozen sod. He fired at the Mounties with two sawed-off shotguns and a twenty-two Winchester rifle with the stock sawed off. Meanwhile, the Mounties thawed out and warmed the dynamite by holding it next to their skin. When they threw the dynamite at the cabin, it ripped the roof off and partially caved in the walls. The Mounties dashed to the cabin and peered into the dark smoke. The Mad Trapper fired, shooting a flashlight out of the hand of Garland, one of the Mounties. Again the Mounties were forced to retreat. After fifteen hours, an Inspector Eames wrote that "the trapper, showed himself to be an extremely shrewd and resolute man, capable of quick thoughts and action, a tough and desperate character".

It was now January 16th, 1932 and another attempt to get the mad trapper was made. Arriving at his cabin again, the police discovered it was abandoned! The entire area was searched with trackers and guides for two weeks without success. Finally, on January 30th the Mounties ran into Johnson, but came out on the short end. The posse came upon Johnson's unsuspecting camp and every advantage was on their side. However, two of the men, Millen and Riddell, foolishly started to advance toward the camp, against the advice of some of the others. In a face to face confrontation, Millen and Johnson shot it out. Millen was shot through the heart and killed instantly. That same night, Johnson slipped through the surrounding Mounties and escaped once more.

The police could not capture the mad trapper, so more reinforcements -- world renown World War I fighter pilot turned northern bush pilot Whop May was called. The pilot arrived at Aklavik on February 5, 1933. His aircraft, a ski-equipped Bellanca mono-plane, provided aerial surveillance and brought in supplies in the man-hunt in the rugged Richardson Mountains west of Fort McPherson.

When carrying in supplies to the Mounties' base camp, heavy snow clogged May's take-off path. He tied the tail of the airplane to a tree and gunned the engine to maximum velocity. The Mounties raised an axe and cut the rope, propelling the airplane forward, cutting a swath through the snow that enabled the plane to get airborne!

Whop May picked up Johnson's trail from his airplane and directed the Mounties to his location. Without the assistance of aircraft, it is questionable as to whether or not the Mad Trapper of Rat River could have been captured. And the daily news report of the gun battles spread the slogan "The Mounties Always Get Their Man".

The aircraft enabled May to report to the Mounties on the ground the amazing maneuvers across the snow-covered frozen land. The world listened to the daily news reports. The Mounties eventually caught up with Johnson and fired nine bullets into him after another running gun battle. Whop May is quoted as saying: "I circled back up river. As I flew over the fugitive's lair, it seemed as though he was lying in an unnatural position. Swinging back, I nosed the Bellanca down 'til our skiis were tickling the snow. Johnson was lying face down, his right arm out flung grasping his rifle. I knew he was dead."

May walked over and turned the dead man around, and said later: "I got the worst shock I've ever had. Johnson's lips curled back from his teeth in the most awful grimace of hate I have ever seen, the hard-boiled, bitter-hate of a man who knows he's trapped at last and has determined to take as many enemies as he can with him."

Johnson was a strange man. Where he came from or what he did before coming to the Arctic Red River area is not known today. In his pockets were found over two thousand dollars in bills, some gold, a pocket compass, a razor, a knife, fish hooks, nails, a dead squirrel, and a small dead bird. During the entire man-hunt, the Mounties had never heard Johnson say a single word. The Mounties do have to deal with some strange and horrifying characters at times, don't they?

17 Apr 04 - 08:13 PM (#1164061)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Inükshük

I lived in Aklavik for four years at the end of the sixties. Karl Gardlund and Lazarus Sitichinli were two locals who had been on the original manhunt. Their stories got better with each telling. I have several pictures of his grave site, and many, many stories of his exploits. I also have the song, but for some reason, I have never written out the words. I suppose it's time I did.

I think it was one of the first recordings Wilf Carter made.
And Wop May was called in to make it the first air search in the North. It's all been very well documented in several good books.

Up in that far North country
Lived a trapper thought insane
He robbed his Redskinned neighbours
To the police they sent a complaint.

... but the trapper with his six gun
he laid a Mountie low

... he back tracked on his trailers
and laid another Mountie low

The death pictures of Johnson are indeed grizzly. He was hung in a freezer in Aklavik. The constable who was sent in to take his finger prints was naturally a bit spooked and got them backwards. There is a movement afoot to dig him up and try to get better prints because there is a theory that he was once connected with the Hole in the Wall Gang. Fascinating stuff!

