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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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"THE JAM ON GERRIES ROCK" MM
1. MM
COME ALL YOU YOUNG BOLD SHANTY BOYS, AND LIST WHILE I RELATE
THIS CONCERNING A YOUNG SHANTY BOY, AND HIS UNTIMELY FATE
CONCERNING A YOUNG SHANTY BOY SO MANLY, TRUE AND BRAVE
'TWAS ON THE JAM AT GERRIES ROCK, HE MET HIS WATERY GRAVE MM
2. MM
'TWAS ON ONE SUNDAY MORNING, AS YOU WILL QUICKLY HEAR
THE LOGS WERE PILED UP MOUNTAIN HIGH, WE COULD NOT KEEP THEM
CLEAR
OUR FOREMAN SAYS, "TURN OUT BRAVE BOYS, WITH HEARTS DEVOID OF
FEAR
WE'LL BREAK THE JAM AT GERRIES ROCK, AND FOR EDMORE TOWN WE'LL
STEER MM
3. MM
NOW SOME OF THEM WERE WILLING, WHILE OTHERS THEY WERE NOT
TO WORK ON JAMS ON SUNDAYS, THEY DID NOT THINK WE OUGHT
BUT FIVE OF OUR BRAVE CANADIAN BOYS, DID VOLUNTEER TO GO
TO BREAK THE JAM ON GERRIES ROCK, WITH THEIR FOREMAN JACK
MONROE MM
4. MM
THEY HAD NOT ROLLED OFF MANY LOGS, 'TILL THEY HEARD A CLEAR
VOICE SAY
"I'D HAVE YOU BOYS BE ON YOUR WATCH, FOR THIS JAM WILL SOON
GIVE WAY"
THESE WORDS WERE SCARCELY SPOKEN TILL THE MASS DID BREAK AND GO
IT CARRIED OFF THOSE FIVE BRAVE BOYS, AND THEIR FOREMAN YOUNG
MONROE MM
5. MM
WHEN THE REST OF OUR BRAVE SHANTY BOYS, THE SAD NEWS CAME TO
HEAR
IN SEARCH OF THEIR DEAD COMRADES, TO THE RIVER THEY DREW NEAR
WHILE SEARCHING FOR THE BODIES, WHICH FLOATING DOWN DID GO
ALL CRUSHED AND BLEEDING BY THE BANK, WAS THAT OF YOUNG MONROE MM
6. MM
THEY DRAGGED HIM FROM HIS WATERY GRAVE, BRUSHED BACK HIS RAVEN
HAIR
THERE WAS ONE FAIR FORM AMONG THEM, WHOSE SAD CRIES RENT THE
AIR
THERE WAS ONE FAIR FORM AMONG THEM, A GIRL FROM SAGINAW TOWN
WHOSE MOANS AND CRIES AROSE TO THE SKIES FOR HER TRUE LOVE
WHO'D GONE DOWN MM
7. MM
FAIR CLARA WAS A NOBLE GIRL, THE RIVERMAN'S TRUE FRIEND
WHO WITH HER WIDOWED MOTHER, LIVED AT THE RIVER'S BEND
THE WAGES OF HER OWN TRUE LOVE, THE BOSS TO HER DID PAY
THE SHANTY BOYS MADE UP FOR HER, A GENEROUS PURSE NEXT DAY MM
8. MM
THEY BURIED HIM MID SORROWS DEEP, 'TWAS ON THE FIRST OF MAY
COME ALL YOU YOUNG SHANTY BOYS, AND FOR YOUR COMRADE PRAY
ENGRAVED UPON A HEMLOCK TREE WHICH, BY THE GRAVE DID GROW
WAS THE NAME AND DATE OF THIS SAD FATE, OF OUR SHANTY BOY
MONROE MM
9. MM
FAIR CLARA DID NOT LONG SURVIVE, HER HEART WAS FILLED WITH
GRIEF
AND SCARCELY SIX MONTHS AFTER, DEATH CAME TO HER RELIEF
AND WHEN THE TIME HAD PASSED AWAY AND SHE WAS CALLED TO GO
HER LAST REQUEST WAS GRANTED TO BE LAID BY YOUNG MONROE MM
10. MM
COME ALL YOU YOUNG BOLD SHANTY BOYS, I'D HAVE YOU CALL AND SEE
TWO GREEN MOUNDS BY THE RIVER SIDE, WHERE GROWS THE HEMLOCK
TREE
THE SHANTY BOYS CLEARED FOR THE SPOT, BUT THE LOVERS THEY LAY
LOW
THERE'S HANDSOME CLARA VERNON, AND HER TRUE LOVE JACK MONROE MM MM
THIS WAS A TRUE HAPPENING. MY GRANDFATHER KNEW OF IT AT THE
TIME IT HAPPENED. YEARS AGO, IN THE LUMBERING DAYS, WHEN A
TRAGEDY WOUULD HIT, SOME ONE USUALLY MADE UP A SONG ABOUT IT. MM
THE JAM, WHICH IS SANG OF IN THE SONG THE JAM ON GERRIES ROCK,
WAS WHEN THE LOGS WHICH WERE BEING FLOATED DOWN THE RIVER,
WOUULD JAM UP. THE CAUSE OF THIS WOULD BE THAT ONE OR TWO
LOGS WOULD TURN SIDEWAYS, INSTEAD OF FLOATING END FIRST DOWN
THE RIVER. YOU SEE THE MEN WOULD CUT THESE LOGS IN THE WIN-
TER TIME, AND THEY WERE HAULED BY SLEIGH TO A RIVER AND PILED
ON THE BANK, AND THEN IN THE SPRING, WHEN THE ICE MELTED IN
THE RIVERS, AND THE WATER WAS HIGH, THE LOGS WERE DUMPED INTO
THE RIVER AND FLOATED DOWN STREAM TO A LUMBER MILL, WHERE THEY
WERE SAWED INTO LUMBER. I SAW THIS ALL HAPPEN WHEN I WAS A
CHILD AT MICHELSON, HERE IN ROSCOMMON COUNTY.

Submitter comment: IT IS INTERESTING THAT THIS INFORMANT BELIEVES THAT THIS
INCIDENT HAPPENED IN MICHIGAN AND THAT HER GRANDFATHER KNEW
IT. MANY OTHER ACCOUNTS OF THIS SAME INCIDENT IN VERY SIMILAR
SONGS HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN OTHER LUMBERING AREAS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HOUGHTON LAKE

James Callow Keyword(s): LUMBERJACK ; SYMPATHETIC DEATH

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Ballad, Song, Verse
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- FO50
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 00001930S

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