"Sad Ballad of Jack Haggerty"

Acknowledgement: This History of Lowell has been made possible largely through the great generosity of the business men and institutions mentioned in the following pages. Grateful acknowledgement is extended.

My name is Jack Haggerty, from Greenville I come,

All pleasures departed, from all joys I disdain;

From the strong darts of Cupid, that gave me such grief,

Till my heart breaks asunder I shall ne’er get relief.


My calling is rafting, where the Flat river rolls,

My name is engraved on its and rocks and sand shoals,

Through shops, bars and households, it’s very well known,

They call me Jack Haggerty, the pride of the town.


I will tell you my troubles without more delay,

How a sweet little lassie my heart stole away.

She was a ‘smith’s daughter, on the Flat river side,

And I always intended to make her my bride.


Her form like the dove was most slender and neat,

And her hair hung in ringlets to her tiny white feet,

Her voice was a clear as the nightingale’s song,

And it rang in my ears all the day and night long.

I dressed her in muslin, in silk, and in lace,

In the costliest of jewels her hands I incased,

I gave her my wages each month to keep safe,

I begrudged her of nothing I had on the earth.

I took her to suppers, to parties, and balls,

On Sunday boat riding was the first early call,

She said that she loved me as we strolled through the town,

Her words were sweet as music ‘ere the rise of the morn.


I worked on the river, I earned quite a stake,

I was steadfast and steady, I ne’er played the rake,

I was bouyant and happy, on the boiling, white stream,

My thoughts were of Anna—she haunted my dreams.

One day on the river a letter I received,

She said from her promise herself would relieve,

That the marriage to a loved one she had long time delayed,

And the next time I saw her she would ne’er be a maid.

Her mother, Jane Tucker, was the one most to blame,

She caused her to leave me, and blacken my name,

She cast off the rigging that God would soon tie,

And left me to wander, ‘til the day that I die.

Farewell to flat River, for me there’s no rest,

I’ll shoulder my peevie and I will go west;

I’ll go to Montana, some comfort to fine,

And leave both Flat river and Anna behind.

Now all you bold raftsmen, kind-hearted and true,

Don’t rely on a woman—you’re beat if you do;

And if ever you meet one with brown chestnut curls,

Just think of Jack Haggerty and the Flat River girl.

Lowell Board of Trade, Lowell: 100 Years of History, 1831-1931, Lowell, Michigan: The Lowell Ledger, 1931


Transcriber: Jennifer Godwin
Created: 5 May 2003
http://kent.migenweb.net/towns/lowell/1931/sadballad.html