Backwoodsman (The)


This terrific song was collected from Emerson Woodcock in 1957 by Edith Fowke. If we can believe the the first verse it comes from the mid-19th century. It was well-known in many parts of Canada and the United States - especially in areas where logging was done. The place names in the lyrics are usually "localized" to the locale in which it is being sung. In this version it takes place in the Omemee and Downeyville in Ontario's Kawartha Lakes region. Alan Lomax believed this song originated in Vermont.

There are links below to two recordings of the song - Mr. Woodcock's 1957 field recording, and a video of Anne Lederman and me in 2013. I learned the Woodcock version but I seem to have changed the tune a bit in the 35 or so years I have been singing it. We also left off the last verse in this arrangement - just because the verse before it led into the fiddle tunes better.


Details

Title Backwoodsman (The)
Subject On the Farm & In the Bush
Year 1860
Locale Central
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