Northwoods Songs Blog

whitepinepinusst 1899 crop 2 enhanced

Map showing the original distribution of White Pine in North America. Found in the 1899 book The White Pine by V.M. Spalding.

Northwoods Songs features a traditional folk song each month pulled from my research.  As a Minnesotan, I am particularly drawn to material connected to my home state.  I am also interested in the Irish influence evident in the repertoires of lumbermen and Great Lakes sailors across the northwoods region (which I think of as the historic white pine belt stretching from New Brunswick to Minnesota). Most of the songs here show that influence one way or another.

This series is published monthly in the newsletter of  Irish Arts Minnesota (formerly the Irish Music and Dance Association) and then uploaded here when I get around to it.

—Brian Miller (dadgadguy at g mail dot com)



  1. By Trait I’m a Raftman (Jack Haggerty) (no video)
  2. Zenith of the West (no video)
  3. The Day We Rode Behind McArthur’s Blacks (no video)
  4. To the Maids of Taconite (no video)
  5. Wearing of the Green (no video)


  1. Michael James (no video)
  2. The Storm at Sea (no video)
  3. Driving Saw Logs on the Plover (no video)
  4. Young Monroe (no video)
  5. Ye Noble Sons of Canardie (no video)
  6. Down By the Tanyard Side (no video)
  7. Jack Rogers (no video)
  8. Lost Jimmie Whalen (no video)
  9. Jocky to the Fair (no video)
  10. Farewell to Nancy (no video)
  11. My Eileen is Waiting for Me (no video)
  12. Farewell to Caledonia (no video)


  1. The Lady Leroy (no video)
  2. My Eileen is Waiting for Me (no video)
  3. Farewell to Caledonia (no video)
  4. The Four Provinces (no video)
  5. Never Go Back on the Poor (no video)
  6. Two Irish Laborers (no video)
  7. The Arkansaw Navvy (no video)
  8. The Heights of Alma (no video)
  9. The Town Passage (no video)
  10. Patrick Sheehan (no video)
  11. Leaving Erin (no video)
  12. Tidy Irish Lad (no video)


  1. Exile of Erin (no video)
  2. Young Matt Ilan (no video)
  3. The Irish American Club (no video)
  4. Learning McFadden to Waltz (no video)
  5. The Peelers of Ballinamore (no video)
  6. The Three Hunters (no video)
  7. May Morning (no video)
  8. The Wild Irishman (no video)
  9. The Diamond of Derry (no video)
  10. Doran’s Ass (no video)
  11. Sentenced to Death (no video)
  12. The Ram of Darby (no video)


  1. The Apple Praties (no video)
  2. The Protestant Cow (no video)
  3. Lather and Shave (no video)
  4. The Hat My Father Wore (no video)
  5. The Three Dreams (no video)
  6. The Wind Sou’west (no video)
  7. Moorlough Mary (no video)
  8. Hiring Time (no video)
  9. Jessie Monroe (no video)
  10. Black-Eyed Susan (no video)
  11. To Cork Once I Did Go (no video)
  12. The Peddler (no video)


  1. George Riley (no video)
  2. Our Captain Says “Away” (no video)
  3. The Fair at Bonlaghy (no video)
  4. The Lass Among the Heather (no video)
  5. Darby O’Leary (no video)
  6. The Jolly Roving Tar (Get Up Jack, John Sit Down) (no video)
  7. The First Day of April (no video)
  8. The Gallagher Boys (no video)
  9. The County Tyrone (no video)
  10. The Broken Shovel (no video)
  11. Roll Her to the Wall (no video)
  12. Highland Mary (no video)


  1. Barney Flew Over the Hills (no video)
  2. Roving Cunningham (no video)
  3. Johnny Jarmin (no video)
  4. Riley and I Were Chums (no video)
  5. The Gallant Brigantine (no video)
  6. The Pokegama Bear
  7. The Lakes of Champlain (no video)
  8. Sweet Mary Jane (no video)
  9. Morzie Ellsworth (no video)
  10. The Dublin Lasses Reel (no video)
  11. The Deep Deep Sea
  12. The Boy of Love


