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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 RG oct96
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