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WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE (Words: George Pope Morris - 1830 /Music: Henry Russell - 1837) Woodman, spare that tree! Touch not a single bough! In youth it sheltered me, And I'll protect it now. 'Twas my forefather's hand That placed it near his cot: There, woodman, let it stand, Thy axe shall harm it not! That old familiar tree, Whose glory and renown Are spread o'er land and sea, And wouldst thou hew it down? Woodman, forbear thy stroke! Cut not its earth-bound ties; Oh, spare that aged oak, Now towering to the skies! When but an idle boy I sought its grateful shade; In all their gushing joy Here too my sisters played. My mother kissed me here; My father pressed my hand Forgive this foolish tear, But let that old oak stand! My heart-strings round thee cling, Close as thy bark, old friend! Here shall the wild-bird sing, And still thy branches bend. Old tree! the storm still brave! And, woodman, leave the spot: While I've a hand to save, Thy axe shall harm it not. ***** WOODMAN, WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE From the Broadway Show "ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES OF 1911" (Irving Berlin / Vincent Bryan) Bob Roberts - 1911 Bert Wiliams - 1913 A great big tree grows near our house It's been there quite some time This tree's a slipp'ry elm tree and very hard to climb But when my wife starts after me, up in that tree I roost I go up like a healthy squirrel and never need no boost The other day a woodman came to chop the refuge down And carve it into kindling wood, to peddle 'round the town I says to him, "I pray thee cease, desist, refrain and stop Lay down that razor, man, chop not a single chop" Woodman, woodman, spare that tree Touch not a single bough For years it has protected me And I'll protect it now Chop down an oak, a birch or pine But not this slipp'ry elm of mine It's the only tree that my wife can't climb So spare that tree I said to him, "You see that hole Up near that old treetop I've got five dollars there, that's yours, if you refrain to chop No beast but me can climb that tree, 'cause it's too slippery I can't get up myself, unless my wife is after me So get my wife and I'll call her a very naughty word And then you'll see me give an imitation of a bird You may not know just where to go, when my wife gets around But when she comes, remember this, if I'm not on the ground" Woodman, woodman, spare that tree Touch not a single bough For years it has protected me And I'll protect it now Chop down an oak, a birch or pine But not this slipp'ry elm of mine It's the only tree that my wife can't climb So spare that tree ***** WOODMAN, WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE (Berlin / Bryan - Revised by Phil Harris & Clarence Williams) Phil Harris & His Orch. (vocal: Phil Harris) - 1947 There is a tree grows near our house It's been there quite some time Now, the tree is a slippery elm tree And awful hard to climb But when my wife gets after me In that tree I always roost Why, I can go right up it just like a healthy squirrel I don't never need no boost! Now, the other day a woodman came round To chop my refuge down Kept mumbling something about wanting to split it into kindling wood And then spreading it round the town I said to him, I said "Look here my friend Hold on, desist, whoa, stop! Put down that forest razor Chop not a single chop!" "Woodman, woodman, spare that tree Touch not a single bough! Three years it has protected me And I'll protect it now! Go chop an oak, get a birch or pine But save old slippery there, that's mine That's the onliest tree my wife can't climb! Mister woodman, spare it for me!" I said to him, I said "Woodie, can you see that hole Way up near that old tree top? Now, I've got five dollars in soft money up there And it's yours if you refuse to chop! Now no-one can climb that tree but me Because, really, friend it's too slippery Fact of the matter is I can't get up there very well myself Unless my wife is after me!" "`Now I'm going to go home and get my wife And proceed to call her a very naughty word And all you do is stand by While I do that imitation of a bird! But you ain't gonna know just where I go At least while my wife's around But the only thing I'm gonna ask you, Mister Woodie Is, if you don't see me here on the ground" "Woodman, Woodman spare that tree Touch not a single bough! Because I'm gonna drop all five down to thee The one I promised thou! But you must make that axe behave Because old slippery there just must be saved That's the borderline `twixt me and the grave! Mister woodman, spare it! Spare that tree! For ME!!!" (Contributed by Bill Huntley - January 2005)

    


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