The Frozen Logger
Composer: James Stevens / Ivar Haglund

The Frozen Logger was performed 8 times by the Grateful Dead. The majority of these were in 1970 with subsequently just single performances in 1971, 1972 and 1985.

The Frozen Logger was copyrighted by Stevens and Haglund in 1947. The song was performed by Haglund on radio and first recorded by Earl Robinson. The text was published in James Stevens Bunk Shanty Ballads and Tales and in A Treasury Of Western Folklore in 1951.

Grateful Dead

info Dave's Picks Vol. 3: Chicago, 22/10/71, 2012
info Dave's Picks Vol 24: Berkeley, 8/25/72, 2017

Other recordings

info Americana, Earl Robinson, 1947
no info Single (The Frozen Logger/ Darling Corey), The Weavers, 1951 (USA)
no info Single (A-Round The Corner (Beneath The Berry Tree) / The Frozen Logger), The Weavers, 1952 (UK)
no info Songs of the old Chisholm Trail/Americana, Tony Kraber/Earl Robinson, 1953?
info Hard Travelin', Cisco Houston, 1954
info American Northwest Ballads, Walt Robertson, 1955
info Odetta, Odetta, 1957
no info The Weavers on Tour, The Weavers, 1957
no info Barefoot Ballads, Homer & Jethro, 1957
no info Ain't It A Shame: To Sing Skiffle On Sunday, The Bob Cort Skiffle Group, 1957
no info Spicy Songs for Cool Knights, Katie Lee, 1957
info Absolute Nonsense, Oscar Brand, 1958
info The Tin Angel, Odetta, 1959
no info Folk Songs Around The World, The Weavers, 1959
no info Single (Billy's Ridin' / The Frozen Logger), Ernie Sheldon, 1960
no info At Home with Jimmie Rodgers: An Evening of Folk Songs, Jimmie Rodgers, 1960
info Folk Song Hall Of Fame, Hank Hill And The Tennessee Folk Trio, 1960
no info The Best of Jimmie Rodgers Folk Songs, Jimmie Rodgers, 1961
no info Oscar Brand Songbag, Oscar Brand, 1961
no info The Tree Near My House, Cathie Taylor, 1961
info Just Looking For A Home, Jim Glaser & Americana Folk Trio, 1962
no info At Town Hall, Odetta, 1963
info Way Out West With, Alex Campbell, 1963
no info Single (Troubles Back In Town / The Frozen Logger), Le Garde Trio, 1963
no info Tammy and 11 Other Great Folk Hits, Debbie Reynolds, 1963 (Dot)
no info Great Folk Hits, Debbie Reynolds, 1963 (London)
no info Reunion at Carnegie Hall, The Weavers, 1964
no info Again!, Rolf Harris, 1966
no info The Man With A Microphone, Rolf Harris, 1966
no info From Sea To Shining Sea, Johnny Cash, 1968
no info Along The Way, Darrell Adams, 1977
no info Songs for Woodworkers, Joe Glazer, 1977
no info Swing On A Star, Jim Kweskin, 1979
no info Everybody Sing, Vol. 1, Oscar Brand, 197?
no info Country & Western Classics, Johnny Cash, 1982
no info The Essential, Odetta, 1986
no info Wild Goose, Rick Abrams, 1987
no info The Best Of, The Weavers, 1987
no info American Industrial Ballads, Pete Seeger, 1992
no info The Folkway Years 1944-1961, Cisco Houston, 1994
info The Man in Black: 1963-1969, Johnny Cash, 1996
no info Singing The New Tradition: Songs, Singers and Instrumentals of the Folk Revival: Riverside Folklore Series Vol. 3, Various Artists (Oscar Brand), 1996
no info Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left: 1926-1953, Various Artists (Earl Robinson), 1996
no info Bah! Humbug!, Various Artists (The Weavers), 1996
no info Voices of Winter, Priscilla Heardman, Anne Hills, Cindy Mangsen, 1997
no info Goodnight Irene: 1949-1953, The Weavers, 2000
no info Winter Wonderland, Various Artists (The Weavers), 2002
no info The Ultimate Collection, The Weavers, 2003
no info Folk Songs and Fiddle Tunes, Vol. 2, Fiddlin' Pete Watercott, 2003
no info This Land Is Your Land 1960-1966, The Travellers, 2004
no info The Night the Whiskey Froze, Fred Gosbee, 2004
no info Ain't It a Shame: Decca Singles Compilation 1957-1958, The Bob Cort Skiffle Group, 2005
no info Songs of the Pacific Northwest, Stewart Hendrickson, 2005
no info Wasn't That A Time?, The Weavers, 2006
no info Seriously Unserious, The Seriously Unserious Trio, 2006
no info Live in Pittsburgh, Mindy Simmons, 2006
no info Echoes, Julie Delaney, 2007
no info Live in Australia 1963, Pete Seeger, 2009
no info Songs Of Couch And Consultation/Life Is Just A Bed Of Neuroses, Katie Lee, 2009
no info Sings Folk Songs/At Home with: An Evening of Folk Songs, Jimmie Rodgers, 2010
no info Bootleg, Vol. II: From Memphis to Hollywood, Johnny Cash, 2011


The lyrics of the song are from James Stevens Bunk Shanty Ballads and Tales;

As I set down one evening in a timber town café
A six foot-seven waitress, to me these words did say

"I see you are a logger and not a common bum
For no one but a logger stirs his coffee with his thumb

"My lover was a logger, there's none like him today
If you'd sprinkle whisky on it, he'd eat a bale of hay

"He never shaved the whiskers from off his horny hide
But he'd pound 'em in with a hammer, then bite 'em off inside

"My lover came to see me one freezing winter day
He held me in a fond embrace that broke three vertebrae

"He kissed me when we parted so hard it broke my jaw
And I could not speak to tell him he'd forgot his mackinaw

"I watched my logger lover going through the snow
A sauntering gaily homeward at forty eight below

"The weather tried to freeze him, it tried it's level best
At a hundred degrees below zero, he buttoned up his vest

"It froze clean down to China, it froze to the stars above
At one thousand degrees below zero it froze my logger love

"They tried in vain to thaw him and if you'll believe me, sir
They made him into ax blades to chop the Douglas fir

"That's how I lost my lover and to this caffay I come
And here I wait till someone stirs his coffee with his thumb

"And then I tell my story of my love they could not thaw
Who kissed me when we parted so hard he broke my jaw."

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