“The Jones Boys (I)”


"Oh the Jones Boys! They built a mill on the side of a hill, And they worked all night and they worked all say But they couldn't make that gosh-darn sawmill pay."


Manny/Wilson: "John Jones, father of the Jones boys, came out from Camborne, Cornwall, in 1840 .... [The] Jones family moved up to a brook flowing into the Nor'West Miramichi, which then took the name of Jones's Brook. There John Jones built a grist mill to serve the community, and raised a family of ten children. John Senior died in 1866, and his sons, James and John Junior took over the business, James managing the grist mill, and John a sawmill near by."

Are Manny/Wilson 27 [this song] and Manny/Wilson 28 [The Jones Boys - II] the same song? There is no question but that the entire Manny/Wilson 27 text is part of the Manny/Wilson 28 chorus. Wilson's comment on Manny/Wilson 27: "[The tune] slightly resembles the beginning of the chorus of Mr Underhill's complete version [Manny/Wilson 28]. However, this fragment has apparently been in circulation for several generations. The late Lord Beaverbrook knew it as a child in Miramichi. It is unusual to find a fragment assuming its own personality and coexisting with a complete version in the same area." - BS

Cross references


  • Nick Underhill, "The Jones Boys" (on Miramichi1)


  1. Manny/Wilson 27, "The Jones Boys - I" (1 fragment, 1 tune); cf. also the fragment on p. 15
  2. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 183-184, "The Jones Boys" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  3. Fowke/MacMillan 24, "The Jones Boys" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #4528
  5. BI, FMB183


Author: Probably Millet Salter
Earliest date: 1947 (Manny/Wilson)
Found in: Canada(Mar)