The Songs He Sang
The Frozen Logger: Lyrics
As performed by Cisco Houston
Lyrics: James Stevens
Music: Adapted from "When I Was Young and Foolish"Appears on:
As I sat down one evening, was in a small café A forty year old waitress to me these words did say I see you that you are a logger and not just a common bum 'Cause nobody but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb My lover he was a logger, there's none like him today Well if you'd pour whiskey on it well he'd eat a bale of hay He never used a razor to shave his horny hide He'd just drive them in with a hammer then he'd bite them off inside My lover he came to see me was on a freezing day He held me in a fond embrace that broke three vertebraes Well he kissed me when we parted so hard that he broke my jaw And I could not speak to tell him he forgot his mackinaw I saw my lover leaving sauntering through the snow Well going grimly homeward at forty eight below Wll the weather tried to freeze him it tried its level best At a hundred degrees below zero why, he buttoned up his vest It froze clean through to China and it froze to the stars above And at a thousand degrees below zero it froze my logger love And so I lost my lover and to this café I come And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb
Another tall tale, related in Cisco's inimitable manner, makes a winning performance of this lyric. Of the printed versions I've seen, none mention the driving his whiskers in with a hammer... wonder if Cisco made that part up, but it is a great image. Odetta performs this song wonderfully as well, and she uses the same verse, but she was later, and the printed ones available on the Internet, referring to "originals" do not.