Lumber Camp Song, The

DESCRIPTION: A song describing life in the lumber camp. The shanty boys are men of all places and occupations. Most of the song is devoted to details of meals, smoking in the evening, and sleep. Details of the song vary widely
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1896 (Delaney's Song Book #13)
KEYWORDS: logger separation lumbering moniker
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE) Canada(Mar,Newf,Ont)
REFERENCES (16 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 210-211, "The Lumber Camp Song" (1 text)
Rickaby 14, "Jim Porter's Shanty Song" (2 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
RickabyDykstraLeary 14, "Jim Porter's Shanty Song" (2 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
Peters, pp. 82-83, "The Shantyman's Life (II)" (1 text, listed by Peters as a version ot "The Shantyman's Life (I)" but clearly this)
Gardner/Chickering 104, "The Shanty Boys" (1 text)
Flanders/Olney, pp. 141-143, "The Shanty Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke/Johnston, pp. 72-73, "The Lumber Camp Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenleaf/Mansfield 159, "The Lumber Camp Song" (1 text)
Peacock, pp. 750-751, "Hurling Down the Pine" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fowke-Lumbering #5, "The Lumbercamp Song" (4 short texts, tune referenced); #7, "Hurry Up, Harry" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dibblee/Dibblee, pp. 38-39, "Shanty Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
FSCatskills 2, "Cutting Down the Pines" (1 text, 1 tune)
Korson-PennLegends, pp. 350-351, "Song of the Shanty Boys" (1 text)
Beck 11, "The Shanty Boys in the Pine" (2 texts, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "The Wanigan Songbook" by Isabel J. Ebert, pp. 208-210, "The Wolf River Shanty Boy Song" (1 text, 1 tune, sung by Emory DeNoyer)

ST Doe210 (Full)
Roud #667
Emery DeNoyer, "Shantyman's Life" (AFS, 1941; on LC55)
cf. "Jim, the Carter Lad" (lyrics)
cf. "The Herring Gibbers" (theme, tune)
cf. "Turner's Camp on the Chippewa" [Laws C23] (theme)
cf. "Falling of the Pine" (theme)
cf. "Johnny Carroll's Camp" (theme)
cf. "Dans Les Chantiers (The Winter Camp)" (theme)
cf. "The Winter of '73 (McCullam Camp)" (theme)
cf. "Burns's Log Camp" (theme)
cf. "Bunkhouse Ballad" (theme)
cf. "Winter Desires" (theme)
cf. "Hall's Lumber Crew" (theme)
cf. "Peaslee's Lumber Crew" (structure)
cf. "Dempsey's Lumber-Camp Song" (theme)
cf. "Trimble's Crew" (theme, tune)
cf. "Poupore's Shanty Crew" (theme, tune)
cf. "The Oxen Song" (theme)
cf. "The Boys at Ninety-Five" (theme)
cf. "The Tomahawk Hem" (theme)
cf. "The Fisherman Yankee Brown" (tune)
cf. "Lumberman's Song" (theme)
NOTES [245 words]: Fowke states that this is derived from "Jim the Carter Lad." That they have shared verses is undeniable. I'm not quite as sure that this is a direct descendant.
Fowke lists her unique text "Hurry Up, Harry" as a separate song, and Roud surprisingly consents (#4363) -- but it has the same form and many of the same lyrics as this piece; the only substantial difference is the addition of the chorus "So it's hurry up, Harry, and Tom or Dick or Joe.... (and even that shows up in the verses of some versions such as Gardner/Chickering and Cazden et al). I'd still call it the same song, at least until someone finds a version other than LaRena Clark's.
Gray, p. xvii, states that the song "originated about 1847 near Muskegon, Michigan." He offers no evidence for this assertion. - RBW
Peacock: "For a marine variant with the same tune see... The Herring Gibbers, [which could be] the original version. However, considering the fact that the lumbering version has been traced back at least a hundred years I am inclined to give it priority" - BS
Much of logging camp routine was determined by the climate and seasons. It was easier to cut trees when the sap was not running, so the camps were active during the winter; this also let them run the logs downstream in the spring when the water levels were higher. This had the final benefit that it let some of the loggers farm during the summer. But it did mean that life in camp was rather limited in its possibilities. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
File: Doe210

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