Digital Tradition Mirror

The Mad Fiddler of the North Country

The Mad Fiddler of the North Country
(Christopher Shaw)

Oh, come with me to the north country,
Where the Devil and the cold winds wail,
Where the drink is strong and the nights are long,
And I'll tell an Adirondak tale.

It was on a cold and moonlit night, Dan Barrow tracked that bear,
And his good hound howled, and the bear he growled,
And their fighting filled the air.
Then the the bear stood on his hind legs, and with one almighty blow,
He knocked the hound down to the ground, and it died there in the snow.

Then the bruin turned to Barrow, with blood fever in his eyes,
And the whole north woods resounded with the fury of his cries.
But Barrow stood his ground there, and he jerked his .44;
But the pistol would not fire, it was frozen to the core.

As the bear advanced upon him, he fell backwards in the snow,
But before the beast could reach him,
It stopped dead in the moon's bright glow.
Then somewhere in the pine woods, a fiddle tune split the night,
And the fiddle's wail made the bear turn tail, and flee into the night.

Barrow climbed back to his feet, and he peered into the night,
As a man stepped from the shadows, and into the moon's bright light.
But as the moon's light fell upon him, not a weapon did it show,
But just a man there in a mackinaw, with a fiddle and a bow.
Barrow called out to the man, as to what his name might be:
"Nick Goodoe," cried the stranger, "the mad fiddler of the north country."

Five winters they had come and gone since first the two men met,
And in a public house in Saranac, Nick Goodoe's luck was spent.
For a half-crazed, drunken logger, with a temper and a 12-inch knife,
Decided to skin the fiddler for entertainment there that night.

The logger said "friends, gather round, and watch this fiddler die!"
As Barrow shoved his .44 right between his eyes.
Sweat came to the logger's f
And as the fiddler waltzed out of the door, they heard these words from Dan:
"Now, there ain't one man among you, with the courage or the gall,
To go out and walk these wild north woods, with just a fiddle and a mackinaw."

(repeat first verse)

Copyright Christopher Shaw

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

Contents: ? A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Main Page