“The Baskatong”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1957 (Fowke)
Keywords: work separation logger lumbering curse return work food humorous moniker animal horse boss worker
Found in: Canada(Ont,Que)


"Oh, it was in the year eighteen hundred and one When I left my poor Kate all sad and alone" to work three months on the Baskatong. The singer praises the foreman Kennedy as fair, describes the men and the food, and prepares to write home

Long description

Describes life in Baskatong lumber camp. The foreman, Kennedy, is a fair man; when Kennedy's Dan is driving his old horses, the harness breaks, and Dan tells the old man to stick it in his eye. Morissette is a good loader; the herrings are over-salty, and keep the men running to the river all night. Singer writes his wife, tells her it won't be long until he's home


Like most moniker songs, this is a disjointed collection of anecdotes, but there's just enough narrative to avoid the "nonballad" keyword. Abbott confessed to having bowdlerized several lines. - PJS

Baskatong (correct spelling) is a wetland area (now a reservoir) in Quebec. - RBW



  1. Fowke-Lumbering #16, "The Baskatong" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #3681
  3. BI, FowL16