17 Apr 04 - 08:39 PM (#1164078)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Inükshük

I have the song by Stompin' Tom Connors for sure, and probably by Wilf Carter as well somewhere. I'll even fire up my LP system to get the words right if anyone really wants them. I couldn't find them on the internet. The chords are dead easy.

[C]Up in that far North country
Lived a [F]trapper thought in[C]sane
He [F]robbed his Redskinned [C]neighbours
To the [G7]police they sent a com[C]plaint.

19 Apr 04 - 10:28 AM (#1165214)
Subject: Lyr Add: CAPTURE OF ALBERT JOHNSON (Wilf Carter)
From: Jim Dixon

Transcribed from the sound file at The Record Lady's All-Time Country Favorites, Real Country page 4.

As recorded by Montana Slim (Wilf Carter)

There in that far-north country lived a trapper thought insane.
To all his redskin neighbors to the pólice sent a complaint.

Two redcoats of the Mounties, who are known for their fame,
Went north to find the trouble. On this trapper was put the blame.

They journeyed out to his cabin. No harm was meant, you know.
But the trapper with his six-gun, he laid a Mountie low.

'Twas then that the trouble started, and as this story goes forth,
It was the greatest manhunt in the hist'ry of the north.

For weeks and weeks they trailed him through the snow and the bitter cold,
And the hardships that he endured we folks will never know.

Once when they had him surrounded while trailing him through the snow,
He aimed another deadly shot, laid another Mountie low.

Still on and on they trailed him, but the trapper he knew his game.
He'd backtrack on his trailers, this man they thought insane.

Now the chances of his escape for the trapper they were too slim.
They hunted him by day. They hunted him by night. This manhunt they must win.

Then just in the evening twilight, he was climbing up a hill.
This trapper sighted his trailers, and he aimed a shot to kill.

Down deep in the snow for shelter, with bullets flying low.
He aimed another deadly shot, laid another Mountie low.

The rest of them heard the shooting and quickly joined the lead;
And under a hail of bullets his riddled body dropped dead.

Now the greatest of the manhunts are ended in the history of that northern land,
But we'll give credit to the Mounties who always get their man.

19 Apr 04 - 10:36 AM (#1165216)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: ranger1

OK, now I'm hooked. Did King survive? I'm amazed no one has ever made this into a movie.

20 Apr 04 - 05:11 AM (#1165853)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Constable King survived. By a miracle the bullet in his chest did not strike any vital organs or arteries. Constable Millen was not so fortunate.
They never did get a positive ID on Johnson. They fingerprinted his corpse before he was buried, but he was frozen solid so they were too messed up to be of help.
The pilot, Wop May's life story would make an excellent movie , even without the Mad Trapper story. He was a first World War Ace, and he was
part of the dogfight that killed the Red Baron. He survived the war to become the first bush pilot.
   I have a song about May that I will post when I get it scanned.

20 Apr 04 - 08:37 AM (#1166008)
From: Sandy Mc Lean

I realize that this is thread creep but as May played such a large part in The Mad Trappers demise, this is a bit about him.

Wop had just shot down a German plane when he was attacked by The Red Baron. His friend and fellow Canadian, Roy Brown then dove on The Baron with his guns ablaze, allowing May to escape. Attempting to avoid Brown, The Baron was forced over the Australian trenches and was caught between Brown firing from the rear and the Aussies firing from below. Who should be credited with the kill was in dispute between the Canadians and the Australians so the honour is shared by both, and that is probably as it should be.

