The Buffalo
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This was a popular emigrant song in the early eighteenth century. According to Barrett, it was especially popular in London. It was also found along the Missouri River in America.

It was printed on numerous broadsides (there are six different broadsides of The Buffalo in the Bodleian Library Collection). Rev. S. Baring-Gould collected two versions.

Titles of variants (which can be found at The Mudcat Cafe) include: Hunt the Buffalo and The Banks of the Pleasant Ohio.

Come all you young fellows
That have a mind to range,
Into some foreign country
Your station for to change,
Into some foreign country
Away from home to go,
We lay down on the banks
Of the pleasant Ohio,
We'll wander through the wild woods
And we'll chase the buffalo.
We'll chase the buffalo
We'll wander through the wild woods
And chase the buffalo.


There are fishes in the river
That is fitting for our use,
And high and lofty sugar-canes
That yield us pleasant juice,
And all sorts of game, my boys,
Besides the buck and doe,
We lay down on the banks
Of the pleasant Ohio,
We'll wander through the wild woods
And we'll chase the buffalo.
We'll chase the buffalo
We'll wander through the wild woods
And chase the buffalo.


Come all you young maidens,
Come spin us up some yarn,
To make us some new clothing
To keep ourselves full warm,
For you can card and spin, my girls,
And we can reap and mow,
We lay down on the banks
Of the pleasant Ohio,
We'll wander through the wild woods
And we'll chase the buffalo.
We'll chase the buffalo
We'll wander through the wild woods
And chase the buffalo.


Supposing these wild Indians
By chance should come us near,
We will unite together
Our hearts all free from care,
We will march down into the town, my boys,
And give the fatal blow,
We lay down on the banks
Of the pleasant Ohio,
We'll wander through the wild woods
And we'll chase the buffalo.
We'll chase the buffalo
We'll wander through the wild woods
And chase the buffalo.


Related Links
From English Folk-Songs
See Bibliography for full information.