Lift that bale, tote that barge

Posted by R. Berg on December 12, 2001

In Reply to: Lift that bale, tote that barge posted by Bruce Kahl on December 12, 2001

: : I heard this as a child. The speaker was usually gently admonishing someone else to work harder at some physical task. It makes me think of people loading canal-based barges and then hauling the barges along the canals. Perhaps the words come from a song. Any insights?

: ".....But ol' man river
: He keeps rollin' along.
: You and me
: We sweat and strain.
: Body all achin'
: And wracked with pain.
: Tote that barge.
: Lift that bale.
: Get a little drunk
: And you land in jail..."

The song is "Old Man River," from the musical "Showboat."