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River Driving (The Mix)

by Dan Berggren

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This traditional Adirondack song is a mix containing six recorded versions. Back in the 1980s, I put a tune to the words that Jeanne Robert Foster remembered her dad singing. She included them in her Neighbors of Yesterday, first published in 1916.


River driving on the Sacondog
Riding on a slippery log
Sleeping in a frozen bog - my girl's waiting for me.

Hard-boiled eggs three times a day
Wet as beavers we hit the hay
Not much sleep but good big pay - my girl's waiting for me.

Big French Joe and I went out
To break the jam, then I heard him shout
"Prenez garde" and the jam went out - my girl's waiting for me.

Big French Joe, the logs drowned him
He'd no chance to fight and swim
Logs jammed up the the river's rim - my girl's waiting for me.

His girl come to me and cried
"If he's dead, then I shall die
'Ma Petite' he used to sigh" - my girl's waiting for me.

We will find him down below
Round the bend where the water's slow
Floating with his pike in tow - - my girl's waiting for me.

Ma Petite will wring her hand
When we scrape the yellow sand
And lay him by the river strand - my girl's waiting for me.

One more night and one more day
The logs will reach the river bay
I'll skin off these togs, and then I'll say - my girl's waiting for me.


released March 4, 2022
In order of appearance: Dan Berggren, Jeff Warner, Jeff Davis, Dan with John Kirk & Chris Shaw, Tim O'Brien, Alex Smith


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Dan Berggren New York

Dan Berggren is a tradition-based songsmith who writes with honesty, humor and a
strong sense of place. His songs explore the many dimensions of home, hard-working
folks, taking care of our planet and each other. Dan’s roots are firmly in the Adirondacks where he was raised but his music has
branched out across many borders.
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