  1. Nora McShane (December 2017)
  2. The Raftsman (November 2017)
  3. The Fellow that Looks Like Me (October 2017)
  4. Sweet Recale (September 2017)
  5. The Farmer’s Boy (August 2017)
  6. The Lament of the Irish Emigrant (July 2017)
  7. Lovely Minnesoty (June 2017) 
  8. Cole Younger (May 2017) 
  9. The Croppy Boy (April 2017) 
  10. Down in Yonder Valley (March 2017) with video by The Winterm’n
  11. The Apprentice Boy (February 2017) with video by Buddy Ferrari
  12. What a Time on the Way (revisited) (January 2017) with video by The Lost Forty

2016 (Lost Forty Project Year)

  1. Shanty Man’s Life (December 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  2. The Hunter’s Death (November 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  3. Vandiemens Land (revisited) (October 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  4. Lost on the Lady Elgin (revisited) (September 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  5. Persian’s Crew (revisited) (August 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  6. Heenan and Sayers (July 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  7. Lovel (revisited) (June 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  8. Jerry Go Oil the Car (revisited) (May 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  9. To Work Upon the Railroad (April 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  10. The Crafty Miss (March 2016) with video by The Lost Forty
  11. The Clipper Ship Dreadnaught (revisited) (February 2016) w/ video by The Lost Forty
  12. A New Name and a New Project for 2016 (January 2016) 


  1. The Brown Girl (December 2015)
  2. Kettle River (November 2015)
  3. The Three Nations (October 2015)
  4. Hibernia’s Lovely Jane (September 2015)
  5. The Bold Privateer (August 2015) 
  6. Georgian Bay Ho Ho (July 2015) 
  7. My Dear Irish Boy (June 2015) 
  8. Molly Bawn (The Irish Girl) (May 2015) 
  9. Caroline of Edinburg Town (Apr 2015) 
  10. St. Patrick’s Day (Mar 2015) video by guest singer Norah Rendell
  11. Ye Noble Big Pine Tree (Feb 2015)
  12. The Pitcher of Beer (Jan 2015) 


  1. You Rambling Boys of Pleasure (Dec 2014) video by guest singer Norah Rendell
  2. The Clipper Ship Dreadnaught (Nov 2014)
  3. Barney Blake (Oct 2014)
  4. Lovel (Sep 2014)
  5. Down in a Salley Garden (Aug 2014)
  6. The Bigler’s Crew (July 2014)
  7. You Pretty Girls of Michigan (June 2014)
  8. Drummond’s Land (May 2014)
  9. Persian’s Crew (Apr. 2014)
  10. Ned McCabe (Mar. 2014)
  11. We Are Anchored by the Roadside, Jim (Feb. 2014) 
  12. Lonesome Hours of Winter (Jan. 2014) 


  1. Banks of the Nile (Dec. 2013)  
  2. The Banks of Boyne (Nov. 2013) no video yet
  3. What a Time on the Way (Oct. 2013)
  4. The Lass of Dunmore (Sep. 2013) no video yet
  5. Johanna Shay (Aug. 2013) no video yet
  6. Vandieman’s Land (Jul. 2013) no video yet
  7. Shanty Boy (and the Farmer’s Son)  (Jun. 2013) no video yet
  8. Bold Daniel (May 2013) no video yet
  9. The Smugglers of Buffalo (Apr. 2013) no video yet
  10. As I Rode Down Through Irishtown (Mar. 2013) no video yet
  11. Lost on the Lady Elgin (Feb. 2013) no video yet
  12. Young Sally Munroe (Jan. 2013) no video yet


  1. The Falling of the Pine (Dec. 2012) no video yet
  2. Jerry Go Oil the Car (Nov. 2012) no video yet
  3. Lost 1924 Recordings of Singer Michael Cassius Dean Rediscovered (Oct. 2012) 
  4. The Day That I Played Baseball (Sep. 2012) no video yet
  5. The Roving Irishman (Aug. 2012) no video yet
  6. Morrisy and the Russian Sailor (Jul. 2012) no video yet
  7. The Flying Cloud (Jun. 2012) no video yet