“Jack Haggerty (The Flat River Girl)”


Jack Haggerty has reformed his behavior to be a fit husband for the blacksmith's daughter. Following his long absence at work, she jilts him. He blames her mother, but gives up on women in general


While this is usually a lumberjack's song, Beck reports a cowboy version from Texas. - PJS

It's actually a sort of a gag; see the report Geraldine J. Chickering (summarized by Laws, NAB pp. 58-59). Haggerty (fl. 1872) was an actual person, but he never had anything to do with the girl in the story; the author, Dan McGinnis, stuck Haggerty's name on another person's story.

Rickaby, interestingly, investigated in the Flat River area, where he reported that every singer claimed to have known Haggerty (whom he reports to have died c. 1915 -- obviously quite possible), giving additional details about the man's career. But Rickaby failed to uncover McGinnis's involvement in the song.

Linscott knew a report that the song was by Larry Gorman; this of course is just legend. - RBW

Cross references


  • John Leahy, "Jack Haggerty" (on Lumber01)
  • John Norman, "Jack Haggerty (The Flat River Girl)" (AFS, 1938; on LC56)


  1. Laws C25, "Jack Haggerty (The Flat River Girl)"
  2. Doerflinger, pp. 245-246, "Jack Haggerty" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. BrownII 260, "Jack Haggerty" (1 text)
  4. Rickaby 1, "Jack Haggerty's Flat River Girl" (3 texts plus a fragment, 3 tunes)
  5. Gardner/Chickering 108, "Jack Haggerty" (1 text plus an excerpt and mention of 4 more, 1 tune)
  6. Linscott, pp. 214-217, "Jack Haggerty or The Flat River Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. FSCatskills 6, "The Flat River Raftsman" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  8. Fowke-Lumbering #63, "Jack Haggerty" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Friedman, p. 421, "Jack Haggerty" (1 text)
  10. Sandburg, pp. 392-393, "Flat River Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  11. Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 566-567, "Jack Haggerty, or the Flat River Girl" (1 text, 1 tune)
  12. Beck 50, "The Flat River Girl" (6 texts, 1 tune)
  13. DT 607, FLATRVR*
  14. Roud #642
  15. BI, LC25


Alternate titles: “The Platte River Girl”; “The Salt Creek Girl”
Author: Dan McGinnis
Earliest date: 1872
Found in: US(MA,MW,NE,So) Canada(Mar,Ont)