Black Fly Song
(source: "Rise Up Singing", Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, 1992.)
(by Wade Hemsworth)
- 'Twas early in the spring, when I decide to go
- To work up in the woods in North Ontario
- And the unemployment office said they'd send
- To the Little Abitibi with the survey crew
- But the black flies, the little black flies,
- Always the black fly no matter where you go!
- I'll die with the black fly a-picking my
- In North Ontario-i-o
- In North Ontario
- Now the mand Black Toby was the captain of the
- And he said "I'm gonna tell you boys what
we're gonna do
- They want to build a power dam and we must
find a way
- For to make the Little Ab flow around the
So we surveyed to the east and surveyed to the west
- And we couldn't make our minds up how to do it
- Little Ab, Little Ab, what shall I do?
- For I'm all but goin' crazy on the survey crew
It was black fly, black fly, everywhere
- A-crawlin' in your whiskers, a-crawlin' in
- A-swimmin' in your soup and a-swimmin' in the
- Oh the devil take the black fly and let me be
Black Toby fell to swearin' 'cuz the work was gettin' slow
- And the state of our morale was a-gettin'
- And the flies swarmed heavy, it was hard to
catch a breath
- As you staggered up and down the trail talkin'
Now the bull cook's name was Blind River Joe
- If it hadn't been for him we'd've never pulled
- For he bound up our bruises and he kidded us
- And he lathered us with bacon grease and
At last the job was over, Black Toby said "We're thru
- With the Little Abitibi and the survey
- 'Twas a wonderful experience and this I know
- I'll never go again to North Ontario!