Jimmy Judge

Jimmy Judge was this young man's name, I'm going to let you know,
And I mean to sing his praises wherever I do go.
For he was as fine a young man as ever the sun shone on,
And 'twas on that Bonneshai River that he was drownded on.

Come all you wild young heroes that run the restless deep,
Just think of the sad fate of him who now beneath you sleeps.
It was of as fine a young man as ever the sun shined on,
Down on those foaming waters he found a dismal doom.

It was on the Bonneshai River aways below Renfrew
That he went to break the jam and with it he went through.
In spite of his activity his precious life to save,
In vain was his exertion; he found a watery grave.

It was early the next morning the raftman all did join.
They all sailed out together this young man for to find.
They searched the deep in every place where the current does so fly,
It was a fisher boy, as I am told, his floating corpe did spy.

It would melt your heart with pity when they brought him on the shore
For to see his handsome features with the rocks all cut and tore,
To see so fine a young man all in his youthful bloom.
Down on those foaming waters he found a dismal doom.

Oh the lass that loved him dearly, she cried, "Now I'm undone!"
Likewise his aged parents, they cried "My darlin son."
But now he is in Paradise and happy he may be,
For I hope in heaven his soul will shine for all eternity.

Fifty Thousand Lumberjacks

The 1917 lumber strike changed the outcast, blanket-toting timberbeast into a highly respected lumber worker welcomed anywhere. No other strike in history has so transformed life styles. The demands that did this were won by job action after military repressions made it advisable for IWW to call the walkout off, seemingly defeated.


Fifty-thousand lumberjacks, fifty thousand packs,
Fifty-thousand dirty rolls of blankets on their backs.
Fifty-thousand minds made up to strike and strike like men;
For fifty years they've packed a bed, but never will again.

"Such a lot of devils'" -that's what the papers say -
"They've gone on strike for shorter hours and some increase in pay:
They left the camps, the lazy tramps, they all walked out as one;
They say they'll win the strike or put the bosses on the bum.

Fifty thousand wooden bunks full of things that crawl;
Fifty thousand restless men have left them once for all, '
One by one they dared not say "Fat, the hours are long."
If they did they'd hike - but now they're fifty thousand strong.

Take a tip and start right in; plan some cozy rooms,
Six or eight spring beds in each, with towels, sheets, and brooms,
Shower baths for men who work keep them well and fit,
A laundry, too, and drying room would help a little bit.

The Town of Brandywine

Rob Hollett, 1999

Young Mary was a maiden when the birds began to sing;
She was fairer than a blooming rose so early in the spring.
Her heart was gay and merry on that morning fair and fine
For her lover was a driver from the town of Brandywine.

Young Charlie used a peavie with a driver's hand and skill,
And he swung an axe with energy in the northern forest still.
He would labour all the winter and in the summer in the pines
And they called him Charlie Williams from the town of Brandywine

Young Mary, she got married to her lover in the spring
When the buds began to blossom and the birds began to sing.
"I will labor all the winter and in summer in the pines
I'll return to you, my darling, when the fruit is on the vine."

Young Mary she was faded and no more was gazed upon,
For the happiness of her maiden dreams his wild career had run,
And early one morning on Wisconsin dreary clime
He had run those noisy rapids for his last sad fatal time.

They found his body lying on the rocky shores below
Where the noisy waters ripple and the silent cedars grow.
"'I would send to her a letter, but I'm afraid that she'd recline,"
Said a friend of Charlie Williams from the town of Brandywine.

Now every raft of timber that goes down the Chippewa
His lonesome grave is visited by drivers on their way.
They will plant wild flowers o'er his grave and pluck the weaving vines
On the grave of Charlie Williams on the river through the pine.

In a distance city I visited not many months ago
It was in a southern climate where strange faces come and go
I saw a gray haired damsel and no more her eyes did shine
It was the widow of young Williams from the town of Brandywine

She smiled as she saw me and she looked so old a gray
"I'm prepared to meet my river boy." those words to me did say,
"And it's early in the autumn when the fruit is on the vine
I will welcome back my river boy to the town of Brandywine"

White Water

Wade Hemsworth

When I was young and in my prime
I thought I'd go for a river driver
And I met an old man on the shore,
He said, "Son, better watch white water."

Break and go, I tell you so,
Logjams like young men like you!

I just laughed and I laughed some more -
What was I but a bold young rover?
And I left him on the shore
That was before I knew white water.

What was I but a bold young fool
And it wasn't long till I learned better
That's when young MacPherson drowned
He was gone with a roar when the jam turned over.

So we dragged him to the shore
Carved his name in the bark of a cedar
Hung his boots on a hanging limb -
Mac had gone too near the water.

Logjams come and logjams go -
Big or small, they all spell danger,
You gotta have an old man on the shore
When you're trying to get the key log out from under.

Now I heed what the old man said -
I listen to the words of the big boss driver
When he's standing on the shore
Telling young fellows how to handle timber.

Break and go, it's now I see
Log jams like young men like me!

