“Ole from Norway”


Dialect song in which Ole describes coming to the north woods and gives a few details of how he works driving logs down the river. "Ay yus come down from Minnesota/Ay been in this part 'bout three year" but protests that Ole is not his name.

Supplemental text

Ole from Norway
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Franz Rickaby, Ballads and Songs of the Shanty-Boy
(1926), #36, p. 134. From Flo Hastings, Laramie, Wyoming.

I just come down from Minnesota,
I've been in this country three years.
When I got off at the depot,
Oh, how the people they cheer!
They say, "Here comes Ole from Norway!
He's been on a visit up there,
His sister she lives in Dakota,
And his father has got light hair."

And they call me Ole and Ole,
But Ole is not my name.
Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole just the same.
They say I'm a Norsk from Norway,
Som lever po Lutfisk ock Sil.
They say I'm a rat and I better go back to Norway.

(1 additional stanza)


Without a tune it's impossible to be sure, but the verses suggest that this is a variant of "The Swede from North Dakota" with an added chorus. - PJS

I thought the same thing upon seeing it, but the version in Rickaby doesn't quite fit the tune of "The Swede." It may also be older; Rickaby's informant claimed to have learned it c. 1895. If anything, I suspect the dependence goes the other way. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Rickaby 36, "Ole from Norway" (1 text)
  2. Beck 8, "Ole from Norway" (1 text)
  3. ST Be008 (Partial)
  4. Roud #8867
  5. BI, Be008


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (Rickaby)
Keywords: lumbering work humorous
Found in: US(MW,Ro)