> Danny Spooner > Songs > Logs to Burn

Logs to Burn

[ RoudBS B198717 ; Honor Goodhart, 1920]

Logs to Burn is a poem attributed to Honor Goodhart that was printed in Punch in October 27, 1920.

Johnny Collins sang Logs to Burn in 1975 on his Traditional Sound Recordings album Johnny's Private Army. This track was also included in 1998 on his Fellside compilation The Best of the Early Years.

West of Eden sang Logs to Burn in 2016 on their CD Another Celtic Christmas.

Danny Spooner and Duncan Brown sang Logs to Burn on their 2016 CD of songs of the working life, Labour and Toil. The album's liner notes commented:

A traditional song from England, probably based on a street cry of a wood vendor. Ir is a delightful education in the burning properties of the various types of wood! Danny learnt this from Johnny Collins.

Lyrics

Honor Goodhart's poem Logs to Burn

Logs to burn; logs to burn;
Logs to save the coal a turn.

Here's a word to make you wise
when you hear the woodman's cries;
Never heed his usual tale
That he's splendid logs for sale
But read these lines and really learn
The proper kind of logs to burn.

Oak logs will warm you well,
If they're old and dry.
Larch logs of pinewoods smell
But the sparks will fly.

Beech logs for Christmas time;
Yew logs heat well;
‘Scotch’ logs it is a crime
For anyone to sell.

Birch logs will burn too fast;
Chestnut scarce at all;
Hawthorn logs are good to last
If cut in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green;
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flame to be seen.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room;
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flowers in bloom,

But ash logs all smooth and grey
Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come your way
They're worth their weight in gold.

Danny Spooner and Duncan Brown sing Logs to Burn

Chorus (after each verse):
Logs to burn, logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn.
Here's a word to make you wise
When you hear the woodman's cries.

Beech wood fires burn bright and clear,
Hornbeam blazes too,
If the logs are kept a year
To season through and through.

Oak logs will warm you well
If they're old and dry.
Larch logs and pinewoods smell
But the sparks will fly.

Pine is good and so is yew
For warmth through wintry days.
The poplar and the willow too,
They take too long to blaze.

Birch logs will burn too fast,
Alder scarce at all.
Chestnut logs is good to last,
Cut them in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green.
Elm logs like smouldering flax,
No flames with them are seen.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your home.
Cherry logs across the dogs
They smell like flowers in bloom.

Ash logs so smooth and grey
Burn them green or old.
Buy up all that come your way
They're worth their weight in gold.