On May 12 it will be six years since thieves snatched The Hatchet, that ancient campus icon, from the glass case in Wheelock Student Center. All good intentions aside, the ASUPS-commissioned replica now on display just isn’t, er, cutting it. Hey you Hatchet-nappers out there: When are you bringing the real thing back? Meanwhile, we console ourselves the absence of The Hatchet with these, our picks for the top-10 hatchet/axe/logger songs.
10 “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” Pink Floyd
Safety first, eh? The nearly 9-minute live version of this trippy song from the 1969 LP Ummagumma beats the heck out of the five-minute studio version. The title comprises the only lyrics, which are whispered, followed by a lot of loud screaming from Roger Waters.
9 “Small Axe,” Bob Marley
An on-the-beat cut at those who take too much, from 1971.
8 “Yakety Axe,” Chet Atkins
That “axe” can also be slang for a musical instrument accounts for the titles of numbers 8, 7, and 6, electric-guitar tours de force from three different genres.
7 “ Battle Axe,” Quiet Riot
6 “Just Playing My Axe,” Buddy Guy
5 “The Lumberjack Song,” Monty Python
This logger loves trees … and a nice pair of high heels. Aside from the references to cross-dressing, a good portion of this recording is a jauntily sung taxonomy of trees.
4 “Larry the Logger Two-Step,” The Doobie Brothers
A brief, sweet acoustic guitar instrumental from 1977.
3 “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” Molly Hatchet
Molly Hatchet is from Florida, not the Northwest. But for this crank-it-up rocker we’ll overlook the band’s unfortunate geographic origin.
2 “The Frozen Logger,” Cisco Houston
Written, it is said, by one Jim Stevens in 1928, this Bunyanesque knee-slapper wasn’t recorded until 1951 and contains the words: “I see you are a logger, and not just a common bum, ’cause no one but a logger, stirs his coffee with his thumb.” The Grateful Dead reportedly attempted to perform this song a few times, but Bob Weir had a little trouble remembering the lyrics.
1 “Where There Walks a Logger, There Walks a Man,” Buzz Martin
A real-life logger turned country musician, Buzz Martin has been called the timber industry poet laureate. He was born in a tent near Coon Holler, Ore., in 1928, and he began his musical career playing in logging camps. If you like Johnny Cash you’ll love Buzz.
By the way, should you want to assembled a hatchet-themed playlist, all of the above are available on iTunes.