Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Add/Origins: When McGuiness Gets a Job

DigiTrad:
LAST WINTER WAS A HARD ONE


In Mudcat MIDIs:
When McGuiness Gets a Job [Jim O'Neil & Jack Conroy] (tune from the original sheet music, 1880)


Jim Dixon 29 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM
Uncle_DaveO 29 Apr 10 - 03:35 PM
Joe Offer 30 Apr 10 - 12:28 AM
GUEST,Gerry 30 Apr 10 - 01:00 AM
Joe Offer 30 Apr 10 - 01:01 AM
Joe Offer 30 Apr 10 - 02:28 AM
zozimus 30 Apr 10 - 06:04 AM
Lighter 30 Apr 10 - 08:18 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN MCGUINESS GETS A JOB
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 02:51 PM

This is related to LAST WINTER WAS A HARD ONE in the DT. I don't think there has ever been a thread devoted to this family of songs, although there is some discussion of yet another version called CHEER UP, MRS RILEY in the thread Lyr Req: James M. Carpenter Shanties & Sea Songs.

From Flying Cloud: And One Hundred and Fifty Other Old Time Songs and Ballads of ... by Michael Cassius Dean (Virginia, Minn.: The Quickprint, 1922), page 89:


WHEN MCGUINESS GETS A JOB.

1. Last winter was a hard one, Mrs. Riley, did you say?
Faith, myself it is that knows it for many a long day.
Your old man wasn't the only one that sat behind the wall.
There was my old man McGuiness didn't get a job at all.
The contractors they promised him work on the boulevard,
To handle the pick and shovel and throw dirt on the car.
Six weeks ago they promised him that work he'd surely get,
But believe me, my good woman, they're promising him yet.

CHORUS: Then cheer up, Mrs. Riley. Don't give way to the blues.
You and I will cut a shine with bonnets and new shoes,
And as for me, I have done a-sighing. No more I'll cry or sob,
But I'll wait till times get better and McGuiness gets a job.

2. The Italians, devil take them, why don't they stay at home?
Sure, we have enough of our own sort to eat up all our own.
They come like bees in summer and in winter they go away.
The contractors hire hundreds for sixty cents a day.
They work upon the railroad; they shovel dirt and slush;
But there is one thing in their favor: Italians never lush.
They always bring their money home; they drink no beer or wine;
And that's something I would like to say about your old man and mine.

3. The spring time is coming and soon we'll all get work.
McGuiness will go back to his trade. Sure he's a handsome clerk.
You should see him climb the ladder, as nimble as a fox.
Faith, he's the boy that can juggle the old three-cornered box.
The boss he's always bawling, "Hi there! don't you stop.
Keep your eyes upward. Don't let no mortar drop."
My old man is very careful; nothing he e'er lets fall;
And damn the word you'd hear him say to my old man at all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 29 Apr 10 - 03:35 PM

For the education of those who don't know the expression, "the old three-cornered box" is a hod, a sort of platform on a rod or pole vertically down from its center-bottom, which the bricklayers' helpers would use to carry mortar or bricks up the ladder to the workmen who needed them.

For those who know the song sometimes called "Why Paddy's Not at Work Today", you'll remember that "the gaffer" (the foreman) told Paddy to carry the excess bricks down the ladder in his hod, but "to carry all those bricks by hand, it seemed so very slow", so Paddy worked out the ingenious rope, pulley, and barrel system, which then gave him all the hilarious accidental beating in the song, which explained why he wasn't at work next day.

Should have used "the old three-cornered box"!

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 12:28 AM

Deb Cowan did a nice recording of this on her Long Grey Line CD. She calls it "McGinnis Gets a Job." Spellings and alternate titles make this song a difficult one to locate. The version in the Digital Tradition is from Folk Songs of the Catskills, by Cazden Haufrecht and Studer (and it's an accurate transcription). Joe Hickerson and Lee Murdock recorded this song as "Last Winter Was a Hard One."
-Joe-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Last Winter Was a Hard One

    DESCRIPTION: Two Irish women lament the hard times. Neither woman's husband could find a job, and both families suffered. They curse the Italians who have arrived to take Irish jobs. They look forward to better times when their husbands find work
    AUTHOR: Words: Jim O'Neil / Music: Jack Conroy
    EARLIEST DATE: 1880 (sheet music)
    KEYWORDS: work poverty unemployment foreigner hardtimes
    FOUND IN: US(MA,MW) Canada(Mar)
    REFERENCES (4 citations):
    Dean, pp. 89-90, "When McGuinness Gets a Job" (1 text)
    FSCatskills 98, "Last Winter Was a Hard One" (1 text+fragments, 1 tune)
    Ives-DullCare, pp. 111-112,248, "Last Winter Was a Hard One" (1 text, 1 tune)
    DT, LASTWNTR*