Some of Wop's Achievements:
# * Wilfrid Reid "Wop" May was born in Carberry, Manitoba, in 1896 and died at Provo, Utah in 1952.
# * Was a famous World War I Pilot, and one of Canada's early Bush Pilots.
# * Flew a Sopwith Camel in France in 1918, and survived being chased by Baron Manfred Von Richthofen - the famous "Red Baron".
# * Was awarded the D.F.C. in 1919.
# * Was Issued Pilot's Licence No. 49 on July 7, 1919.
# * Formed, with his brother Court, "May Airplanes Ltd." in 1919.
# * Was issued Commercial Air Pilot's Certificate No. 7 on May 7, 1920
# * Was instrumental in the formation of the First Flying Club in Canada in 1927.
# * Flew a famous Mercy Flight in 1929.
# * Flew the first airmail to the Canadian Arctic in 1929.
# * Was issued Air Engineer's Licence No. A 726 on December 15, 1931.
# * Worked with the RCMP in tracking the "Mad Trapper".
# * Flew with "Canadian Airways Ltd." in the NWT
# * Served as General Manager of #2 A.O.S. for the British Commonwealth Training Plan.
# * Formed the Para-Rescue Service for the RCAF.
# * Was awarded the "Medal of Freedom with Bronze Palm by the US Government in 1947.
# * Served in the Canadian Arctic & the Far East as Director of Development for Canadian Pacific Airlines and later served as the first Manager of Canadian Pacific Airlines (Repairs) Ltd.
# * Was honoured by Max Ward of "Wardair" who named three aircraft the "W.R. "Wop" May, and by Pacific Western Airlines who named one of their cargo aircraft after him.
# * Was honoured many times. See the medals he was awarded.

The song: I'm sorry but I don't have the composer's name to give proper credit.


"It's the Baron!" in terror they cried.
Eighty men tried him. Eighty men died.
With the German Flying Circus along for the ride
Nothing seemed likely to turn the tide.

CHORUS: Through the haze flew Roy Brown and Wop May,
Two Royal Air Force fly boys from Canadi-ay.
"Stop the Flying Circus!" they'd toast.
"Down with the Baron!" they'd drink to their host.

There was fear in the sky when the Red Baron did fly,
For numb was his nerve, and firm his despise.
Eighty small emblems appeared as his brand,
Each an opponent, shot down by his hand.
For Manfred was a sniper who wore no disguise.
From a fortress in Breslau came bullets with eyes.
From above, he'd swoop out of the sun.
On the doomed Allied pilot he'd open his guns! CHORUS

'Twas in spring of '18, over Amiens one day,
On his maiden mission, the rookie Wop May
Felt the roar of a tri-plane hurtling his way.
There were death lights flashing! He veered from the fray
And a free-fall.., he tried to escape but in vain,
For the Baron was right on his heels again.
And he prayed, "Take me home, Lord. I'm finished, I fear."
When high from the sky, Captain Brown did appear!
And with guns ablaze, from above and below,
The Great Baron's plane became lifeless and slow.
And it fluttered and fell to the ground
Where the great ace, Von Richtofen, dying was found. CHORUS

20 Apr 04 - 08:40 AM (#1166014)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: Sandy Mc Lean

I am sorry if all you fans of Snoopy are sorry to have your hero dis-credited. :-}

20 Apr 04 - 09:52 AM (#1166084)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: delphinium

Sandy's song was written by John Spearn, mp3 available on his web site here.
Stompin' Tom Connors also has a song about "Wop May, Wop May, the top Canadian pilot of the day" ...

There have been at least 3 books about Albert Johnson/the mad trapper (I have Dick North's somewhere) and at least 1 movie, "Death Hunt" (1981). One (credible) site says the movie is "inaccurate to the point of ludicrous" - but it stars Charles Bronson, Lee Marvin & Angie Dickinson if you like that kind of Hollywood action adventure.

Ranger1: King lived.

Another thread drift drift: The last surviving mountie of the mad trapper manhunt, Robert McDowell, died last year aged 94. RIP

20 Apr 04 - 07:21 PM (#1166602)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: ranger1

Sandy and delphinium, thanks for the info. I think I did see that awful movie--no wonder I didn't recognize the story!

One of the really cool things about folk music is that one can learn so much about so many other things. Even if sometimes what you learn is that the events in a song may not bear any resemblance to the actual truth of the matter. Thanks for enriching my day!

27 Apr 04 - 09:36 AM (#1172224)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: GUEST,jin

Thanx for all of this...
To clarify I saw the said bronson film last week
in the end credits it stated the film was based
on a true story.. the mad trapper..
I was interested in the story because this was
the first instance in knowen history where
technology ..i.e. planes/radio was used to
catch a police suspect!
In the film Albert Jonson was made out to be a
Hero but as I looked more into the recorded
historical events it appears he was infact a mad man!
My band is to write a song about the mad trapper
but I fear the song will not be a hit with this
forem because we are a very heavy rock band. (not metal!)
Originally we were going to do a cover of the stan Triggs
number but it has been decided to word the song ourselves.
So thanx again and just a little question as i go...
Was Albert Jonson a mad man or just a man whose's way
of life was lost to technology...?

