'Twas early in the spring when I decide to go
For to work up in the woods in North On-tar-i-o
The unemployment office said they'd send me trough
To the Little Abi-tibi with the survey
And the black flies, the little black flies1 Always the black fly, no matter where you go
I'll die with the black fly a-picking my bones
In North On-tar-i-o-i-o, in North On-tar-i-oNow the man, black Toby was the captain of the crewAnd he said, "I'm gonna tell you boys what we're gonna doThey want to build a power dam and we must find a wayFor to make the Little Ab flow around the other way"So we survey to the east and we survey to the westAnd we couldn't make our minds up how to do it bestLittle Ab, Little Ab, what shall I doFor I'm all but goin' crazy on the survey crewIt was black fly, black fly everywhereA-crawlin' in your whiskers, a-crawlin' in your hairA-swimmin' in the soup, and a'swimmin in the teaOh the devil take the black fly and let me beBlack Toby fell to swearin' 'cause the work went slowAnd the state of our morale was gettin' pretty lowAnd the flies swarmed heavy, it was hard to catch a breathAs you staggered up and down the trail talkin' to yourselfNow the bull cook's name was Blind River JoeIf it hadn't been for him we'd have never pulled throughFor he bound up our bruises, and he kidded us for funAnd he lathered us with bacon grease and balsam gumAt last the job was over, Black Toby said, We're throughWith the Little Abitibi and the survey crew'Twas a wonderful experience and this I knowI'll never go again to North Ontar-i-o
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