Erie Canal, The
DESCRIPTION: "I've got a mule, her name is Sal, Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal." "Low bridge, everybody down, Low bridge, for we're going through a town...." About the long, slow trip along the Erie Canal -- and the mule the singer works with
AUTHOR: Thomas S. Allen?
EARLIEST DATE: 1905
KEYWORDS: canal animal nonballad work
1825 - Erie Canal opens (construction began in 1817)
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
ThompsonNewYork, pp. 249-250, "Low Bridge, Everybody Down/I've Got a Mule, Her Name Is Sal" (2 short texts)
Sandburg, pp. 171-173, "The Erie Canal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 457-458, "The Erie Canal" (1 text plus a separate verse which may or may not be part of the same song); p. 464, "Erie Canal" (2 texts, the first going here while the second is "The Raging Canal (I)"); p. 466, "(A Trip on the Erie)" (the second song files under the title "A Trip on the Erie," but is actually this piece); pp. 467-469, "Low Bridge, Everybody Down or Fifteen Years on the Erie Canal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 102-103, "The Erie Canal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fireside, p. 37, "The Erie Canal" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 126, "The Erie Canal" (1 text)
Mack Allen (pseud. for Vernon Dalhart), "Low Bridge, Everybody Down" (Harmony 931-H/Velvet Tone 1831-V/Diva 2831-G, 1929 (Note: this is a different recording from the one issued on Columbia under Dalhart's own name; that was electrically recorded, whereas this was acoustically recorded.)
Vernon Dalhart, "Low Bridge Everybody Down" (Columbia 15378-D, 1929)
Edward Meeker, "Low Bridge! Everybody Down" (CYL: Edison [BA] 1761, 1913)
Billy Murray, "Low Bridge! Everybody Down!" (Victor 17250, 1913; rec. 1912)
Peerless Quartette, "Low Bridge, Everybody Down" (Columbia A1296, 1913; rec. 1912)
Pete Seeger, "Erie Canal, " (PeteSeeger31) (on PeteSeeger46)
cf. "A Trip on the Erie (Haul in Your Bowline)"
cf. "The E-ri-e" (plot)
cf. "The Raging Canal (I)"
cf. "Bullhead Boat" (subject)
NOTES [81 words]: The Erie Canal, as originally constructed, was a small, shallow channel which could only take barges. These vessels -- if such they could be called -- were normally hauled along by mules.
The Lomaxes, in American Ballad and Folk Songs, thoroughly mingled many texts of the Erie Canal songs (in fairness, some of this may have been the work of their informants -- but in any case the Lomaxes did not help the problem). One should check all the Erie Canal songs for related stanzas. - RBW
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