Banks of the Little Eau Pleine

 

During the 1870’s, Mr. Alen worked at timber surveying and sang his songs in lumber camps. The Little Eau Pleine is a tributary of the Wisconsin River.

Lyrics

1. One evening in June as I rambled,
The green woods and valleys among.
The mosqui-tos’ notes were melodious,
And so was the whippoorwill’s song.
The frogs in the marshes were croaking
The tree toads were whistling for rain,
And partridges ’round me were drumming,
On the banks of the Little Eau Pleine.

2. The sun in the west was declining,
And tinging the treetops with red.
My wandering feet bore me onward.
Not caring whither they led.
I happened to see a young schoolma’am
She mourned in a sorrowful strain
She mourned for a jolly young raftsman
On the banks of the Little Eau Pleine.

3. Saying, “Alas, my dear Johnny has left me
I’m afraid I shall see him no more
He’s down on the lower Wisconsin;
He’s pulling a fifty-foot oar,
He went off on a fleet with Ross Gamble
And has left me in sorrow and pain
And ’tis over two months since he started
From the banks of the Little Eau Pleine.

4. “If John Murphy’s the name of your raftsman
I used to know him very well.
But sad is the tale I must tell you:
Your Johnny was drowned in The Dells.
They buried him ‘neath a scrub Norway,
You will never behold him again,
No stone marks the spot where your raftsman
Sleeps far from the Little Eau Pleine.

5. “My curses attend you, Wisconsin,
May your rapids and falls cease to roar
May every towhead and sandbar
Be as dry as a log schoolhouse floor,
May the willows on all of your islands
Lie down like a field of ripe grain,
For taking my jolly young raftsman
From the banks of the Little Eau Pleine.

Links

 

Song pdf with chords & midi below

more-content-is-available-to-plus-members+

Log In
Register

plus+++