Shantyman's Life (I), The

DESCRIPTION: "The shantyman's life is a wearisome one, Though some say it's free from care; It's the ringing of the axe from morning until night in the middle of the forest drear." The singer lists the hazards of his life; he plans to go home, marry, and settle down
AUTHOR: George W. Stace?
EARLIEST DATE: 1858 (broadside)
KEYWORDS: logger nonballad lumbering
FOUND IN: Canada(Mar) US(MA,MW,NE,NW,Ro) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (23 citations):
Dean-FlyingCloud, pp. 87-88, "The Shanty Man's Life" (1 text)
Rickaby-BalladsAndSongsOfTheShantyBoy 9, "The Shanty-man's Life" (2 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes)
Rickaby/Dykstra/Leary-PineryBoys-SongsSongcatchingInLumberjackEra 9, "The Shanty-man's Life" (2 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, p. 81, "The Shantyman's Life (I)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 103, "The Shantyman's Life" (1 text plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Gray-SongsAndBalladsOfTheMaineLumberjacks, pp. 53-57, "The Lumberman's Life" (2 texts)
Eckstorm/Smyth-MinstrelsyOfMaine, pp. 33-36, "The Lumberman's Life" (3 texts)
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 211-213, "A Shantyman's Life" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Fowke/Johnston-FolkSongsOfCanada, pp. 66-67, "The Shantyman's Life" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton/Senior-TraditionalSongsOfNovaScotia, pp. 274, "Shantyman's Life" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie-BalladsAndSeaSongsFromNovaScotia 150, "The Lumberman's Life" (1 text)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 1, "A Shantyman's Life" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, pp. 256-257, "(no title)" (1 text)
Korson-PennsylvaniaSongsAndLegends, p. 348, "The Shantyman" (1 text, a slightly modified version which opens with the words "The shanty man is the man I do love best," which causes Roud to number it as #7756, but too much of it is the same as this song to really justify separation)
Shoemaker-MountainMinstrelsyOfPennsylvania, pp. 261-263, "The Pinery Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 34, "The Shanty Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg-TheAmericanSongbag, pp. 390-391, "The Shanty-Man's Life" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-TreasuryOfNewEnglandFolklore, pp. 567-568, "The Lumberman's Life" (1 text, 1 tune)
Beck-SongsOfTheMichiganLumberjacks 6, "A Shantyman's Life" (1 text)
Beck-TheyKnewPaulBunyan, pp. 103-105, "A Shanty Man's Life" (1 text)
Beck-LoreOfTheLumberCamps 11, "A Shantyman's Life" (1 text)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #2085, p. 140, "A Shantyman's Life" (1 reference)

Roud #838
Pierre La Dieu, "The Shanty Man's Life" (Columbia 15278-D, 1928)
Pete Seeger, "The Shantyman's Life" (on PeteSeeger29)

cf. "Barbara Allen" (tune) (the usual tune for this piece is what Charles Seeger called the "type 1" Barbara Allen tune and Bronson labelled the "Group D" tune)
cf. "A Cowboy's Life" (tune & meter; lyrics)
NOTES [83 words]: Some versions of this song refer to a lack of liquor; Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman reports that strong drink was banned in most logging camps in the years after 1860. The only recourse was a "visit to the dentist" or the like -- an excuse that obviously could only be tried so many times.
The broadside version of this is credited to George W. Stace [or Stage] of "La Crosse Valley, Wis[consin]." For what it's worth, La Crosse is in the heart of what used to be the Big Woods country.- RBW
Last updated in version 6.4
File: Doe211

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