PADDY WORKS ON THE ERIE

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
PADDY WORKS ON THE ERIE
According the Sandburg this was first published in the 1850s. It is also known as Paddy
Works on the Railway. There is an endless variety of lyrics. I chose these because it is a
better representation of working life on the railway than others.
In eighteen hundred and forty one
I put my cordoroy breeches on
I put my cordoroy breeches on
To work upon the railway.
Chorus
Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay
Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay
Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay
To work upon the railway
In eighteen hundred and forty-two,
I left the ould world for the new,
Bad cess to the luck that brought me through,
To work upon the railroad.
When we left Ireland to come here,
And spend our latter days in cheer,
And bosses they did drink strong beer,
And Pat worked on the Railway
Our contractor’s name it was Tom King
He kept a store to rob the men,
A Yankee clerk with ink and pen,
To cheat Pat on the railway.
It’s “Pat do this” and “Pat do that”
Without a stocking or cravat,
And nothing but an old straw hat
While Pat works on the railway
One Monday morning to our surprise,
Just half an hour before sunrise
The dirty divil went to the skies
And Pat worked on the railroad.
In eighteen hudnred and forty-three
‘Twas then I met sweet Biddy Magee,
And an illygant wife she’s been to me,