Digital Tradition Mirror

The Shanty Man

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Shanty Man

The shanty man leads a drearisome life,
Though you'd think it free of care
It's wielding an axe from morning till night,
In the middle of forests drear.
     Lying in the shanty bleak and cold,
     Where the stormy winds do blow,
     And as soon as the morning's daylight appears,
     To the wild woods we must go.

Transported am I from the haunts of man
On the banks of the Hudson stream,
Where tlle wolves and the owls with their terrible howls
Disturb our nightly dreams.
     At two o'clock our noisy old clock
     Sings out, " 'Tisthe hreak of day!"
     While in broken slumbers we do pass
     Those cold winter nights away.

Had we ale, win, or beer, our  courage for yp cheer
While in those dreary wilds
Or a glass of any shone, while in the woods alone
Wec would forgct old Erin's Isle.
     But remote from the glass or the smiles of the lass
     We lead but a drearisome life,
     Whilst others live at ease, contented for to please
     A brawling and a scolding wife.

When the spring it does come, double hardships begin,
When the waters are so piercing cold.
Dripping wet are our clothes, and our limbs are almost froze,
And our pike poles we scarcely can hold.
     While the rocks, shores, and jams gives employment to all hands
     And our well-banded rafts we do steer,
     While the rapids that we run seem to us but only fun,
     We avoid all slavish fear.

Though the shanty man is the one that I love best,
And I never will deny the same,
My heart scorns those few city foppish boys
Who think it a disgraceful name.
     You can boast about your farms, give the shanty boy his charms,
     So far they surpass them all.
     Until death it doth us part, we'll enjoy each other's heart,
     Let our riches be great or small.

From Traditional American Folk Songs, Anne and Frank Warner
Collected from John Galusha, 1941

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