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Shanty Boy on the Big Eau Claire Come all you jolly shanty-boys, come listen to my song It's one I've just invented, it won't detain you long It's about a pretty maiden, a damsel young and fair Who dearly loved a shanty-boy upon the big Eau Claire This young and artful maiden with a noble pedigree Her mother she kept a milliner's shop 'way down in Mosinee She sold waterfalls and ribbons and bonnets trimmed with lace To all the high-toned people in this gay and festive place This shanty-boy was handsome, there were none so gay as he In the summer time he labored at the mills of Mosinee Till stern keen winter came along with cool and blistering breeze He went upon the Big Eau Claire to fee the big pine trees He had a handsome black mustache and a curly head of hair A finer lad than he was not upon the Big Eau Claire He loved this milliner's daughter, he loved her long and well Till circumstances happened and this is what I tell The milliner swore her daughter the shanty-boy never to wed But Sally, seeming not to care for what her mother said So she packed down her waterfalls and bonnets by the stack And started another milliner shop 'way down by Fond du Lac It was in her occupation she found but little joy Thoughts came rushing through her mind about the shanty-boy Till one fine autumn came along to ripen all the crops She then went down to Baraboo and went to picking hops Sal is broken-hearted and tired of her life She's thinking of the shanty-boy, and wished to be his wife She caught the scarlet fever, was sick a week or two Down in a shabby pest-house, 'way down in Baraboo It was oftimes in her raving she tore her auburn hair And talked about her shanty-boy upon the Big Eau Claire The doctors tried, but all in vain, her life they could not save And now this weeping willow stands drooping o'er her grave When the shanty-boy heard this sad news, he became a lunatic He acted just as others do when they become love-sick He hid his saw in a hollow log and traded off his ax And hired out to pull an oar a fleet for Sailor Jack He fell off from a rapids-place at the falls of Mosinee Which put an end to his career and all his misery The bold Wisconsin River is waving o'er his bones His friends and his companions are weeping for him at home The milliner now is bankrupt; her shop is gone to wrack She's thinking now of some fine day to move to Fond du Lac Her pillow sobbed every night in spite of her daughter fair And by the ghost of the shanty-boy upon the Big Eau Claire Come all ye young and pretty fair maids, come take an advice of me Not be too fast to fall in love with everyone you see For the shanty-boys are rowdyish, which everybody knows They dwell in the mighty pine woods where the mighty pine tree grows Stealing logs or shingle brooms, telling each other lies Playing cards, or swearing, is all their exercise But if you want to marry for comfort or for joy I advise you to get married to an honest farmer's boy DT #819 Laws C11 From Peters, Folk Songs Out of Wisconsin Collected from Mathilda Kjorstad-Myer by Franz Rickaby in 1923 SOF oct96
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!