Les Raftsmen

'Les Raftsmen'. Canadian song originating in the Ottawa Valley in the second half of the 19th century. It is attributed to a raftsman or logger; according to the song, 'Across Bytown [Ottawa] they went today. They've packed their grub, they cannot stay.' E.-Z.

'Les Raftsmen'

'Les Raftsmen'. Canadian song originating in the Ottawa Valley in the second half of the 19th century. It is attributed to a raftsman or logger; according to the song, 'Across Bytown [Ottawa] they went today. They've packed their grub, they cannot stay.' E.-Z. Massicotte was the first to record this song, which sung in both French and English and is sometimes called 'Bing on the Ring,' after the refrain. 'The Raftsmen' preserves the memory of a period when the hard life of the backwoods was mixed with a certain joie de vivre. The NFB has made filmstrips based on this song. It was recorded in the mid-1920s as 'Les Raft-Man' by Charles Marchand (Starr 15245 and Col 4047F) and later was included on two LPs by Jacques Labrecque (Lon MLP-10014; RCI/RCA CS-100-7) and others by Alan Mills (Folk FP-29) and the Chorale de l'Université St-Joseph (Col FL-234). The song has been published in Canada's Story in Song, edited by Fowke, Mills, and Blume (Toronto 1965). An arrangement by Ruth Watson Henderson for baritone, choir, and piano was published by Thompson in 1975.