From the recording Field Recordings


The Great Black Swamp
© 2007 by Russ Franzen

1) It covered 12 counties from Lake Erie West
You could sink in the mud clear up to your vest.
Most pioneers left the swamp alone
Only the heartiest called it home.

Chorus: Dig another ditch, Your shovel in your hand
Drain all the water from the bottom land.
The water all gone, you can plant all you want
And that’ll be the end of the Great Black Swamp.

2) The land was cheap, It was there for the takin’
But lots of disease left the pioneers shakin’
Frogs a’ croakin’ the night away
And lots of smoke to keep the skeeters away.

3) The ditch laws passed. The diggin’ began.
And all that swamp water started to drain.
They made big tiles from the swamp’s own clay
And the Great Black Swamp’s been dry to this day.

4) Frogtown’s done. The frogs are all gone.
There’s no bog for you to get bogged down.
The ground is drier. The livin’ is sweeter.
The only Black Swamp survivor is the doggone Skeeter.