Recording by Elisabeth Skoglund:
Sung to the tune of “Reuben and Rachel.”
Elisabeth Skoglund’s text is similar to, but somewhat shorter than, the version published by George T. Springer in Yumpin’ Yiminy: Scandinavian Dialect Selections. In that 1932 book it is calls “I Ban Svede from Nort’ Dakota.” This version is also found in Archie Green, editor, Songs about Work: Essays in Occupational Culture for Richard A. Reuss,published by the Folklore Institute of Indiana University 1993. The text is found on pp. 261-262 of the essay “Farm, Forest, and Factory: Songs of Midwestern Labor” by James P. Leary and Richard March. They note on p. 260 that Minnesotan Carl Bruce thought he had learned the song in Minneapolis in 1904.
Another Minnesota version is found in James Taylor Dunn, The St. Croix: Midwest Border River, p. 258, who had it from the Rydberg Manuscript in his possession.
|Heritage Songbook VersionI’m a Svede from Nort’ Dakota,
Vork on farm for half a year,
I vent down to Minneap’lis
All to see da big State Fair.
I vent down to Seven Corners
She say, “Vill you vork for Yesus?”
I voke up da very next morning,
|Elisabeth Skoglund’s textI ban a Swede from North Dakota
Work on da farm for about two years
Tank I will go to Minnesota
Take a look at the big state fair
Buy me a ticket, buy me a bottle
Waking up the very next morning
I go down to Seven Corners
And we drink and we feel yolly
Waking up in yale next morning
I look through all my pockets
I’m going back to North Dakota
|Excerpts from Rydberg MSGreat big Swede from North Dakota
Worked on a farm for about a year,
Think he go to Minnesota,
To take a look at the Big State Fair
[Verse 2 generally similar to Elisabeth’s verse 2]
Jump on Jim Hill’s great big wagon,
Walking along the streets of St. Paul
Walk along the streets of Minneapolis,
I turned around and looked so funny,
[final verse loosely similar to Elisabeth’s verse 5]
* reportedly a reference to Minneapolis’s Stockholm Cafe.