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Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

<a href="http://balladofamerica.bandcamp.com/track/once-more-a-lumbring-go">Once More a-Lumb'ring Go by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band</a>

About Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

The work of the lumberjack, or "shantyboy" as they were frequently called, was crucial to the growth of America. Not only did cutting timber clear the land for settlement, it provided lumber which was needed to build houses, towns, and ships. Lumbering centers spread from Maine to Pennsylvania and into the Great Lakes region, peaking in the mid-nineteenth century.

Unlike sailors who sang while they worked, lumberjacks generally sang at the end of their twelve to fourteen-hour workday when they went back to the shanty to sharpen their axes, eat, and sleep. The songs they sang were based on Anglo-Irish ballads, but with new lyrics that reflected the hardships and dangers of their work. Once More a-Lumb'ring Go, another song from the "come all ye…" tradition, is somewhat more flamboyant and boastful than most workers' ballads.

Lyrics to Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

chorus:

And once more a-lumb'ring go And once more a-lumb'ring go And we'll range the wild woods over And once more a-lumbring go

verses:

Come all you sons of freedom That run the Saginaw stream Come all you roving lumberjacks And listen to my theme We'll cross the Tittabawassee Where the mighty waters flow And we'll range the wild woods over And once more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

When the white frost takes the valley And the snow conceals the woods Each farmer has enough to do To earn the family food With the week no better pastime Than to hunt the buck and doe And we'll range the wild woods over And once more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

You may talk about your farms Your houses and fine ways And pity us poor shanty boys While dashing in our sleighs Around a good campfire at night We'll sing while the wild winds blow And we'll range the wild woods over And once more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

With our axes on our shoulders We'll make the woods resound And many a tall and stately tree Will come tumbling to the ground With our axes on our shoulders To our boot tops deep in snow We'll range the wild woods over And once more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

When navigation opens And the waters run so free We'll drive our logs to Saginaw Then haste our girls to see They will welcome our return And we'll in raptures flow And we'll stay with them through summer And once more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

When our youthful days are ended And our jokes are getting long We'll take us each a little wife And settle on a farm We'll have enough to eat and drink Contented we will go And we'll tell our wives of our hard times And no more a-lumb'ring go

(chorus)

Download Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

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Compact Disc with Once More a-Lumb'ring Go

This song is available on the compact disc:
Ballad of America Volume 1: Over a Wide and Fruitful Land
Once More a-Lumb'ring Go is on the CD Ballad of America Volume 1: Over a Wide and Fruitful Land

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