Shanty Boy

Singer: 

Michael Cassius Dean

Recorder: 

Robert Winslow Gordon

Recording Date: 

Sep. 1924

Location of Recording: 

Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA

Duration: 

1:03

Transcription: 

As I walked out one evening just as the sun went down,
So carelessly I wandered to a place called Stroner town,
There I heard two maids conversing as slowly I passed by,
One said she loved her farmer's son, and the other her shanty boy.

The one that loved her farmer's son those words I heard her say,
The reason why she loved him, at home with her he'd stay,
He would stay at home all winter, to the woods he would not go,
And when the spring it did come in [his grounds he'd plow and sow.]

Rights: 

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language: 

en-US

Type: 

Music Recording

Format: 

mp3

Publisher: 

Brian Miller, Emma Dowd, Diane Giebink-Skoglind

Original Format: 

Wax Cylinder

Is Part Of: 

AFS Preservation Reel: AFS 19010A
G42
Misc. 67

Notes: 

From Franz Rickaby's notes to his 1923 transcription of M.C. Dean: "Sung 1923. Learned in Michigan, 45 years ago [ca. 1878]. 'Stronertown,' Dean said, was at head of Manistee, six miles up from Manistee, Michigan. "

Folk Song Index Numbers: 

Roud #670

Alternative Titles: 

The Shanty-boy and the Farmer's Son

Song Summary: 

Two girls discourse over what type of man is better: a farmer or a shanty boy (lumberjack). In the end, the farmer's girl agrees that shanty boys are preferable.

Tags: 

First Line: 

As I walked out one evening just as the sun went down

Full Song Text: 

As I walked out one evening just as the sun went down,
So carelessly I wandered to a place called Stroner town,
There I heard two maids conversing as slowly I passed by,
One said she loved her farmer’s son, and the other her shanty boy.

The one that loved her farmer’s son those words I heard her say,
The reason why she loved him, at home with her he’d stay,
He would stay at home all winter, to the woods he would not go,
And when the spring it did come in his grounds he’d plow and sow.

“All for to plow and sow your land,” the other girl did say,
If the crops should prove a failure your debts you couldn’t pay;
If the crops should prove a failure, or the grain market be low,
The sheriff often sells you out to pay the debts you owe.”

“As for the sheriff selling the lot, it does not me alarm,
For there’s no need of going in debt if you are on a good farm;
You make your bread from off the land, need not work through storms and rain,
While your shanty boy works hard each day his family to maintain.”

“I only love my shanty boy who goes out in the fall,
He is both stout and hardy, well fit for every squall;
With pleasure I’ll receive him in the spring when he comes home,
And his money free he will share with me when your farmer’s son has none.”

“Oh, why do you love a shanty boy, to the wild woods he must go,
He is ordered out before daylight to work through rain and snow,
While happy and contented my farmer’s son can lie,
And tell to me some tales of love as the cold winds whistle by.”

“I don’t see why you love a farmer,” the other girl did say,
“The most of them they are so green the cows would eat for hay;
It is easy you may know them whenever they’re in town,
The small boys run up to them saying, ‘Rube, how are you down?’

“For what I have said of your shanty boy I hope you will pardon me,
And from that ignorant mossback I hope to soon get free,
And if ever I get rid of him for a shanty boy I will go,
I will leave him broken hearted his grounds to plow and sow.”

Full Song Text Source: