Just a Poor Lumberjack
DESCRIPTION: Recitation. A youth pushes a drunken lumberjack into the gutter. Another lumberjack saves a child from a fire, but dies in the process. A third dies in the woods. All are mourned with the chorus, "'Twas only a poor old lumberjack"
EARLIEST DATE: 1941 (Beck)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Recitation. A drunken lumberjack is pushed into the gutter by a posh youth; a stranger warns the youth not to make wisecracks, or he'll get the same treatment. Another lumberjack saves a child from a fire, but dies in the process. A third, unknown, dies in the woods. All are mourned with the chorus, "'Twas only a poor old lumberjack."
KEYWORDS: lumbering logger warning fight rescue death work recitation
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Beck 64, "Just a Poor Lumberjack" (1 text)
cf. "Only a Miner (The Hard-Working Miner)" [Laws G33] (theme)
NOTES: Pieces like this are easy to deride as mawkish melodrama, but they contain a spine of self-respect among men who were often ill-treated by the "respectable" society whose needs they supplied. - PJS
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.