(Written by Dan McGinnis. A composite text, based on one collected by Rickaby from W. H. Underwood of Bayport, Minnesota, but with corrections from other versions.)
I’m a heartbroken raftsman, from [Greenville] I came,
[I courted a lassie, a lass of great fame,]
[From the] strong darts of Cupid [I’ve suffered] much grief;
My heart’s broke within me, I can [get no] relief.
I will tell you my story without much delay,
[Of a sweet] little lassie my heart stole away,
[She’s a] blacksmith’s [fair] daughter on the Flat River Side,
And I always intended to make her my bride.
My occupation is raftsman whe[re] the white water [roars].
My name is engraved on the rocks and sand shores.
[In shops, bars, and households I’m very well known],
And they call me Jack Haggerty, the pride of the town.
I dressed her in jewels and the finest of lace,
The costliest muslins her [form] to embrace.
I gave her my wages all for to keep safe,
I begrudged her of nothing I had on the earth.
[One day on the river a letter I received,
To say from her promise herself she’d relieved.
For to wed with another she’d no longer delay,
And the next time I’d see her she’d no more be a maid.]
[On] her mother, Jane Tucker, I [lay] all the blame,
She has caused her to leave me and go back on my name.
She has cast off the riggin’ that God would soon tie,
And has left me to wander till the day that I die.
I’ll bid adieu to Flat River, for me there’s no rest.
I will shoulder my peavey and I will go west.
I will go to Muskegon some comfort to find,
And I’ll leave my own sweetheart on Flat River behind.
So come all you bold raftsmen with hearts stout and true,
Don’t depend on the women; you’re beat if you do.
[And whenever] you meet one with a dark chestnut curl,
[Just remember] Jack Haggerty and the Flat River girl.