“Chapeau Boys”

Author: Patrick Gregg
Earliest date: 1957 (Fowke); probably composed c. 1875
Keywords: travel work food farming lumbering dancing fiddle logger worker
Found in: Canada(Mar,Ont,Que)

Description

"I'm a jolly good fellow, Pat Gregg is my name. I come from Chapeau, that village of fame." The singer and others hire out "to go up the Black River... for to cut the hay." Most of the song describes the trip to and from the farm

Supplemental text

Chapeau Boys
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Edith Fowke, Lumbering Songs from the Northern Woods, #14, pp. 61-64.
Collected from O. J. Abbott, Hull, Quebec, August 1957.

I'm a jolly good fellow, Pat Gregg is my name.
I come from the Chapeau, that village of fame.
For singing and dancing and all other fun
The boys from the Chapeau cannot be outdone.

(10 additional stanzas)

Long description

Men from Chapeau hire out to Caldwell Farm for haying; they travel by boat, then on foot, stopping to play fiddle on the way. They walk 16 miles to Reddy's, 46 to the Caldwell; they arrive exhausted. Singer praises the food at the Caldwell; after haying, they pack up and head for the woods to fell the pine. The singer hopes for a good drive and arrival home, but ends the song and prepares to roll into bed

Notes

Chapeau is located on Allumette Island in the Ottawa River just north of Pembroke. Fowke estimates the song comes from the 1890s, but without documentation I won't make that the official earliest date. - PJS

Particularly since Fowke elswehere estimates the date as c. 1869! - RBW

Ives-NewBrunswick: "Chapeau ... is about a hundred miles up the Ottawa River valley, and, according to the best information available, one Pat Gregg made the song up early in the 1880s." - BS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Fowke-Lumbering #14, "The Chapeau Boys" (1 text plus some excerpts, 1 tune)
  2. Ives-NewBrunswick, pp. 80-82, "The Chapeau Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST FowL14 (Partial)
  4. Roud #1885
  5. BI, FowL14