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Lyr Req: When You Lay the Rails, Boys (Tom Glazer)

GUEST,Tony P 13 Sep 08 - 12:46 AM
Charley Noble 13 Sep 08 - 08:39 AM
Joe Offer 13 Sep 08 - 03:31 PM
Charley Noble 13 Sep 08 - 03:41 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Sep 08 - 08:13 PM
GUEST,Tony P 13 Sep 08 - 09:20 PM
Cool Beans 14 Sep 08 - 06:46 PM
llareggyb (inactive) 15 Sep 08 - 08:05 AM
Charley Noble 15 Sep 08 - 09:34 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 15 Sep 08 - 10:39 PM
llareggyb (inactive) 17 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,Mhamilton5 at neo.rr.com 29 Mar 12 - 05:05 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: GUEST,Tony P
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 12:46 AM

I am looking for lyrics to a railroad work song of the mid 19th century. I only know one verse, which was on an old children's record from the 1950's. It's clearly a real work song, like many sea chanties, with a solo voice singing the verse and the men grunting in response & in rhythm as they pushed the rails into place. The one verse goes like this:

Oh, when you lay the rails, boys,
*Wuh!*
The shiny silver rails boys,
*Wuh!*
Oh, when you lay the rails, boys,
*Wuh!*
Down on the ground,
*Wuh!*
Soon the train'll ride through,
*Wuh!*
Big and black and shiny,
*Wuh!*
Oh, when you lay the rails, boys,
*Wuh!*
The shiny silver rails.
*Wuh!*

It has a great tune, too, which I will suggest for adding to the DT if I can get some more lyrics -- or maybe even if I can't!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, bo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 08:39 AM

Tony-

Good luck on your search. I've never run across this one before.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 03:31 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, bo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 03:41 PM

Here's a link where you can buy the original album for $50: click here for website

Here's how the recording is described:

Working on the Railroad songs include "Kit Carson"; "Paddy"; The Shiny Silver Rails" and of course "Working on the Railroad" - original 10 inch, 78 rpm record plus a CD recording of Working on the Railroad.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 08:13 PM

Looks like an imitation of a gang work song of the late 19th c.

I can't find a thread for these songs that are used when work gangs have a task that requires a rhythm and meter for work in unison. Few appear in collections, perhaps because they are repetitive and lack the interest of ballads. Many were made up at the spur of the moment, and words would vary from day to day.

I will start one later today.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: GUEST,Tony P
Date: 13 Sep 08 - 09:20 PM

> Charley Noble quoth cheerily:
> Here's a link where you can buy the original album for $50: ....

Yes! that is the very record I had as a youngster. Maybe I'd better check my 78 collection -- who knows, perhaps it's still there -- I may be sitting on a goldmine!

Thanks,

Tony


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: Cool Beans
Date: 14 Sep 08 - 06:46 PM

I remember it! Tom Glazer sang it. Peter Muldavin, the Kiddie Rekord King, has "Working on the Railroad" in his massive collection and will copy it onto a CD ofr about $14 ($7 a side of the original 78).
www.kiddierekordking.com


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 08:05 AM

So, since as Q says of this class of work song, many were made up on the spur of the moment, in the absence of an authentic and complete version of the Shiny Silver Rails, I might as well imagine myself as a Gandy Dancer and write a few more verses, so we can sing the tune through more than once. Or revive the Celtic tradition where each person in turn has to improvise a verse, and if you stumble or hesitate, you're out,

The best preserved example I know of this type of song - improvised around the job and people you worked with - is the Old Chisolm Trail, which in my fake book has over 30 verses. I am sure people who work a little way from civilisation are still making them up as they go along. My father, a bush pilot, used to sing a song (tune: Reuben, Reuben) that had a personal verse for each of the pilots in his group of friends. His verse went something like:
    Val's got a brand new Fairchild monoplane,
    It's as light as thistledown,
    You can even make the wings flap
    If you just jump up and down!

Tony


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, bo
From: Charley Noble
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 09:34 AM

Tony-

Welcome aboard as a new member.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 15 Sep 08 - 10:39 PM

Hi, Tony.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Work Song: When you lay the rails, boys
From: llareggyb (inactive)
Date: 17 Sep 08 - 04:27 AM

Actually, I've been lurking from time to time for quite a few years - just haven't posted much - and some of my early posts were as Guest or under my real name instead of "llareggyb".

Tony Patriarche

P.S. If you're curious about the origin of "llareggyb", I was looking for a unique handle for hotmail, and thought of Dylan (I mean Dylan Thomas, whoever he was) and his play "Under Milkwood", in which it's a place name. If you're even more curious, bear in mind that in Welsh y=u and read it backwards. (Thomas amazingly managed to sneak it by the BBC censor by spelling it this way).

TP


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: When You Lay the Rails, Boys (Tom Glazer)
From: GUEST,Mhamilton5 at neo.rr.com
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 05:05 AM

I've been looking for that album forever too... Lost mine in a house fire many years ago.

I'd love to teach my kids the songs.

Thanks for the leads.


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