27 Apr 04 - 09:41 AM (#1172226)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: GUEST,jin

P.S. My band is called 'The twenty first century slaves'..
We are from York england and will be playing @
Cert 18 York may 6th...

28 Apr 04 - 05:12 AM (#1173033)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: semi-submersible

Guest,jin asks, "Was Albert Jonson... just a man whose's way
of life was lost to technology?"

No. The trapper's way of life was going strong before and after Johnson's time. It's both a living and a calling for some people today.

Technology can lure us away from the wilds, and can rape or destroy ecosystems, but it has little power to affect the hunter's (or trapper's) intimate relationship with the prey. Baits and traps' efficiency may change, but to use them a man - or woman - must put himself inside the animal's skin, must understand its mind. (It's scarcely possible to do this without learning respect and love for the wild creatures you must depend on, who give their lives for yours. We - humanity, I mean - cannot afford to forget the hunter's lifestyle and its skills. But I don't think vacation hunting/fishing/etc teaches this awareness.)

When you are a non-migratory predator, you cannot survive without your territory. Meddling with a neighbour's traps is a violation on the same scale as salting a farmer's field or adulterating a marriage.

28 Apr 04 - 07:20 AM (#1173090)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: semi-submersible

Sorry, not salting fields: that's too extreme. I should have said burning someone's fields or barn. An intolerable transgression.

28 Apr 04 - 10:30 AM (#1173129)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: pyewacket

Eskimo Peeping Tom
Took A Look!

Sorry I couldn't get the Blue clicky to work.


28 Apr 04 - 11:51 AM (#1173214)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: GUEST,jin

A man may not change his way of life, but the world around him
will and must change this is just a natural part of evolution..

Was Albert Jonson a man who thought he could do as he pleased
and when the heat got too much he could just run, using his
experience and skill to evade capture (as he had maybe done
Did he think no man alive could catch him? (If so he was nearly
Did Whop May goto/get sent to rat river because the manhunt was
being broadcast daily to entire nation?
If Albert jonson had of been aware of the technology that
would be used to catch him would he have started the manhunt
or just gone peacefully with the mounties?
Why did albert Jonson buy so much ammo?
(Was he looking for a fight from the start?)
If a man rejects new technology and has no part of it
dose this technology still effect their lives?
And last but no least..
Do mounties always get their man? :)


23 May 09 - 09:39 AM (#2639249)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: bobad

Mad Trapper wasn't Canadian, says researcher
By Darah Hansen, Canwest News ServiceMay 23, 2009

VANCOUVER - It turns out Canada's infamous historical ``Mad Trapper'' - who murdered a police officer in 1932, sparking a six-week manhunt through the Northwest Territories that ended with his death - may not be a Canadian.

A tooth, a fingernail and a portion of bone are helping to shed new light on that shadowy chapter of Canadian history, courtesy of cutting-edge scientific research underway at B.C.'s Simon Fraser University.

SFU forensic anthropologist Lynne Bell worked with a team of researchers to help track the true identity of Albert Johnson, the Arctic outlaw known as the ``Mad Trapper.''

What she found - that Johnson was likely an American or Scandinavian, rather than Canadian - stunned many involved in the project.

Johnson made headlines when, after shooting and killing an RCMP officer, he went on the lam, sparking off an intensive, six-week police manhunt across the N.W.T. wilderness. He died Feb. 17, 1932, after being shot by police, and was buried in the tiny community of Aklavik.

Recently, an Edmonton-based documentary film company set out to discover more about this mysterious figure, including his heritage. That's where Bell came in.

The Canadian Police Research Centre asked Bell to join the team because of her previous experience using isotopic testing to help determine geographic origin in modern human teeth. Bell uses data collected from human tissues to narrow down the region where a person was raised, and where he or she may have travelled in the last years and months of life.

Her tests on Johnson's body, which was exhumed from the Aklavik cemetery, involved tracing the levels of two different oxygen isotopes found in water systems.

According to Bell, the water people drink leaves an ``inherent signature'' in tooth enamel, making it possible to determine where they lived during childhood when the teeth were developing. In this case, she determined Johnson likely grew up in the United States or Scandinavia, and not Canada as many had previously thought.

``That was a surprise to me, too,'' she said of the results.

From tissues taken from Johnson's femur, Bell also determined corn had featured prominently in his diet over several years.

