Wow this takes me back. Very few people know of or remember this canadian vignette released in 1979 by the National Film Board of Canada. Most people don't know is that this song is a very old folk song that goes back to the days of log driving.



Log drivers driving logs across the river.

The NFB short film revolves around a young girl who loves to dance but her parents want her to marry a doctor, merchant, or lawyer. She finds that all of those people are too stiff footed to dance with and she would rather dance with a log driver.

I remember the first time I saw this short film and I was just laughing at it. Of course I was only 3 when I first saw it and I didn't understand what it was all about but now that I'm older I truly understand what it means and what it means to be a Canadian.

Song Lyrics

If you should ask any girl
from the parish around
what pleases her most
from her head to her toes.

She'll say " I'm not sure
that it's business of yours
but I do like to waltz
with the log driver."

For he goes birling
down a down white water
that's where the log driver
learns to step lightly.
He goes birling
down a down white water
a log driver's waltz pleases
girls completely



The log driver goes congoing under a spear.

When the drive's nearly over
I like to go down and watch
all the lads while they
work on the river.
I know that come evening
they'll be in the town
and we all like to waltz
with the log driver.

For he goes birling
down a down white water
that's where the log driver
learns to step lightly.
He goes birling
down a down white water
a log driver's waltz pleases
girls completely

To please both my parents
I've had to give way
and dance with the doctors
and merchants and lawyers.
Their manners are fine
but their feet are of clay
but there's none with the
style of my log driver.

For he goes birling
down a down white water
that's where the log driver
learns to step lightly.
He goes birling
down a down white water
a log driver's waltz pleases
girls completely



The log driver easily jumps over a moose

Now I've had my chances
with all sorts of men
but none is fine as my
lad on the river
so when the drive's over
if he asks me again
I think I will marry
my log driver.

For he goes birling
down a down white water
that's where the log driver
learns to step lightly.
He goes birling
down a down white water
a log driver's waltz pleases
girls completely
Birling down a down white water
a log driver's waltz pleases
girls completely

What amazes me most about this Vignette is that it's almost 30 years old while the song is even older. It sadens me that in this day and age almost every Canadian channel doesn't carry cartoons like this anymore either because they can't compete with other networks that air cartoons or because they don't happen to carry the rights to broadcast NFB films.

Pretty soon these old vignettes are going to die out and then kids now won't know any of their history. I think in a way it's important to keep these kinds of historical pieces of Canadiana alive for this generation or if not for this generation but for the next generation of kids.

I've always found it inportant to keep films such as these alive so that future generations can say that's a 100 year old song and feel proud to be Canadians. Unfortunately for me TV stations around here don't happen to share the same enthusiaism I have so this is something to remind people of how great our country is.

I remember back in the day I could see this vignette on channels such as CBC, CHCH TV 11, CJOH TV, CTV, TV Ontario, CITY TV, and when it began to air YTV, Vision TV, TeleToon, and Aboriginal People's Television Network (APTN) but alas this vignette is all but lost in the shuffle of this day and age where they just don't care about little pieces of Canadiana like this. It's not surprising that this was lost. Maybe the next TV station to air won't forget about our heritage and make it a point to be proud of where they come from. But then again I won't hold my breath.