MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Badger Drive
Maudie Sullivan NFLD 1 Tape 11A Track 6
Calvert Audio:
Ballad / lumbering

(speaks) yes . well just shut it off for a minute 'til I see can I pick up on the air before I

Leach: (speaks) Alright

There is one class of men in this country
That never was mentioned in song
And now since their trade is advancing
They'll come out on top before long
They say that our sailors have danger
And likewise our warriors bold
But there's none know the life of a driver
When he suffers from hardships and cold

Male voice: (speaks in background) Young girl

With their pike poles and peavey's and battles and all
And their sure to drive out in the spring that's the time
With the cocks in their boots as they get on the logs
And it's hard to get over their time

Billy Dorsey he is the manager
And he's a good man at the trade
And when he's around seeking drivers
He's like a train going downgrade
But still he's a man that's kind-hearted
On his word you can always depend
And there's never a man that works with him
But that likes to go with him again

I tell you today home in London
The Times it is read by each man
But little they think of the fellows
That drove the wood on Mary Anne
For paper is made out of pulpwood
And many more things you may know
And long may our men live to drive it
Upon Paymeoch and Tom Joe

The drive it is just below Badger
And everything is working grand
With a jolly good crew of pick drivers
And Ronald Kelly in command
For Ronald is Boss on the river
And I tell you he's a man that's alive
He drove the wood off Victoria
Now he's out on the main river drive

With their pike poles and peavey's and battles and all
And their sure to drive out in the spring that's the time
With the cocks in their boots as they get on the logs
And it's hard to get over their time

So now to conclude and to finish
I hope that ye all will agree
In wishing success to old Badger
And the A.N.D. Company
And long may they live for to flourish
And continue to chop drive and roll
And long may the business be managed
By Mr. Dorsey and Mr. Cole


Notes

Sources:   Mercer 95; Doyle 1927: 17 as well as later editions; Greenleaf 1968: 324; West 1: 4; for recordings by CJON Glee Club, Commodore's Quartet, Wilf Doyle, Dick Nolan, St. John's Extension Choir, Winston Saunders, Omar Blondahl, Alan Mills, see Taft 76; Fowke 1954: 84; Roud 4542.

History: Composed in 1912 by John V. Devine of King's Cove, Bonavista Bay. Rosenberg writes that "local and family tradition hold that Devine composed it in a Grand Falls boarding house after having been fired from his job as scaler for the Anglo Newfoundland Development Company (A.N.D.)" (in West 1: 54).   He sang the song at a St. Patrick's Day concert at which company officials were present and allegedly won his job back. Additional discussion of this song can be found in John Aston's aritcle, "'The Badger Drive': Song, Historicity and Occupational Stereotyping."

Text notes: Concerns the lumber industry in central Newfoundland, naming local rivers and streams used in the log drive.

Tune notes: A triple metre, major key, tune with an "aa'ba'" strophe and "a 2 a 3 " refrain.

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