His fingernail, meanwhile, revealed clues to his activities in his final six months of life - about the time he first drew police attention following allegations he had been raiding traps set by local hunters.

Bell said nitrogen levels revealed Johnson had a ``pretty healthy protein intake'' over the summer and early fall of 1931; however, his diet appeared to change dramatically as the cold weather set in.

``We did see a biological indication he was getting less protein in the winter period,'' Bell said.

The results lend credibility to a theory Johnson may have been forced to raid traps in order to survive. At the time of his death, Bell added, there were no signs Johnson had ever been starving.

``When he was discovered, I believe he even had a squirrel, or some small mammal on him that he had killed. He was obviously managing to get protein while on the run,'' she said.

The Hunt for the Mad Trapper, produced by Myth Merchant Films, premiered on TV's Discovery Channel earlier this week.

Vancouver Sun

23 May 09 - 10:47 AM (#2639277)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: meself

I'm not sure why anyone is "stunned" that the trapper may have been American - from what I've read, there was from the very beginning speculation that he was American. I believe some of the items found to have been in his possession had some American connection - perhaps some of the money was American ...


On the subject of Wop May - perhaps his greatest feat has been neglected here - his mid-winter mercy flight from Fort Vermilion, Alberta, to - Yellowknife? Whitehorse? - somewhere up there. He was delivering flu vaccine, flying in an open cockpit plane, through bad, extremely cold weather. A feat of considerable skill and almost unbelievable toughness.

23 May 09 - 11:26 AM (#2639302)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: bankley

a movie was made about this story....I forget the title... maybe 'Manhunt' or something like that... Charles Bronson played Johnson, in the end he escaped to Alaska... James Coburn kinda let him..... but that's Hollywood... and happy endings...

09 Dec 09 - 09:31 PM (#2785073)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: the mad trapper of rat river
From: GUEST,Belle

I grew up on a song about Albert Johnson but I've never heard the version posted above. The parts that I remember are:

Rat River trapper, rat river man
crazy Albert Johnson, hard to understand

Built himself a cabin a long way from home
all he ever wanted was to be left alone
paid him a visit in the shivering cold
check out the stories that the Indians told

smoke from a wood stove someone's inside
but a man won't answer when he's tryin to hide

back to aklavik what shall we do
with a man in the cabin that nobody knew

they returned to the cabin with a band of loushew?
the weather was bad as the cold wind blew

.....along a creek bed he jumped up from nowhere and shot a mountie dead

covered his tracks by a herd of caribou
you could see this man wasn't anybody's fool
on February 17th 1932 lying on the ice someone nobody knew
in the cold of the land of the mid day sun
he died from the bullets of mounties gun.

I'm sure there is more and i butchered the spelling of a lot of words but that's the song I used to sing from a wonderful crackling record.

12 Dec 09 - 01:28 PM (#2786987)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: GUEST,Smithy

My folks were the neighbour's to Kings(RCMP)sister back in the 40's There was spectulation at that time of the hunt for Albert Johnson that outfoxed his trailer's and that the Mounties may have tracted someone else and they shot the wrong man. Someone mentioned in former discription of this event about flashlights Thats the last thing Mounties ever had at that time.

31 Dec 09 - 09:31 PM (#2800537)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: GUEST,Phillip

Belle, I used to have this album and am trying to find it. It was a Canadian group called "Scarlet and Gold"

01 Jan 10 - 02:49 PM (#2800914)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carte
From: GUEST,Phillip

There was also a move about this with Charles Bronson portraying Albert Johnson.

04 Jan 10 - 11:06 AM (#2803010)
Subject: Lyr Add: RAT RIVER TRAPPER (Doug Hutton)
From: Jim Dixon

From Figures in a Ground: Canadian Essays on Modern Literature Collected in Honor of Sheila Watson by Sheila Watson, Diane Bessai, David Jackel (Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books, 1978), page 244f:

Item 11: a song written to celebrate the RCMP Centennial in 1974. It was first recorded on a memorial album called Scarlet and Gold.

Doug Hutton (Bulrush Music, BMIC, 1974.)

CHORUS: Rat River trapper, Rat River man,
Chased through the northland, catch him if you can.
Rat River trapper, Rat River man,
Crazy Albert Johnson, hard to understand.

1. Built himself a cabin a long way from home.
All he ever wanted was to be left alone.
Pay him a visit in the shivering cold.
Check out the story the Indians told.

