Gordon Bok Gordon Bok 2 19 2010-02-16T18:33:00Z 2010-02-16T18:33:00Z 2 458 2615 Timberhead 21 5 3211 9.6926

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋?牋牋牋?River Drive

牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋牋?牋牋牋牋牋??1994 David Calder


牋牋牋牋牋?The woods ballads from NY state to New Brunswick are some of the finest in our language, documenting the whole range of that industry.?Dave Calder, with his father, joined the drive on the Kennebec River in 1966 and worked it through its last year when environmental concerns closed that particular, unique and highly skilled part of the industry, or at least traded it for methods of equally questionable environmental value.?

牋牋牋牋牋?This ballad is unique because it speaks clearly and eloquently about the death of a way of living that affected most of the people along that whole river.?In the lyrics following I've put verse # 2 where Dave sings it.?I usually lay it in second to last.


Gordon ?nylon 6-string guitar


牋牋牋牋牋?I'd like to tell you the story boys, about taking down the drive'

牋牋牋牋牋?My foreman's name is Buster, boys, and he also does reside

牋牋牋牋牋?Near the banks of this river, boys, in Skowhegan, Maine

牋牋牋牋牋?But when the rear gets in this year we'll never drive again.


牋牋牋牋牋?We've been driving this old river, boys, for two centuries and a half'牋牋?

牋牋牋牋牋?Just to get that wood down to the mill, it almost makes me laugh

牋牋牋牋牋?Some educated fools from God knows where, well they figured it should end

牋牋牋牋牋?So that outfit down to Augusta says we can never drive again.


牋牋牋牋牋?Now this mighty Kennebec she's something to be seen

牋牋牋牋牋?From her Headwaters and Moosehead down to Merrymeeting and the Sea

牋牋牋牋牋?With islands, back channels, white water and dead

牋牋牋牋牋?Great eddies and great remedies for a river driver's head.


牋牋牋牋牋?We hang the booms in springtime, we sluice in summertime

牋牋牋牋牋?They're rafting wood across the lakes, five thousand cord to a time

牋牋牋牋牋?And when the fall is coming on, it's time to take the rear

牋牋牋牋牋?Better head up to that cutoff and get old McLollen's butt in gear.


牋牋牋牋牋?There's Buster and Gerry Bigelow, them Sanipass boys and me

牋牋牋牋牋?George Waters and my father rave about days that used to be

牋牋牋牋牋?The Messer boys are hung over, they're praying for a head wind

牋牋牋牋牋?So we can hitch her up at noontime, and they can start right in again.


牋牋牋牋牋?From Indian Pond down to the Forks it's white water most of the way

牋牋牋牋牋?Riding them leaky bateaux, I don't think it's worth the pay

牋牋牋牋牋?From the Forks down through Carratunk we're over the Wyman Dam

牋牋牋牋牋?By the first week in September we're headed for the Solon Dam.


牋牋牋牋牋?From Solon down through Libby Country and down into North Anson

牋牋牋牋牋?That oxbow it don't slow us up and we're down into Madison

牋牋牋牋牋?We take those three dams, we're always on the run

牋牋牋牋牋?She's a flying rear through Norridgewock and down to Skowhegan.


牋牋牋牋牋?We send Dennis up to the Green Front and head for Shawmut Shores

牋牋牋牋牋?There's two weeks of hard picking, but then there'll only be two or three more

牋牋牋牋牋?And now it is November, God Damn, it's getting cold

牋牋牋牋牋?Best be careful where you step; there's no place to take hold.


牋牋牋牋牋?Finally we do get her in, we're all feeling good

牋牋牋牋牋?We'll have us a little gathering to forget the God damn wood

牋牋牋牋牋?With some liquor and some smoking, some bullshitting all around

牋牋牋牋牋?But everyone of us knows this is the last time we'll take her down ?oh

牋牋牋牋牋?Everybody knows this is the last time we'll take her down.?




River Drive is recorded on the album In the Kind Land