Neil Woodward, Michigan's Troubadour

Michigan-I-A

 

Come all ye Yankee farmers who’d like to change your lot

With spunk enough to travel beyond your native spot

And leave behind the village where pa and ma doth stay

Come go with me and settle in Michigan-I-A

For there’s your Penobscot way down in parts of Maine

Where timber grows a-plenty, but not a bit of grain

And then there is your Quaddy and your Piscatacaway

But these can’t hold a candle to Michigan-I-A

 

And there’s your state of Vermont, but what a place is that?

To be sure the girls are pretty and the cattle very fat

But who amongst her mountains and clouds of snow would stay

When he can have a section in Michigan-I-A?

And Massachusetts was once good enough to be sure

But now she’s always lying in taxation and manure

She’ll cause a peck of trouble, but deal a peck will pay

When all is scripture measure in Michigan-I-A

 

And there’s your land of blue laws where deacons cut their hair

For fear their locks and tenets will not exactly square

Where beer that works on Sundays a penalty must pay

When all is free and easy in Michigan-I-A

And in the state of New York peoples very rich

They amongst themselves and others have dug a mighty ditch

Which renders it more easy for us to find our way

And sail upon the waters of Michigan-I-A

 

What country ever grew up so great in little time?

Just springing from a nursery and into life it’s prime

When Uncle Sam did wean her ‘twas but the other day

And now she’s quite a lady, this Michigan-I-A

And if you want to go to a place called Washtenaw

You’ll first upon the Huron, such land you never saw

Where ship comes to Ann Arbor right through a pleasant bay

And touch at Ypsilanti in Michigan-I-A

 

And if you want to travel a little farther back

You’ll reach the shire of Oakland, and the town of Pontiac

Which springing up so sudden scared the bears and wolves away

That used to roam about there in Michigan-I-A

And if you want to go where Rochester is there

Further still Mount Clemens looks out upon St. Clair

Along with other places within Macomb-i-a

Which promise population to Michigan-I-A

And if you want to travel a little further on

I guess you’ll touch St. Joseph where everybody’s gone

Where everything like Jack’s beans grows monstrous fast they say

And beats the rest all hollow in Michigan-I-A

So come all ye Yankee farmer boys with a mettle heart like me

With elbow grease a-plenty to bow the forest tree 

Come buy a quarter section, and I’ll be bound you’ll say

This country takes the rag off, this Michigan-I-A!

 

 

Source: Emelyn Elizabeth Gardner

Ballads and Songs of Southern Michigan

University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor 1939