Boys Of The Island (Ryan's Fancy) video
#366: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

You sporting young fellows
from Prince Edward Island,
You think on your farms
you are doing no good;
With your minds never easy,
continually crazy,
To go off to Bangor
and work in the wood.

Well, a new suit of clothes
is prepared for the journey,
A new pair of boots
made by Sherlock and Clark;
And a fine kennebecker
done up with good homespun,
And then the young islander
makes his embark.

When he reaches Bangor
he gets off at the station,
And the woodsmen gaze on him
all with the keen eye;
But they know by the clothes
that the youngster is wearing,
'Tis easy to see he's from old P.E.I.

In Bangor they'll poison
the youth with bad whiskey,
To the devil they banish
their whiskey and ale;
And then on the corner
they'll find the youth tipsy,
They'll call for Tim Leary
and drag him to jail.

You may talk of your laws,
by the mother of Moses,
Sure I've seen better laws
from the heathen Chinee;
Where a man can get drunk
and in comfort get sober,
All under the shade
of his mulberry tree.

So come all you young fellows
who want to leave farming
Don't go to the woods where
you're sure to meet harm
Just take my advice
and give heed to my warning
Stay home on the island
and work on the farm.

####.... Larry Gorman [1846-1917] of Prince Edward Island ....####
This variant was arranged and recorded by Ryan's Fancy (Songs From The Shows, trk#5, 2001, produced for CBC Television by Jack Kellum, and recorded at CBC Television Studios, St John's, NL) and was originally taped for television on location on Prince Edward Island in 1977.

Liner Notes: Vocal - Dermot O'Reilly.
Prince Edward Island proved to be a picturesque setting for several of our television shows. As it has been a farming community for centuries, we found songs that sang praises and virtues of life on the land.

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy.

A variant was arranged by Steve Romanoff and recorded by Schooner Fair (And Both Shall Row, 2005).

From Schooner Fare's liner notes - Tim O'Leary was a former woodsman-turned-sheriff who enforced local law by locking up drunken woodsmen at Bangor's Haymarket Square jail.

See more songs by Schooner Fare.

From the Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English by T K Pratt (University of Toronto Press, 1996):
Kennebecker - lumberman's duffle-bag or carpet-bag.

From the Larry Gorman Folk Festival - Born in Tyne Valley, Larry Gorman was well-known in Prince Edward Island, the Miramichi (New Brunswick) and Maine for his satirical songs. No one was spared: friends, relatives, co-workers, enemies. He made songs about shortcomings in human nature, about people he considered lazy, miserly, abusive, or just plain stupid. He made songs about people he worked with in the lumber woods, and he wrote about people at home on the Island. Folks would go out of their way to be pleasant to Gorman, for fear that he would song them. Larry Gorman died in Maine in 1917, at the age of 70.

See more lumber camp songs from NFLD.


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