2. Smoke from a woodstove. Someone's inside,
But a man won't answer when he's trying to hide.
Back to Aklavik. What shall we do
With a man in the cabin? But nobody knew.

3. Four men with dog team, driving through the snow,
Eighty miles from nowhere at forty below.
A 30-30 rifle makes a terrible sound,
And a Mountie lying on the frozen ground.

4. Back with the posse and a band of Loucheux,
The weather was bad as the cold wind blew.
Then one day along a creek bed,
He jumped up from nowhere and shot a Mountie dead.

5. Over the mountain, by the Barrie [sic] River Pass,
Walking on his snowshoes he kept moving fast.
Covered his tracks by a herd of caribou.
You could see this man wasn't anybody's fool.

6. On February seventeen nineteen thirty-two,
Lying on the ice, someone nobody knew.
In the cold of the land of the midnight sun,
He died from the bullets of the posse's guns.

09 Jan 10 - 03:52 AM (#2807293)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)

Karl Gardlund was my Grandpa.

Thank you Inukshuk for your post of April 17, 2004 clarifying my Grandfather's name etc.

I was fortunate to be in Aklavik in 2007 with my young children. We visited my family, most of whom are descendents of Karl & Sarah Ann Gardlund. There are many in Aklavik with the Gardlund name and a road as well. My Granny Sarah Ann Gardlund (nee Firth) and Grandpa Karl Gardlund (originally of Sweden) lived here, raised their family here, and both worked very hard and did many things including trapping here. My Grandpa passed before my Granny and she loved him well and passed at age 92 in 2007 and is buried beside him, after the family received special approval to do so. The cemetary is just down the road from the one in which the Mad Trapper is buried. It is just really special to see the name Gardlund mentioned and spelt correctly; right from the beginning the reports had it incorrect, not a big deal but as it is part of my history too it is nice to see his name correct. Thank you Carla.

09 Jan 10 - 05:07 PM (#2807788)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: Inukshuk

Hello Carla,
I was the principal at Moose Kerr School in the late sixties and early seventies. I knew your grandparents well, they were special people indeed. Sarah Ann once made me a hat. I also knew their children, but their names escape me at the moment. I must have known one of your parents. You can send me a personal message here at Mudcat and we can get in touch by email. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Neil Stoneman (AKA Sitingi)

05 Oct 10 - 12:48 PM (#3000251)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: GUEST,AbsoluteNow

Here is the song "Rat River Trapper" written by Doug Hutton for the RCMP commemorative album "Scarlet and Gold" (1974).

05 Oct 10 - 06:09 PM (#3000469)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: Sandy Mc Lean

Rat River Trapper

05 Oct 10 - 07:32 PM (#3000558)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: Tim Chesterton

I was the minister at All Saints' Anglican Church in Aklavik 1984-88 and while I was there I performed the funeral service for Lazarus Sittichinli who was an RCMP special constable on the patrol that shot the Mad Trapper. Lazarus lived to the age of 97 and was an altogether amazing man. He told me many amazing stories about his life in the bush, but the Mad Trapper story was not one of them. I had to get that one from others. Lazarus did not want to talk about it, at least not to me.

24 Mar 13 - 08:16 PM (#3494399)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)

There was another song written about Albert Johnson. The last time I heard it was probably mid 60s. I've been unable to find any reference to it anywhere and was starting to think I'd imagined it when my brother confirmed my memory and added two lines that I remembered but hadn't given him. These are the lyrics I remember which include the last two lines of second to last verse and last verse:

He managed to shoot one more Mountie
And then the Mad Trapper lay dead.

In his body they found six lead bullets
Like a man made of sawdust he lay
Why the Mad Trapper hated the Mounties
Is a secret that died that day.
Can anyone help?

24 Mar 13 - 08:32 PM (#3494402)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

The Stanley G. Triggs song The Mad Trapper of Rat River is the only one of the three listed in wikipedia that we don't have here (though it was referred to above). It was released in 61, so it could be that. It's available from many online suppliers and it's on spotify too if you want to have a listen and check. (I don't do spotify, otherwise I'd check).


24 Mar 13 - 08:36 PM (#3494403)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Capture of Albert Johnson (Wilf Carter)
From: GUEST,Volanges

Thanks for the suggestion but my research revealed that Triggs' song is just Wilf Carter/Montana Slim's song with a different title.

It sounds nothing like the song I'm looking for.