MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Lumberman's Alphabet
Martin Reddigan NFLD 1 Tape 6A Track 3
Calvert Audio:
Alphabet song

A is the axes we generally use
B is the boy that can use them also
C for the chopping we now do begin
D for the danger we often stand in

E is the echo that through the woods rings
F for the foreman the head of all gangs
G for the grindstone that merrily go round
H for the handle so smooth and so round

I is the ink that we mark out our pines
J is the jovial log fire off behind
K for the key men your axes to keep
L for the big line around us do sleep

M for the moss that we stog up our camp
N for the needle we stitch up our pants
O for the owl that goes hooting all night
P is for the big pine that often falls right

Q for the quarrelling we do not allow
R for the river our logs we do bough
S for the big sled so heavy and strong
T for the big team that pull them along

U for the use that we put ourselves to
V for the valley our logs are swung through
W for work that we leave in the spring
I've sung all to you that I'm going to sing

So fare you well, darling, I'll tell you in time
The other three letters I can't bring in rhyme
The train she is coming and the whistle do blow
So fare you well darling, from the woods we will go

So merry, so merry, so merry are we
No mortals alive are happier than we
To me hi-darry, low-darry, i-darry ding dong
If you chop her fair play and there's nothing goes wrong


Notes

Sources: cf. Fowke 1958: #1 ("The Shanty-Man's Alphabet"); Roud 159;

History:

Text notes: Occupation specific alphabet songs abound. For other lumberman's alphabet songs, for instance, see Bethke 1981: 59.   Alphabet songs relating to the lives of sailors and air force pilots are also among those on this website.

Tune notes: Most alphabet songs are in 6/8 metre since it fits the rhythm of the basic phrase "A is for...."

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.