Boil That Water Down





P1080781  In a fit of delirium, after 12 hours in the sugaring shack, I wrote a poem set to music, or if you prefer the more popular term, a song.

The tune is loosely based on the old Bluegrass song “Boil That Cabbage Down”, but the lyrics are 100% about my family and me .
The chords are G, D, C, G, D, A, C, G repeated through both chorus and verses, just in case you ever feel like immortalizing us in a poem set to music.

G               D
Boil that water down
C                 G
Cook it till it's brown
G                  D
The only song that I can sing 
   A         C     G
Is boil that water down

Louis was a city boy
Who longed for country life
Got himself a piece o' land 
and brought along his wife

They worked sunup to sundown
To try to make it fine
With deer and Bear and Fox
And an occasional 'qupine


Their boy was big and strappin'
And helped them all he could
By puttin' in new windows
And stackin' fire wood

The Chickadog was happy
But sometimes tried to dine
On the deer and bear and fox
And that occasional 'qupine


One day they got an idea
To make 'em something sweet
They tapped themselves some maples
To make a tasty treat

They started in with four taps
But how the story goes
They tapped into six more trees
And watched the water flow


They boiled it in the pole barn
They boiled it in the yard
Boilin' sap's a good ol' time
The work ain't very hard

Now syrup's on their pancakes
And everything they eat
They looked for miles and miles around
Their syrup can't be beat 


So if you get an inklin'
To do just what they done
Get yourself a piece o' land
And have yourself some fun!


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Boil Them Cabbage Down - The Dillards




Break out the buckets

Go find the taps

Pull on your Wellies

It’s time to tap sap!

Freezing at night-time

And warm in the day

Drill a hole in the tree

And you’re well on your way

To water that’s flowing

Though snow’s in the air

Soon in the shack

You’ll be boiling with care

You’ll sit in the shanty

While big kettles roil

With family and friends

So it wont feel like toil

You’ll laugh and tell jokes

And play some guitar

And talk of the sweetness 

You’ll put in a jar


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  I would consider our foray into the world of sugaring at our new house on Three Bear’s Ridge to be a rousing success. We jarred about 4 gallons of delicious syrup, and had a great time doing it. If the weather holds, we may even be able to get a few more days in the shanty.




Toppled trees decorate the forest floor; fallen soldiers in the battle of the elements

Damp casualties disintegrate and molder

A fine, earthy aroma fills the air

Wild mushrooms, moss, and cozy burrows give life to the dead

A tiny sapling takes root in the peaty soil and turns its tender branches towards the light