“A Trip on the Erie (Haul in Your Bowline)”


"You can talk about your picnics and trips on the lake, / But a trip on the Erie you bet takes the cake!" A summary of life on the Erie canal, ending with comments about the cook: "A dumpling, a pet, / And we use her for a headlight at night on the deck!"


The Erie Canal, as originally constructed, was a small, shallow channel which could only take barges. These vessels -- if such they could be called -- were normally hauled along by mules.

The Lomaxes, in _American Ballad and Folk Songs_, thoroughly mingled many texts of the Erie Canal songs (in fairness, some of this may have been the work of their informants -- but in any case the Lomaxes did not help the problem). One should check all the Erie Canal songs for related stanzas. - RBW

Historical references

  • 1825 - Erie Canal opens (construction began in 1817)

Cross references


  1. FSCatskills 94, "Haul in Your Bowline" (1 text+fragments, 1 tune)
  2. Warner 35, "A Trip on the Erie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Lomax-ABFS, pp. 455-457, "Ballad of the Erie Canal" (1 text, composite and probably containing stanzas from other Erie Canal songs); pp. 459-463, "The Erie Canal Ballad" (8 texts, some fragmentary, most of which belong here though at least one is "The E-ri-e"); pp. 465-466, "A Trip on the Erie" (1 text)
  5. Roud #6555
  6. BI, Wa035


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1937
Keywords: cook canal
Found in: US(MA,MW)