Log Driver's Waltz

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LOG DRIVER'S WALTZ. Canadian, Air and Waltz (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. Composed by Canadian folksinger Wade Hemsworth (1915-2002). The song has become a classic of Canadian folk music, and begins:

If you should ask any girl from the parish around
What pleases her most from her head to her toes,
She’ll say - I’m not sure that it’s business of yours,
But I do like to waltz with a log driver.

Chorus:
For he goes birling down a-down the white water;
That’s where the log driver learns to step lightly.
It’s birling down, a-down white water;
A log driver’s waltz pleases girls completely.

The melody for the song is borrowed and began not as a waltz, but as a schottische. It is quite widespread as a duple-time schottische or clog, albeit primarily in the first strain (with a variety of second strains attached), and can be found under titles "Evening Pleasures Schottische," "Limber Neck Blues", "Clog in C Major," "Starlight Clog," "Nightingale (2) (The)," "Rustic Dance (3)," among others. However, it seems likely that Hemsworth's source for the melody he adapted is from Don Messer's 1937 recording called "Billy Wilson's Clog" (later published by Messer as "Clog in C Major").

Source for notated version:

Printed sources:

Recorded sources:

See also listing at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [1]
See John Weldon's 1979 animated short "Log Driver's Waltz" [2]




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