Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chapeau Boys

I think of the Ottawa Valley and The Pontiac Region of Quebec as my second home. 
Being away from it now for over a year has really made me realize what it means to me. 
I can only hope that some day I will be back. Until that time, I take to this old lumbering tune. 
Despite some questionable terms, it is a true classic. 
Bellow is one of many lumber marks that was used by J.R. Booth. 

Chapeau Boys 

I am a young fellow 
Pat Gregg is my name 
I live in the Chapeau 
That village of fame
For singing and dancing 
And all sorts of fun
The boys from the Chapeau 
Can not be outdone.

A while on your patience 
I beg to intrude 
I hired for Fitzgerald 
He's an agent for Booth 
To go up on Black River 
So far, far away
On the old Caldwell farm,
For to make the hay.

We packed up our clothes 
On the eleventh day of July,
Bob Humphrey, Girard, Ned Murphey and I.
And straight way to Pembroke 
Our luggage did take,
Where we boarded the Empress
And sailed up the lake.

In leaving Fort William 
A place you all know 
We tuned up our fiddles 
And rosined our bow.
Our silver strings ran out 
With a clear, trilling noise, 
And the Oiseau Rock echoed 
"Well done Chapeau Boys."

We went to Des Joachims 
We landed all right 
We walked fifteen miles 
Up to Retty's that night.
There we were made welcome 
The truth for to speak
It would be our desire 
To stay there a week.

Next morning we left
With good wished and smiles 
From there to the Caldwell 
Was forty-six miles
North over the Mountain
Bow showed us the route
And when we got there 
We were nearly done out.

The board at the farm 
The truth for to tell
Could not be surpassed
In the Russell Hotel. 
We had roast beef and mutton
Our tea sweet and strong 
And good early roses 
Full six inches long. 

We had custard, rice pudding
And sweet apple pies
Good bread and fresh butter 
Which would you surprise;
White cabbage, cucumbers
Boiled, pickled and raw,
And the leg of a beaver 
We stole from a squaw.

When the haying was over
We packed up our duds 
We shouldered our turkeys
And off to the woods.
To fall tall pines 
With our axes and saws 
We terrified animals 
Indians and squaws.

Our boys they are jolly;
They dance and they sing 
We feel just as happy 
As an emperor or king.
We have seven good fiddlers
There is none of them drones
And Michael, my brother,
Can rattle the bones. 

When our drive it is over 
I hope 'twill be soon
We expect to get done 
By the last week of June. 
If the Lord spares our lives 
To go home in the spring 
We will make the new hall 
At the Chapeau to ring.

Now I think it is time 
For to finish my song 
For I really believe 
I have kept you too long, 
Our Cook's getting sleepy 
He's nodding his head 
So we'll all say our prayers boys 
And roll into bed. 

No comments: