OldTools Archive

Recent Search Bios FAQ

270420 "John M Johnston (jmjhnstn)" <jmjhnstn@m...> 2020‑04‑06 Re: Old Bony--Keokuk
When I hear about Keokuk Iowa, I can't help but think about this wonderful
parody of Robert Service poetry.

Cheers,
John (who is thankful that his Cov-19 test came back Negative!)

The Ballad of Yukon Jake 
Begging Robert W. Service's Pardon

 Oh the north countree is a hard countree
 That mothers a bloody brood;
 And its icy arms hold hidden charms
 For the greedy, the sinful and lewd.

 And strong men rust, from the gold and the lust
 That sears the Northland soul,
 But the wickedest born, from the Pole to the Horn,
 Is the Hermit of Shark Tooth Shoal.

 Now Jacob Kaime was the Hermit's name
 In the days of his pious youth,
 Ere he cast a smirch on the village Church
 By betraying a girl named Ruth.

 But now men quake at "Yukon Jake,"
 The Hermit of Shark-Tooth Shoal,
 For that is the name that Jacob Kaime
 Is known by from Nome to the Pole.

 He was just a boy and the parson's joy
 (Ere he fell for the gold and the muck),
 And had learned to pray, with the hogs and the hay
 On a farm near Keokuk.

 But a Service tale of illicit kale --
 And whisky and women wild --
 Drained the morals clean as a souptureen
 From this poor but honest child.

 He longed for the bite of a Yukon night
 And the Northern Light's weird flicker,
 Or a game of stud in the frozen mud,
 And the taste of raw red licker.

 He wanted to mush along in the slush,
 With a team of husky hounds;
 And to fire his gat at a beaver hat
 And knock it out of bounds.

 So he left his home for the hell-town Nome,
 On Alaska's ice-ribbed shores,
 And he learned to curse and to drink, and worse --
 Till the rum dripped from his pores.

 When the boys on a spree were drinking it free
 In a Malamute saloon,
 And Dan Megrew and his dangerous crew
 Shot craps with the piebald coon;

 When the Kid on his stool banged away like a fool
 At a jag-time melody,
 And the barkeep vowed, to the hard-boiled crowd,
 That he'd cree-mate Sam McGee --

 Then Jacob Kaime, who had taken the name
 Of Yukon Jake, the Killer,
 Would rake the dive with his forty-five
 Till the atmosphere grew chiller.

 With a sharp command he'd make 'em stand
 And deliver their hard-earned dust;
 Then drink the bar dry, of rum and rye,
 As a Klondike bully must.

 Without coming to blows he would tweak the nose
 Of Dangerous Dan Megrew,
 And becoming bolder, throw over his shoulder
 The lady that's known as Lou.

 Oh, tough as a steak was Yukon Jake --
 Hard-boiled as a picnic egg.
 He washed his shirt in the KIondike dirt,
 And drank his rum by the keg.

 In fear of their lives (or because of their wives)
 He was shunned by the best of his pals;
 An outcast he, from the comradery
 Of all but wild animals.

 So he bought him the whole of Shark-Tooth Shoal,
 A reef in the Bering Sea,
 And he lived by himself on a sea lion's shelf
 In lonely iniquity.

 But, miles away, in Keokuk, Ia.,
 Did a ruined maiden fight
 To remove the smirch from the village Church
 By bringing the heathen Light.

 And the Elders declared that all would be squared
 If she carried the holy words
 From her Keokuk home to the hell-town Nome
 To save those sinful birds.

 So, two weeks later, she took a freighter,
 For the gold-cursed land near the Pole,
 But Heaven ain't made for a lass that's betrayed --
 She was wrecked on Shark-Tooth Shoal!

 All hands were tossed in the Sea, and lost --
 All but the maiden Ruth,
 Who swam to the edge of the sea lion's ledge
 Where abode  the love of her youth.

 He was hunting a seal for his evening meal
 (He handled a mean harpoon)
 When he saw at his feet, not something to eat,
 But a girl in a frozen swoon,

 Whom he dragged to his lair by her dripping hair,
 And he rubbed her knees with gin, --
 To his great surprise, she opened her eyes
 And revealed -- his Original Sin!

 His eight-months beard grew stiff and weird,
 And it felt like a chestnut bur,
 And he swore by his gizzard -- and the Arctic blizzard,
 That he'd do right by her.

 Then the cold sweat froze on the end of her nose
 Till it gleamed like a Tecla pearl,
 While her bright hair fell, like a flame from hell,
 Down the back of the grateful girl.

 But a hopeless rake was Yukon Jake,
 The hermit of Shark Tooth Shoal!
 And the dizzy maid he rebetrayed
 And wrecked her immortal soul!...

 Then he rowed her ashore, with a broken oar,
 And he sold her to Dan McGrew
 For a husky dog and some hot eggnog --
 As rascals are wont to do.

 Now ruthless Ruth is a maid uncouth
 With scarlet cheeks and lips,
 And she sings rough songs to the drunken throngs
 That come from the sealing ships.

 For a rouge-stained kiss from this infamous miss
 They will give a seal's sleek fur,
 Or perhaps a sable, if they are able;
 It's much the same to her.

 Oh, the North Countree is a rough countree,
 That mothers a bloody brood;
 And its icy arms hold hidden charms
 For the greedy, the sinful and lewd.

 And strong men rust, from the gold and the lust
 That sears the Northland soul,
 But the wickedest born from the Pole to the Horn
 Was the Hermit of Shark-Tooth Shoal!

-- Edward E Paramore Jr
270424 Ed Minch <ruby1638@a...> 2020‑04‑06 Re: Old Bony--Keokuk
John

thanks for posting the poem - it was great.

I went to a Jesuit High School (God’s Gestapo) in the early 60’s.  We had to
carry a demerit card and if we did something untoward we were given a demerit
(or two or three, or more)  When you hit five, the staff member confiscated the
card and you had to go to school on Saturday at 8 AM to get it back, and you had
to bring your giant English Anthology with you.  The event on Saturday was
called JUG (Judgement Under God).  The poor staff member who was given the duty
announced which pages or works the Seniors had to memorize, the Juniors, the
Sophomores, and the Freshmen.  I was well acquainted with the excersize,
attending a perhaps a half-dozen times a year.  Fortunately I am blessed with a
good mind for memoriing (not much else) and I could usually get out by 9:30 or
10, but if you couldn’t easily memorize, you were there til 4.

One Saturday I was given The Cremation of Sam Mcgee to memorize and when I read
it to the prefect I acted it out - complete with dogsled and shovel.  I can
still recite the first 2 verses, but that’s all.

Thanks for that

Ed Minch
270426 "John M Johnston (jmjhnstn)" <jmjhnstn@m...> 2020‑04‑07 Re: Old Bony--Keokuk
Ed, I have three somewhat intersecting hobbies, woodworking, 18th Century living
history, and playing in a Celtic/Americana band. This link will take you to the
last (hidden?) track on our latest cd, Road Agent. It’s an excellent recording
but I think you’ll appreciate this particular track.

https://youtu.be/x6kngYF3f4A

Cheers,
John

“There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness.”
270433 Nick Jonkman <njonkman@x...> 2020‑04‑07 Re: Old Bony--Keokuk
John

That brought me back to my high school days some 60 years ago when our 
class did a pantomime of "the Cremating of Sam McGee". I can still 
picture being in it. Thanks for the memory.

Nick
270440 Matt Cooper <MaNoCooper@l...> 2020‑04‑07 Re: Old Bony--Keokuk
Thanks for sharing. I reLly liked it.



Sent from my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G.



-------- Original message --------
From: "John M Johnston (jmjhnstn)" 
Date: 4/6/20 10:24 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: Ed Minch 
Cc: porch 
Subject: Re: [OldTools] Old Bony--Keokuk

Ed, I have three somewhat intersecting hobbies, woodworking, 18th Century living
history, and playing in a Celtic/Americana band. This link will take you to the
last (hidden?) track on our latest cd, Road Agent. It’s an excellent recording
but I think you’ll appreciate this particular track.

https://youtu.be/x6kngYF3f4A

Cheers,
John

“There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness.”


------------------------------------------------------------------------
OldTools is a mailing list catering to the interests of hand tool
aficionados, both collectors and users, to discuss the history, usage,
value, location, availability, collectibility, and restoration of
traditional handtools, especially woodworking tools.

To change your subscription options:
https://old
tools.swingleydev.com/mailman/listinfo/oldtools

To read the FAQ:
https://swingleydev.com/archi
ve/faq.html

OldTools archive: https://swingleydev.com/
ot/

OldTools@s...

Recent Search Bios FAQ