“Just a Poor Lumberjack”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1941 (Beck)
Keywords: lumbering logger warning fight rescue death work recitation
Found in: US(MW)

Description

Recitation. A youth pushes a drunken lumberjack into the gutter. Another lumberjack saves a child from a fire, but dies in the process. A third dies in the woods. All are mourned with the chorus, "'Twas only a poor old lumberjack"

Long description

Recitation. A drunken lumberjack is pushed into the gutter by a posh youth; a stranger warns the youth not to make wisecracks, or he'll get the same treatment. Another lumberjack saves a child from a fire, but dies in the process. A third, unknown, dies in the woods. All are mourned with the chorus, "'Twas only a poor old lumberjack."

Notes

Pieces like this are easy to deride as mawkish melodrama, but they contain a spine of self-respect among men who were often ill-treated by the "respectable" society whose needs they supplied. - PJS

Cross references

References

  1. Beck 64, "Just a Poor Lumberjack" (1 text)
  2. Roud #8846
  3. BI, Be064