The E-RI-E Canal

A minstrel song from the days of the Erie Canal in New York.

A Dutch postcard from the 1910s? Instead of a mule, I guess the wife took a turn… I don’t recommend today!

We were forty miles from Albany,
Forget it I never shall.
What a terrible storm we had that night
On the E-ri-e Canal.

Oh, the E-ri-e was a-risin’
And the gin was a-getting low
And I scarcely think we’re gonna get another drink
‘Till we get to Buffalo,
‘till we get to Buffalo

Our captain, he came on up on deck
With a spy-glass in his hand
But the fog it was so goddamn thick
That he couldn’t see the land

  • chorus

Our cook, she was a mean ol’ gal,
She wore a ragged dress.
We hoisted her up on a pole
As a signal of distress.

  • chorus

We shouted out to the first mate,
On the towpath, kickin’ dirt.
He jumped on board and stopped the leak
With his old red flannel shirt.

  • chorus

But when we got to Syracuse,
The off-mule she was dead.
The nigh-mule got the staggers
So we cracked him on the head.

  • chorus

Oh the girls are in the Police Gazette
And the crew are all in jail.
And I’m the only son-of-a-gun
That’s left to tell the tale.

  • chorus



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