“John Robertson”


When Joe comes to the camp to seek work to help his sick mother, John Robertson trains the boy to be a talented lumberjack. But one day Joe chops a tree with a bad core; Robertson is mortally hurt saving Joe.

Long description

John Robertson is an experienced lumberjack. When a greenhorn comes to camp, seeking work to help his sick mother, Robertson persuades the foreman to take him on, then takes the greenhorn under his wing. The young man, Joe, becomes a talented lumberjack, but one day he chops a tree with a rotten core. The tree falls on him; Robertson pushes him out of the way, but is fatally injured. Dying, he tells Joe that he's "glad 'twas me, not you" because of the sick mother (who recovers)


This song is item dC41 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW


  1. Beck 57, "John Robertson" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #4062
  3. BI, Be057


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1941 (Beck)
Found in: US(MW)