The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15839   Message #144544
Posted By: Stewie
04-Dec-99 - 08:56 AM
Thread Name: Help: Sea-faring songs go Oilfield??
Subject: Lyr Add: THE KELLY'S TURNING
Here's a GREAT oil drilling song. Unfortunately, I have no recorded reference. A friend of mine, Mick Fahey, used to sing it at the folk club here in Darwin (top of Oz). I am chasing up printed music (which a friend has promised me) or a cassette recording (there's a sparsely indexed folk club library and a chance Mick was recorded singing this), which I will forward in due course, because I reckon this is a fabulous chorus song that deserves wider exposure than it has had. All I know is that it was written by a Larry King. I was told he was Australian, but the reference to 'boomers and boll weevils' suggests an American origin, but who knows - I would certainly like to. I don't know about the word 'krog' but that is what is on scruffy copy of the lyrics I have preserved for many years. Does anyone know this song or anything about Larry King? Surprisingly, my wife loves it too - she's mostly into bluesy material and normally quite lukewarm about stuff like this. If you think I'm enthusiastic about this song - too bloody right I am!

THE KELLY'S TURNING

We're meeting by the riggin'
For the word has passed around
We'll drink our spree on Texas tea
So the drills are goin' down
Men roll in from everywhere
From France and England too
Boomers and boll weevils that make up the drillin' crew

The kelly's turnin', the drill rod churnin'
The metal burnin' as she breaks the hard back floor
Rough voices grumblin'
The diesel's rumblin'
The kelly fumblin' with the key to Satan's door

There's Hank and Mac and Paddy
From across the sea they've come
With Czechs and Swedes, all kinds o' breeds
They share a common bond
It's music in the air to men
Followin' the call
When high upon the christmas tree
They hear the driller call

The kelly's turnin', the drill rod churnin'
The metal burnin' as she breaks the hard back floor
Rough voices grumblin'
The diesel's rumblin'
The kelly fumblin' with the key to Satan's door

Devil's getting' angry
There's a rumblin' in the well
For men are cruel who steal the fuel
That feeds the fires of hell
His heart is big and black as soot
And darker is his soul
And when he cries, he fills the skies
With tears as black as coal

The kelly's turnin', the drill rod churnin'
The metal burnin' as she breaks the hard back floor
Rough voices grumblin'
The diesel's rumblin'
The kelly fumblin' with the key to Satan's door

Well, now the drillin's ended
So we'll pack our things and go
We've drawn a million barrels
From a thousand feet below
So it's bound for eastern cities
Our hard-earned cheques to spend
On girls and grog and fancy krog
Till the word goes out again

The kelly's turnin', the drill rod churnin'
The metal burnin' as she breaks the hard back floor
Rough voices grumblin'
The diesel's rumblin'
The kelly fumblin' with the key to Satan's door

We're meeting by the riggin'
For the word has passed around
We'll drink our spree on Texas tea
So the drills are goin' down
Men roll in from everywhere
From France and England too
Boomers and boll weevils that make up the drillin' crew

The kelly's turnin', the drill rod churnin'
The metal burnin' as she breaks the hard back floor
Rough voices grumblin'
The diesel's rumblin'
The kelly fumblin' with the key to Satan's door