The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #95795   Message #3954304
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
02-Oct-18 - 10:04 PM
Thread Name: Lyr/Origin Req: Bay Rum Blues
Subject: RE: Lyr/Origin Req: Bay Rum Blues
Searching the interwebs for stuff on sledge gangs. The only thing I find on "railing chain" leads me here. The irony:

Richie: "There are multiple references to a "railer's chain." Anyone know what that is?"

Scrump: "AFAIK it's a chain used to join prisoners together or to something else (e.g. a heavy ball or rock)..."


Just the first part. "Chain railing."

"A single ankle shackle with a short length of chain attached to a heavy ball is known as a ball and chain. It limited prisoner movement and impeded escape.

"Two ankle shackles attached to each other by a short length of chain are known as a hobble or as leg irons. These could be chained to a much longer chain with several other prisoners, creating a work crew known as a chain gang. The walk required to avoid tripping while in leg irons is known as the convict shuffle." [chain gang wiki]

Modern urban lyric: "catch a chain"

Hollywood never sank a slave galley without a railing chain cliffhanger. Now if I could just find a reference besides me.