Sunday, February 05, 2006

no one but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb

In the comments of my last post, Nyana expressed some concern about the hunky fireman's macho attitude regarding his scalding hot coffee. Well, dear, that was actually a feeble attempt at humour on my part. He didn't really stir his coffee with his thumb. But when I was writing down the conversation, an old folk song we used to sing as kids came to mind and I couldn't resist putting it in there.

Anyone else ever heard of this one? I'd forgotten all about it until yesterday and of course the internet came to my rescue once again.

The Frozen Logger

As I set down one evening in a timber town cafe
A six foot-seven waitress, to me these words did say
"I see you are a logger and not a common bum
For no one but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb

"My lover was a logger, there's none like him today
If you'd sprinkle whisky on it, he'd eat a bale of hay
He never shaved the whiskers from off his horny hide
But he'd pound 'em in with a hammer, then bite 'em off inside

"My lover came to see me one freezing winter day
He held me in a fond embrace that broke three vertebrae
He kissed me when we parted so hard it broke my jaw
And I could not speak to tell him he'd forgot his mackinaw

"I watched my logger lover going through the snow
A-sauntering gaily homeward at forty eight below
The weather tried to freeze him, it tried its level best
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest

"It froze clean down to China, it froze to the stars above
At one thousand degrees below zero it froze my logger love
They tried in vain to thaw him and if you'll believe me, sir
They made him into axe blades to chop the Douglas fir

"That's how I lost my lover and to this caffay I come
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb
And then I tell my story of my love they could not thaw
Who kissed me when we parted so hard he broke my jaw"

(words and music by James Stevens, 1951)


At February 05, 2006 10:20 p.m., Blogger Nyana said...

HAHA, this is too funny! I'm laughing my head off here!!! Now I know not to take certain things literally. Thank you for clarifying that Christine. I'm not familiar with certain linguistic references as English is not my mother tongue. But the misunderstandings resulting from it entertains many! Now I have to find someone who knows how to sing this song! Keep 'em coming!

At February 05, 2006 10:27 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Glad you liked it, Nyana! :-) And yep, I'd say you could take about 75% of my blog literally. The rest is just silliness.

If you do a search on "The Frozen Logger", the music is out there somewhere, I'm sure. I can't quite remember how the tune goes, but it's even funnier hearing it sung than reading it.

At February 05, 2006 10:43 p.m., Blogger Alison said...

I don't remember that one but I do remember this (one of the great CBC TV shorts I think):


If you ask any girl from the parish around
What amuses her most from her head to her toes
She'll say, "I'm no sure that it's business of yours
"But I do love to waltz with my log driver"


For he goes burling down, down the white water
That's where a log driver learns to step lightly
Burling down, down the white water
A log driver's waltz pleases girls completely

When the drive's nearly over she loves to go down
And watch all the lads as they work on the river
She knows that come evening they'll be in the town
And she does love to waltz with her log driver

Now to please both her parents she had to give way
And dance with the doctors and merchants and lawyers
Their manners were fine but their feet made of clay
There's none with the style of her log driver

At February 05, 2006 10:53 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Thanks, Alison, that's a great one!

There's just something about those men in their plaid shirts, eh?

At February 05, 2006 11:25 p.m., Blogger Tim Rice said...

That's quite a folk song; but it probably speaks volumes about the logger of old. Thanks for sharing it; it made me smile. :)

At February 06, 2006 7:16 a.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Haha. One can see you're originally from B.C. I didn't know that one. Very nice. Guess we "frogs" had other themes to sing about. :-)

At February 06, 2006 7:46 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Tim - Yes, it is quite the song, I have no idea why they had us kids singing it. It does say a lot about how the logging profession was seen back then.

Canadian Swiss - Ah, so you're a 'frog' eh? My favourite kind of people. :-) The writer of this song was from Oregon, so it must be a Pacific Northwest thing since the tradition goes right up to B.C. The song Alison mentioned is from back east, though.

At February 06, 2006 12:50 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

Hunky firemen one day, loggers in plaid shirts the next...

What are you trying to do to me, woman?

At February 06, 2006 2:32 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ms. Mac - It's all part of the virtual boyfriend service! One can always dream, eh? ;-)

At April 20, 2007 7:19 p.m., Anonymous Ron B. said...

Hi there... About the "Frozen Logger" song I realize this is an old thread, but I can't help but comment. I happen to have "The Frozen Logger" on an old mix tape of novelty songs. I was listening to it yesterday and wanted to try and find some information on line about the song. The version I have has some slight wording variations, but it is the same song. On my cassette tape - which is just an old home made affair recorded off of vinyl records - the song is sung by a trio of fellows with a Norwegian accent, ala Stan Boreson. It's a great song!

At June 02, 2008 12:35 a.m., Blogger Ross said...

FWIW, the Log Driver's waltz short from National Film Board of Canada is on youtube:

At June 17, 2008 4:50 a.m., Anonymous Lauren Parker said...

This is a bit odd I want to Thank you, I'm trying to find a CD I listened to as a kid and I've been googling for an half hour and now I've finally found one of the songs that was on it.

At May 19, 2012 7:42 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the tune to Te frozen logger. My dad has sung it to me since I was a kid. I think about it every time I stir my those plaid clad men!
You can pretty much put any tune that fits to the words, as with many folk songs.
Many songs use the same tune...


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