The song that everyone remembers - Low Bridge - CycleBlaze

The song that everyone remembers

Just in case one needs a memory jog here's a personal hero from my childhood to this day singing Low Bridge.  The lyrics written below are close to my memory but some musicologists claim the original (Meaning the copyrighted version of Thomas S Allen published in 1912.) has somewhat different words. The controversy, if any, centers on "15 miles" or "15 years".  By the time of Thomas' copyright version steamships had long since replace the mule towed barges of the 19th century. At the time of the building and early use there were dozens of songs celebrating the Canal many of them printed for posterity and I assume many more lost to mists of time.

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I've got a mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
She's a good old worker and a good old pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

We haul'd some barges in our day
Filled with lumber, coal, and hay
We know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge, yeah we're coming to a town
And you'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal

We'd better look around for a job, old gal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
You can bet your life I'll never part with Sal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

Get up mule, here comes a lock
We'll make Rome 'bout six o'clock
One more trip and back we'll go
Right back home to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge, we're coming to a town
You'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Where would I be if I lost my pal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal
I'd like to see a mule good as my Sal
Fifteen miles on the Erie Canal

A friend of mine once got her sore
Now he's got a broken jaw
'Cause she let fly with an iron toe
And kicked him back to Buffalo

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge 'cause we're coming to a town
You'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge, we're coming to a town
You'll always know your neighbor
And you'll always know your pal
If ya ever made a livin' on the Erie Canal

Low bridge, everybody down*
Low bridge, we're coming to a town*
You'll always know your neighbor*
And you'll always know your pal*
If ya ever navigated on the Erie Canal*

Low bridge, everybody down
Low bridge, we're coming to a town

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Comment on this entry Comment 2
Scott AndersonThis song has been on my mind often in the last month, biking along the towpaths in France.
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1 month ago
Jacquie GaudetI’ve never heard the song before but I think “fifteen years” suits the context better.
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3 weeks ago