Blade

Lumberjack Songs While You Wait

A.M. Johnston. "Lumberjack Songs While You Wait."
American Lumberman 24 June 1916: 27.

Paul's Camp

Lumberjack Songs While You Wait

The enclosed is a product of my heat oppressed brain. Thinking you could use it I am sending it to you. I was quite a small boy when I first began to hear of Paul Bunyan. Among the shanty boys of northern Michigan innumerable legends of the exploits of this remarkable personage were current. It was said that Paul, after his disastrous experience in building logging railroads in Louisiana, returned to Pott's Headquarters, in Oscoda County, Michigan. While there he took one drink of the "rattlesnake juice" which passed for whiskey in that part of the town known as "the hard end." This gave him such a thirst that he went out to a spring on the hillside and attempted to drown his thirst in the waters of the spring. Having drank until he could drink no more, he took a spiked skid for a chaser and that killed him.
A.M. Johnston, Ludington, Michigan


Joe Le Flambeau

My name is Joe le Flambeau.
I come from Canadaw.
I swing de canthook on de log
From Sault to Saginaw.
You bet your life de lumberjack
Dey all stan' roun' an' look
When Joe le Flambeau mounts de log
An' swings dat ol' canthook.

I work t'ree year for Bunyan-
Paul Bunyan, dat's de guy.
We work all winter on one pine
De trees dey is so high.
Ten t'ousand men he had in camp
So sure as you are born.
It took ten of de bigges' mans
To blow de dinner horn.

An' when de tam for lunch come roun'
Each man look at de moon.
De chore boy carry lunch dat year
In a grat beeg gas balloon.
An' when de mans come in at night
I tell you it was great.
To wait on all dose man in tam
De cook wear roller skate.

One winter when I work for Paul
De snow she was so deep
We cut de tree down from de top
An' haul heem up wit' sweep.
We sleep all Sunday in de camp
An' den work day an' night.
An' when we come to skid de log
We use a great beeg kite.

Den Paul shes go to Louisan',
An' me, I go wit' heem.
To clear a road across de swamp
We use five t'ousand team.
De alligat' she was so teek
Paul scratch hees head an' cry
"We built a railroad an' we use
De alligat' for tie."

We capture all de alligat'
An' spike down all de rails.
De heads dey's lookin' all one way
An' all one way de tails.
But when we put de heads one way
We mak' one beeg mistake.
We get hup in de mornin'
An' de railroad's in de lak'.

Some tam I work on de river,
Some tam I work on de woods,
But when it comes to canthook work
I tell you I'm de goods.
Dey all come out to watch me,
From foremans down to cook,
When I mounts de log on de bankin' groun'
An' swings dat ol' canthook.

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