Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lumberjack Party at T.R.A.C.S.

Saturday 13th November Noon SLT (9pm CET) we have a Lumberjack Party.
This time our party is not at the club but at the front of our house.
A lumberjack is a worker in the logging industry who performs the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era (before 1945) when hand tools were used in harvesting trees principally from virgin forest. Because of its historical ties, the term lumberjack has become ingrained in popular culture through folklore, media, and spectator sports. The work was difficult, dangerous, intermittent, low-paying, and primitive in living conditions, but the men built a traditional culture that celebrated strength, masculinity, confrontation with danger, and resistance to modernization.

In popular and folklore culture
In popular culture, the stereotypical cliché of a lumberjack is a strong, burly, usually bearded man who lives to brave the natural environment. He is depicted wearing suspenders, a long-sleeved plaid flannel shirt, and heavy boots. He is often depicted as being very hungry and eating a large stack of flapjacks or pancakes. He works by cutting down trees with either an axe or with the help of another lumberjack, a crosscut saw, as opposed to the modern chainsaw.

Statue of a stereotypical lumberjack in Portland, Oregon.The most famous depiction of a lumberjack in folklore is Paul Bunyan. Several towns claim to have been the home of Paul Bunyan and have statues of Bunyan and his ox "Babe" in the town.

Paul Bunyan
was the biggest, strongest, toughest lumberjack who ever picked up an axe. There are stories about how Bunyan created the great lakes and the Grand Canyon all by himself. His sidekick was Babe, the Blue Ox, himself a massive animal. Paul Bunyan was said to have come from Maine or Minnesota or maybe Michigan and all have a claim to the legendary woodsman known to chop down trees by the acre. 

Paul Bunyan was so big it took 3 storks to deliver him. When he was a year old, he had to wear his father's clothes because nothing else would fit. He used wagon wheels as buttons and a bent crowbar as a safety pin to keep his nappies on. His pet ox, Blue, was found in a snow drift one year when it was so cold even the snow turned blue and turned his coat blue for all time.

Lumberjacks rapidly developed their own distinctive musical culture of work songs. Many were based on traditional European folk tunes, with lyrics that reflected the lives, experiences and concerns of lumberjacks, with the themes of cutting, hauling, rolling and driving, as well as narrative songs that involved romance.
In Monty Python, a popular skit is "The Lumberjack Song" known for its refrain "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay / I sleep all night and I work all day".

Johnny Cash recorded a song about lumberjacks titled "Lumberjack", which appeared on the Ride This Train album.

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