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The Bigler


courtesy of

On the Sunday morning, just at the hour of ten
When the tug Mico Robert towed the schooner Bigler through Lake Michigan
O, there we made our canvas in the middle of the fleet
And the wind hauled to the south'ard boys so we had to give her sheet

CHORUS - sung after every verse:

Watch her catch her jump in her ju-baju - Give her sheet and let her go
The lads will pull her through - And don't you hear her howling
When the wind was blowing free - On our down trip to Buffalo from Milwaukee

The wind comes down from the south southeast it blows both stiff and strong
You'd ought to've seen that little schooner Bigler as she pulled out
Lake Michigan Oh far beyond her foaming bows the fiery lights aflame
With every stitch of canvas and her course was wing and wing

Passing by the Proctors the wind was blowing free
Sailing by the Beavers with the Skillaglee on our lea
Oh we hauled her in full and bye as close as she would lie
And we weathered Waugoshance to enter the Straits of Mackinaw

At Huron we made Presque Isle Light and then we tore away,
The wind it being fair, for the Isle of Thunder Bay.
Then the wind it shifted and the night it came on dark,
The captain kept a sharp lookout for the light at Point aux Barques.

We passed the light and kept in sight of Michigan north shore,
A-boomin' for the river as we'd often done before,
When just abreast of Port Huron Light, both anchors we let go,
And the Sweepstake came 'longside and took the Bigler in tow

She took the seven of us in tow, all of us fore and aft,
She towed us down to Lake St. Clare and stuck us on the flat.
Then eased the Hunter's tow line to give us all relief,
The Bigler fell astern and went into a boat called the Maple Leaf.

And then the Sweepstake towed us out beyond the river light,
Lake Erie for to roam and the blustering winds to fight,
The wind being from the south'ard, it blew a pretty gale,
And we took it as it came for we could not carry sail.

We made the Eau and passed Long Point, the wind now blowing free,
We bowled along the Canada shore, Port Colborne on our lee,
What is that that looms ahead? We knew as we drew near,
That blazing like a star, shone the light on Buffalo Pier.

And now we're safely moored in the Buffalo Creek at last,
And under Brigg's elevator the Bigler is made fast.
And in some lager beer saloon we'll let the bottle pass,
For we're all happy shipmates and we like a social glass

The author of this website has put a lot of time and effort into gathering the greatest collection of sea shanties for the world to enjoy - There are songs that have been to sung to a job of work at sea for many, many years and collecting them has been a great endeavour. - Roger Chartier has made the effort out of his own interest and the requests that he has gotten to do this work from fellow musicians who wanted a good source of sea shanties to draw on and learn from. He has been told that for this effort he is a remarkable man.