The E-Ri-E Canal
(text from arrangement of composer Roger Ames)
We were forty miles from Albany
Forget it I never shall.
What a terrible storm we had one night
On the E-ri-e Canal.
We were loaded down with barley
We were all of us full of rye.
And the captain he looked down on me
With a dog-gone wicked eye.
O the E-ri-e’s a-rising
And the whiskey’s gettin’ low.
And I hardly think we’ll get a drink
Till we get to Buff-a-lo-o-o
Till we get to Buffalo.
The cook, she was a kind old soul.
She had a ragged dress;
So we h’isted her upon a pole
As a signal of distress.
The wind begins to whistle
The waves begin to roll
We had to reef our royals
On that ragin’ canal.
When we got to Syracuse
Off-mule, he was dead;
The high mule got blind staggers and
We cracked him on the head.
The girls are in the Police Gazette
The crew are all in jail;
And I’m the only sea cook’s son
That’s lived to tell the tale.
Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation