“The Mad Trapper of Rat River”

Author: Probably Wilf Carter
Earliest date: c. 1934 (recording, Wilf Carter)
Keywords: madness fight violence crime homicide death police
Found in: Canada(West)

Description

The Mounties learn that a trapper has gone mad; he shoots one and flees. During the manhunt, he kills another Mountie, then a third, but is surrounded and shot dead. Credit is given to the Mounties: "They always get their man"

Long description

Two Indians report to the Mounties that a trapper has gone mad; the Mounties visit him, but he shoots one and flees. A manhunt ensues; in the process, he kills another Mountie, backtracks and escapes. Eventually he kills a third, but is surrounded and shot dead. Credit is given to the Mounties: "They always get their man"

Notes

Trapper Albert Johnson was hunted and killed by Mounties (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) in the 1930s.

Triggs reports this ballad as widespread in western Canada "from the Rockies to the coast." - PJS

Recordings