A Trip on the Erie

Frank Warner, John Galusha

This song is a more comedic and whimsical one as opposed to a more commemorative or historical one. It is a folk song about the cook aboard the boats. The first verse sets the tone for the rest of the song, “…with the beef steaks as tough as a fighting dog’s neck, and the flies playing tag with the cook on the deck.” While these lyrics seem to be shaming the cook, they are merely satirical, and not meant to be offensive. This song gives insight into what boaters did with their free time or how they coped with the long travel time.


You can talk of your picnics and trips on the lake, But a trip on the Erie you bet takes the cake! With the beef steak as tough as a fighting dog’s neck, And the flies playing tag with the cook on the deck.

Chorus: Haul in your towlines and take in ther slack Take a reef in your britches and straighten your back, Mind what I tell you and don’t you forget To tap the mules gently when the cook’s on the deck.

Now the cook she’s a daisy, she’s dead gone on me With her fiery read head, and she’s twice twenty-three She’s knpck-kneed and freckled, a dumpling and a pet And we use her for a headlight at night on the deck.