Ballad of Jimmy and Sue

By: Ron Erskine
Way up north, in the frozen north, in the land of the Eskimo,
Where the wild winds wail and the temperature drops to 50 degrees below,
Where the tree-less terrain stretches all around as far as the eye can see,
Where only the seals, the bears, and the caribou live on the frozen sea.
There’s a spot situated on this desolate waste — Lady Franklin Point’s the name,
And past this point have trudged the the ghosts of many men of fame.

Now you’ve heard the names of Sam McGee and Dangerous Dan McGrew,
Well, here are two others to add to your list: Jimmy and Eskimo Sue.
Now Jimmy is also an Eskimo, a stolid fellow with little to say,
And it was just about a year ago that his good wife passed away.
‘Twas a bitter blow for Jimmy and it left him feeling blue,
So he took a trip to Cambridge Bay — and there he met his Sue.

Now Sue is tall, and slim, and dark with eyes that shine full bright,
And Jimmy thought she’d be the ideal thing to keep him warm at night.
So he brought her back, set her up in house, “sans license and sans ring”,
And together they lived happily — like two love birds on the wing.
But there arrived on the site one Chaplain Epps, a man of integrity,
And he said,”Jimmy, if you want your Sue there’ll have to be a ceremony”.

Now Jimmy’s an intelligent fellow and he did, indeed, love the girl, Sue.
So he instantly agreed with the chaplain –‘cos it was the right thing to do.
So the chaplain hastened to prepare for the affair, he got out his Cloth and Book,
And all were notified of the event to take place, the Chief, the bride, and the cook.
When the word got to the boys on the site that a wedding would take place,
Out came the suits, jackets, and ties, and everyone put forth his best face.

Next afternoon when I walked into the bar, I could hardly believe my eyes,
For there, sitting quietly for all to view, were twenty-five different guys.
But wait! Wasn’t that Ernie, Smiddie, Giff, and Zeke?
Well, hold on a minute. We’ll just have another peek.
Yeah! There’s Bill Young and John Cox with slicked down hair
Looking for all the world like men-about-town with “beaucoup savoir faire”.

So I joined these gents, these Dew Line gents, these gents of high degree,
And waited for the bride and groom– they were supposed to be here at three.
Well, three came and went, and still the couple didn’t appear.
And our good Chaplain Thomas Epps was nigh on shedding a tear.
The boys were anxious, the cook was wroth, the Chief was feeling blue,
Then suddenly a sigh of relief went around–Jimmy arrived on his ski-doo.

The chaplain smiled, the ceremony began, and the Eskimo nodded assent
to Epps’s “Do you, Jimmy take this woman …” he knew just what he meant.
The vows were made, the knot was tied, the couple ceased to shake,
Then we all adjourned to the dining room to watch them cut the cake.
The cake was cut, the steaks were “ate”, our bellies were fit to bust,
Then we all adjourned to the beer parlour — for our throats were dry as dust.

Soon the champagne corks began to pop, and like missiles filled the air,
And everyone began to glow — including the Eskimo pair.
Now Jimmy took his Sue by the hand and quietly stole away —
But good breeding prohibits us following them, so in the bar we’ll stay.
So the champagne corks continued to pop long into the Arctic night,
While Jimmy and Sue, with their bottle of Scotch went home to … out of sight.

Now the word got around that at the “Point” there’d been quite a “How d’ye do”,
And that everyone had the time of his life at the wedding of Jimmy and Sue.
The telephones rang, the queries came in from up and down the Line.
“How was the wedding? How was the food? Is it true there’s no more wine?”
Well, the wedding was a smash, the food was great,we drank 17 bottles of champagne,
As well as Scotch, and Vodka, Gin and Rum — till nobody felt any pain.

So the next day dawned and the boys slowly rose — feeling just a little unwell.
If they thought that last night was heaven — today was bloody hell!
Heads bigger than footballs, bodies that ached, and perspiring from every pore,
We drank Alka-Seltzers, Bromos, coffee — and aspirins were swallowed galore.
But the vows that the Eskimo couple took last night I’m sure will long outlast
Those of the lads at Lady Franklin Point —