Breedloves's Folk Songs


“Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill” is an American folk song composed in 1888 by Charles
Connolly and Thomas Casey. The song is a work song, and makes references to the
construction of the American railroads in the mid-19th century; the “Tarriers” of the title
is a mild slur in referencing the workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad
tunnels. It had been covered several times, most notably; by the Folk group the Weavers
in the early 1950’s.
Every morning about seven o’clock
There were twenty tarriers drilling at the rock
The boss comes along and he says, “Keep still
And bear down heavy on the cast iron drill.”
And drill, ye tarriers, drill
Drill, ye tarriers, drill
For it’s work all day for the sugar in you tay
Down beyond the railway
And drill, ye tarriers, drill
And blast, and fire.
The boss was a fine man down to the ground
And he married a lady six feet ’round
She baked good bread and she baked it well
But she baked it harder than the hobs of Hell.
The foreman’s name was John McCann
By God, he was a blamed mean man
Last week a premature blast went off
And a mile in the air went big Jim Goff.
And when next payday came around
Jim Goff a dollar short was found
When he asked, “What for?” came this reply
“You were docked for the time you were up in the sky.”