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The Glendy Burk

[ Roud V5026 ; Ballad Index MA109 ; Stephen Collins Foster, 1860]

The Glendy Burk is an American folk song by Stephen Foster. It appears in James Buckley's New Banjo Book published in 1860. The Glendy Burk of the song is a paddle steamer plying the Mississippi River basin. The boat was named for Glendy Burke: the 29th mayor of New Orleans. [Wikipedia].

Steve Turner sang The Glendy Burk on his 1987 Fellside album Braiding. and on his 2008 Tradition Bearers album The Whirligig of Time. He commented in the latter album's liner notes:

One of Stephen Foster's less controversial songs from my previous incarnation—this time with a little more elaboration. The song was written in 1960.

Lyrics

Stephen Foster's original lyrics Steve Turner sings The Glendy Burk

De Glendy Burk is a mighty fast boat,
Wid a mighty fast captain too;
He sits up dah on de hurricane roof
And he keeps his eye on de crew.
I cant stay here, for dey work too hard;
I'm bound to leave dis town;
I'll take my duds and tote 'em on my back
When de Glendy Burk comes down.

The Glendy Burk is a mighty fast boat,
And the captain's a fast man too;
He sits all day on the hurricane roof
And he keeps his eye on thee crew.
I can't stay here, for dey work's too hard;
I'm bound to leave this town;
So fare you well I'll take a little ride
When thee Glendy Burk comes down.

Chorus (after each verse):
Ho! for Lou'siana!
I'm bound to leave dis town;
I'll take my duds and tote 'em on my back
When de Glendy Burk comes down.

Chorus (after each verse):
Hey for Lou'siana!
I'm bound to leave this town;
I'll take my duds and tote 'em on my back
When the Glendy Burk comes down.

De Glendy Burk has a funny old crew
And dey sing de boatman's song,
Dey burn de pitch and de pine knot too,
For to shove de boat along.
De smoke goes up and de ingine roars
And de wheel goes round and round,
So fair you well! for I'll take a little ride
When de Glendy Burk comes down.

The Glendy Burk has a funny old crew
And they sing the boatman's song,
They burn the pitch and the pine knot too,
And they drive thee boat along.
The smoke goes up and the engine roars
And the wheel goes round and round,
So fare you well, I'll take a little ride
When the Glendy Burk comes down.

I'll work all night in de wind and storm,
I'll work all day in de rain,
Till I find myself on de levy dock
In New Orleans again.
Dey make me mow in de hay field here
And knock my head wid de flail,
I'll go wha dey work wid de sugar and de cane
And roll on de cotton bale.

I'll work all night in thee wind and storm,
And I'll work all day in the rain,
Till I find myself on the levy dock
In New Orleans again.
They make me mow in the hayfield here
And they knock my head with the flail,
So I'll go where they work wid the sugar and the cane
And roll on thee cotton bale.

My lady love is as pretty as a pink,
I'll meet her on de way
I'll take her back to de sunny old south
And dah I'll make her stay.
So dont you fret my honey dear,
Oh! dont you fret Miss Brown
I'll take you back 'fore de middle of de week
When de Glendy Burk comes down.

My lady love she's as pretty as a pink,
And I'll meet her on the way
I'll take her back to the sunny old south
And it's there I'll make her stay.
So don't you grieve my honey dear,
And don't you fret Miss Brown
I'll take you back 'fore thee middle of thee week
When thee Glendy Burk comes down.

Acknowledgements

Original lyrics copied from Stephen Foster Lyrics at the Center for American Music Library, University of Pittsburgh.