#02627
River Driver (Great Big Sea) videos
See also: River Driver (MacEdward Leach)
And also: The River Driver's Lament (Peacock)
#78: YouTube video by BetweenTheRock
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

I was just the age of sixteen
when I first went on the drive,
After six months hard labour,
at home I did arrive;
I courted with a pretty girl,
'twas her caused me to roam.
Now I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

I'll eat when I am hungry
and I'll drink when I am dry,
Get drunk whenever I'm ready,
get sober by and by;
And if this river don't drown me,
it's down I'll mean to roam,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

I'll build a lonesome castle
upon some mountain high,
Where she can sit and view me
as I go passing by;
Where she can sit and view me
as I go marching on,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

I'll eat when I am hungry
and I'll drink when I am dry,
Get drunk whenever I'm ready,
get sober by and by;
And if this river don't drown me,
it's down I'll mean to roam,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

When I am old and feeble
and in my sickness lie,
Just wrap me up in a blanket
and lay me down to die;
Just get a little blue bird
to sing for me alone,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

I'll eat when I am hungry
and I'll drink when I am dry,
Get drunk whenever I'm ready,
get sober by and by;
And if this river don't drown me,
it's down I'll mean to roam,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

I'll eat when I am hungry
and I'll drink when I am dry,
Get drunk whenever I'm ready,
get sober by and by;
And if this river don't drown me,
it's down I'll mean to roam,
For I'm a river driver
and I'm far away from home.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional lumber camp song ....####
This variant arranged and recorded by Great Big Sea (The Hard And The Easy, trk#3, 2005, WEA, Toronto, Ontario, recorded at the Great Big Studio, St John's, NL).

The video above features a live performance of a variant by Great Big Sea at the Town Hall Theater, New York City, in the Spring of 2006.


See more songs by Great Big Sea.

A variant was sung by Mrs Peter Mushrow [1912-2002] of Cape Raye, NL, and published as River Driver in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A shorter variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1959 from John T O'Quinn [1923-1992] of Searston, NL, and published as The River Driver's Lament in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.759-760, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.


See more lumber camp songs from NFLD.

The video below features a performance by The David Smith Marionettes which was established in 1979 by David and Muriel Smith from Kingston, Ontario.

#957: YouTube video by Gregwwd
©2007 ~ Used with permission ~


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