Blue Mountain Lake

Come all of you fellas where'er you may be
Come sit down awhile and listen to me
The truth I will tell you without a mistake
'Bout the rackets we had down in Blue Mountain Lake
Derry down down down derry down

There’s the Sullivan Brothers and big Jimmy Lou
And old Moose Gilbert and dandy Pat too
As fine lot of fellah’s as ever was seen
And they all worked for Griffin on township 19
Derry down down down derry down

Bill Mitchell you know he kept our shanty
As mean a damn man that you ever did see
He laid round the shanty from morning til night
If a man said a word he was ready to fight
Derry down down down derry down

One day before daylight Jim Lou he got mad
Knocked the hell out of Mitchell and the boys was all glad
His wife she stood there and the truth I will tell
She was tickled to death to see Mitchell catch hell
Derry down down down derry down

Instrumental break

And now me good fellas adieu to you all
For Christmas is coming and I’m going to Glen Falls
And when I get there I’ll go out on a spree
For you know when I’ve money the devils in me
Derry down down down derry down


Capo 3

Am    G
Am    G     Am
Am    G
Am    C     G
Am    G     Am

The Frozen Logger

James Stevens

As I sat down one evening within a small cafe,
A forty year old waitress to me these words did say:

"I see that you are a logger, and not just a common bum,
'Cause nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with is thumb.

My lover was a logger, there's none like him today;
If you'd pour whiskey on it he could eat a bale of hay

He never shaved his whiskers from off of his horny hide;
He'd just drive them in with a hammer and bite them off inside.

My lover came to see me upon one freezing day;
He held me in his fond embrace which broke three vertebrae.

He kissed me when we parted, so hard that he broke my jaw;
I could not speak to tell him he'd forgot his mackinaw.

I saw my lover leaving, sauntering through the snow,
Going gaily homeward at forty-eight below.

The weather it tried to freeze him, it tried its level best;
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest.

It froze clean through to China, it froze to the stars above;
At a thousand degrees below zero, it froze my logger love.

They tried in vain to thaw him, and would you believe me, sir
They made him into axeblades, to chop the Douglas fir.

And so I lost my lover, and to this cafe I come,
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb."

Tickle Cove Pond

Sourced from the singing of Alan Mills, "Folk Songs of Newfoundland," 1953

In cuttin' and haulin', in frost and in snow,
We're up against trouble that few people know
And only with patience and courage and grit,
And eatin' plain food can we keep ourselves fit.
The hard and the easy we take as it comes,
And when ponds freeze over, we shorten our runs,
To hurry my haulin', with spring comin' on
Near lost me my mare out on Tickle Cove Pond.

Lay hold, William Oldford, lay hold William White
Lay hold of the cordage and pull all your might,
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can,
And give me a lift for poor Kit on the pond

I knew that the ice became weaker each day
But still took the risk and kept haulin' away,
One evenin' in April, bound home with a load,
The mare showed some haltin' upon the ice road.
She knew more than I did, as matters turned out,
And lucky for me had I joined in her doubt,
She turned round her head and with tears in her eyes
As if she were sayin', "You're risking our lives!"

All this I ignored with a whip-handle blow
For men are too stupid dumb creatures to know:
The very next moment, the pond gave a sigh
And up to our necks went poor Kitty and I.
Now if I had taken wise Kitty's advice
I never would take the short cut on the ice,
Poor creature, she's dead and poor creature, she's gone,
I'll near get my wood out of Tickle Cove Pond.

I raised an alarm you could hear for a mile,
And neighbours turned up in a very short while;
You can always depend on the Oldfords and Whites
To render assistance in all your bad plights.
The bowline was fastened around the mare's neck
William White for a shanty song made a request
There was no time for thinkin', no time for delay,
So straight from his head came this song rightaway:

Lay hold, William Oldford, Lay hold, William White,
Lay hold of the hawser and pull al your might,
Lay hold of the bowline and pull all you can -
And with that we got Kit out of Tickle Cove Pond

Hurry Up Harry

Music and lyrics by Rob Hollett, 1999

Come all you true born shanty-boys and listen on to me,
And when that e’er a woodsman that you may chance to see
We are a merry set of boys; so handsome, young and fine.
We spend a jolly winter a cutting down the pine.

So it’s hurry up Harry, and Tom or Dick or Joe
And you may take the pail boys, and for the water go.
In the middle of the splashing, the cook will dinner cry,
And you ought to see them hurry up for fear they’d lose their pie!

There’s blackstrap molasses, squaw buns as hard as rock
Tea that’s boiled in an old tin pail that smells just like your socks
The beans they are sour and the porridge thick as dough,
And when we stash them in our craw, it’s to the woods we go

A hitching up our braces and binding up our feet
A grinding up our axes for our kind is hard to beat!
A shouldering up our cross cut saws and though the woods we go,

We make a jolly set of boys a-trudging through the snow.

So deeply in the tree of pine we notch to guide its fall
And not a man amongst us will hear the timber call;
And when it crashes to the ground we’ll fall to with a will,
A trimming up the branches and a swearing fit to kill.

Arriving at the shanty, wet, tired, and with wet feet,
We all take off our socks and boots our supper for to eat.
At nine o’clock or there about into our bunks we’ll crawl
To sleep away the too short hours until the morning call.