The Badger Drive (John Valentine Devine)
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#1383: YouTube video
by oldirishladdie
℗2010 ~ Used with permission ~


There is one class of men in this country,
That never is 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,
What he suffers with hardship and cold.

With their pike poles and
peavies and bateaux and all,
They're sure to drive out in
the spring, that's the time;
With the caulks on their boots
as they get on the logs,
And it's hard to get over their time.

Bill Dorothey 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 down grade.
But still he is a man that's kindhearted,
On his word you can always depend;
And there's never a man that works with him,
But 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 Ann.
For paper is made out of pulpwood,
And many things more you may know;
And long may our men live to drive it,
Upon Paymeoch and Tomjoe.

The drive it is just below Badger,
And everything is working grand;
With a jolly good crew of picked 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
peavies and bateaux and all,
They're sure to drive out in
the spring, that's the time;
With the caulks on 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 all 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 Dorothey and Mr Cole.

####.... John Valentine Devine [1870-1935] of Kings Cove, Bonavista Bay, NL, 1912 ....####
The video above features an early recording by John White (Come All Ye Home To Newfoundland, 1966 LP, trk#3, RCA Victor, St John's, NL). The album was commissioned by the Millers of Five Roses Flour for the celebration of Come Home Year.

See more John White songs.

From Neil Rosenberg we learn that "local and family traditions hold that John Valentine Devine composed this ballad in a Grand Falls boarding house after having been fired from his job as scaler for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (A N D)." He sang the song at a St Patrick's Day concert at which company officials were present and allegedly won back his job.

See more Devines songs.

Sung by Maudie Sullivan [1908-1981] of Calvert, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also published in Gerald S Doyle's Old-Time Songs And Poetry Of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers (2nd Ed, p.29, 1940; 3rd Ed, p.13, 1955). Also published on pp.28-29 of Songs Of Newfoundland, a complimentary booklet of lyrics to 21 songs distributed by the Bennett Brewing Co Ltd, of St John's, NL, with cooperation of the Gerald S Doyle Song Book from which these lyrics were obtained.

A variant was recorded by Jim Payne (Jim Payne and Kelly Russell, 1983 LP, trk#8, Pigeon Inlet Productions, St John's, NL, produced by Kelly Russell and Jim Payne).

See more Jim Payne songs.

See more Kelly Russell songs.

Note: A N D - Anglo-Newfoundland Development.

From the dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Caulks also calks, carks - protruding metal points or spikes with the sharp part up.

See more lumber camp songs.

The variant in the video below features a live performance at Erin's Pub in St John's, NL, by Dermot O'Reilly with Chris Hennessy, and Kelly Russell on the video Rigs, Jigs, And Songs From The Heart - A Musical Journey From Port Aux Basques To St John's produced in 1988 by Dermot O'Reilly [1942-2007], Piper Stock Productions and CBC Television with assistance from Telefilm Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

See more Chris Hennessy songs.

#62: YouTube video
by kelticknots
℗2007 ~ Used with permission ~


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