I found this song in that fine old book, The Minstrelsy of Maine, but Fannie Hardy Eckstorm and Mary Winslow Smythe. They explain that song was collected in 1925 from Horace E. Priest of Sangerville, who learned it 45 years before in the woods on the Penobscot. Many lumberman came into Bangor help build the dam and Water Works in 1875-6. His stamps, or caulks, were his hobnailed boots. The saddest part of this story was that he came out of the woods to take a "civilized" job for awhile. He ended up building the Water Works without pay, having lost his most important possessions, his logging boots.
To Bangor City last year I came; to the town I took a fancy
I enlisted a job in the Water Works, 'long of my friend Jim Clancy
Jim, he didn't stay but a day or two while I stuck on like a daisy
Bad luck to me soul, had I gone with Jim my poor heart would-a been easy.
One Saturday night I got my stamps – for Brewer town I started
I sent a man and he asked me to drink – says I, "You're very kind hearted."
I took a drink of the lay-down punch – which laid me out completely
Sometimes I get a little mite drunk, but that night I got beastly.
When I awoke me stamps was gone, in another hotel I was setting
My bag and baggage was my only chum, and my bedroom door was a-grating.
I loudly for the Boss did call, my stomach bein' in want of a diet
When a man with a star did to me appear, sayin' "Damn your eyes, keep quiet!"
I was taken to court that very afternoon and charged for Creating a Riot
They said I knocked a policeman down while trying to keep being quiet.
I told the story to the Judge – to the best of my recollection
He fined me 50 cents and costs… of six months in the House of Correction.
My stamps was gone so I had to go too, a makin' brick for the stack, boys;
And all on account of the lay-down-punch and the meetin' of the hoboes.
And now young men when you do go out, if you have got any money
Keep away from the lay-down-punch, and the hoboes for their cunning.
Jim Clancy is recorded on the album In the Kind Land