Trip on the Erie, A (Haul in Your Bowline)
DESCRIPTION: "You can talk about your picnics and trips on the lake, / But a trip on the Erie you bet takes the cake!" A summary of life on the Erie canal, ending with comments about the cook: "A dumpling, a pet, / And we use her for a headlight at night on the deck!"
EARLIEST DATE: 1933 (collected from E. W. Armstrong and Edward Navin by Walton)
KEYWORDS: cook canal humorous
1825 - Erie Canal opens (construction began in 1817)
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW) Canada(Ont)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Walton/Grimm/Murdock, pp. 167-168, "The E-ri-o Canal" (1 text)
FSCatskills 94, "Haul in Your Bowline" (1 text+fragments, 1 tune)
Warner 35, "A Trip on the Erie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-ABFS, pp. 455-457, "Ballad of the Erie Canal" (1 text, composite and probably containing stanzas from other Erie Canal songs); pp. 459-463, "The Erie Canal Ballad" (8 texts, some fragmentary, most of which belong here though at least one is "The E-ri-e"); pp. 465-466, "A Trip on the Erie" (1 text)
ThompsonNewYork, p. 246, "(no title)" (2 exceprts)
cf. "The E-ri-e" (theme) and references there
cf. "The Erie Canal"
Haul In Your Towline
NOTES [185 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 or, in a few cases, oxen ("horned breezes").
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.
It does appear that, of all the Erie Canal songs, this is the most amorphous. The Walton text (which may also be composite) has an eight--line chorus, starting with the "Haul in your bo'lin" chorus characteristic of this song, then tacking on the "For the Erie she's a-rising" chorus of "The E-ri-e." The verses are also a mix: The crew thinks they've spotted a pirate in the fog; they hit a lump of coal; they end up in jail. I've tagged the song "humorous" mostly based on that wild text.
I really wish Walton had obtained a tune for his version. It must have been interesting.- RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.