    Roud #4607
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Longshoreman's Strike (The Poor Man's Family)" (theme)
    Notes: The sheet music to this is "respectfully dedicated to comptroller John Kelly." John Kelly (1822-1886) was a New York politician. A one-time representative, the Dictionary of American Biography credits him with running Tammany Hall 1873-1882. Thus he would be the chief politician responsible for municipal employment.
    See one version of "When McGuinness Gets a Job" [Sheet Music: digital id sm1880 11975], published in New York in 1880, at the Library of Congress American Memory site. - BS
    File: FSC098

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2009 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:00 AM

Margaret Walters has recorded the version in the DT. I think she learned it from Sara Grey, who has also recorded it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: Last Winter Was a Hard One
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 01:01 AM

Here's the version from Ives:

LAST WINTER WAS A HARD ONE
[When McGuiness Gets a Job]

Last winter was a hard one, Mrs. Reilly did you say?
Sure it is meself that's known it for many's the long day.
For your old man's not the only one that stood beside the wall,
For my old man McGuiness, sure he had no job at all.
The politicians promised him work upon the boulevard,
Working with a pick and shovel, shovelling dirt upon the cars.
Six months ago they promised him that work he'd surely get,
But believe me, my good woman, they're promising that yet!

CHORUS:
But it's cheer up, Mrs. Reilly, don't give away to the blues.
Soon you and I will cut a shine in bonnets and new shoes.
For meself I'm done a-sighing No more I'll sigh nor sob,
But I'll wait 'til times get better and McGuiness gets a job.


Springtime now is coming - sure there'll be lots of work.
McGuiness he'll go to his trade; sure he's a mason's clerk.
You should see him climb the ladder as nimble as a fox;
Sure he's the lad can handle that old three-cornered box.
The boss he's always shouting, "Hi there, don't you stop!
Keep your eyes turned upward, Pat, and let no mortar drop."
But my old man is careful. Sure nothing he lets fall,
And Divil a word he has to say to your old man at all.
CHORUS

The Eye-talians, Divil bless them! Why don't they stay at home?
For we've enough of our own sort to ate up all our own.
They swarm like bees in summer, from foreign lands they stray;
The contractors they have thousands at forty cents a day.
They work along the railroad shovelling snow and slush,
But one thing in their favour: EyetalianS never get lush.
They always take their money home, they drink no gin and wine,
And that is more than I can say of your old man and mine.
CHORUS


from Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives, page 111
Singer: Wesley Smity, July 15, 1963


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: ADD Version: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 02:28 AM

Here are the lyrics from the 1880 sheet music at the American Memory Collection (Library of Congress):

WHEN MCGUINESS GETS A JOB
(Jim O'Neil & Jack Conroy)

Last winter was a hard one, Missus Reiley, did you say,
Well, 'tis myself that knows it, for it's many is the day.
Your husband wa'n't the only man that sat behind the wall;
There's my old man McGuiness didn't get a job at all.
The politicians promised him, work on the Boulevard,
To handle pick and shovel, and throw dirt on the cart.
Ah, six months ago they promised him, that work he'd shortly get,
But believe me, my good woman, they are promising him yet.

CHORUS:
Then cheer up, Missus Reiley, don't give 'way to the blues,
You and I will cut a shine, new bonnets, and new shoes,
As for me, I'm done a-crying, no more will I sigh or sob,
I'll wait till times get better, when McGuiness gets a job.

The 'talians, devil take them, why don't they stay at home,
Sure, we had plenty of our class to ate up all our own;
They come like bees in summer time, and sworn they are to stay;
The contractors have hundreds hired for forty cents a day.
They work upon the railroad, and they shovel dirt and slush,
There's one thing in their favor, they never do get lush.
No, they always bring their money home, and taste no gin or wine,
And that's one thing I would like to say of your old man and mine.

The springtime now is coming, and we'll all have plenty work,
McGuiness will go back to his trade, sure he's a handsome clerk,
You should see him climb the ladder too as nimble as a fox,
Faith he's the boy that can handle well, the old three-cornered box.
The boss is always bawling out, "Hil-loa there, don't you stop.
Just keep your eyes turn'd upward, and let no mortar drop."
But the old man is a careful one; and nothing he lets fall,
And divil a word you'd hear him say to my old man at all.

Copyright 1880 by Mrs. Pauline Lieder


Here's the tune from the sheet music. Can't say I like it.

Click to play


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: zozimus
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 06:04 AM

Mick Maloney has recorded this, along with similiar type songs, on his latest CD "If it wasn't for the Irish and the Jews". This is a continuation of the collection he recorded on his CD "McNally's Row of Flats". Check out his webpage.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: ADD/Origins: When McGuiness Gets a Job
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Apr 10 - 08:18 AM

For those who missed it on the James Carpenter shanties thread(and might for some perverse reason be interested), this is kind of what old Scots sailor Andrew Salters sang for Carpenter in 1929. The recording is awful.

                   CHEER UP, MRS. RILEY

Bad luck to those atavvies [sic] and away to sea I'll go,
And bad luck we're out of barley soup, we'll all bow low;
For they come like gales in summer, like the buds in the month of May,
And they go for ???????? some have a job at one and eight a day.

Chorus:      
Well, cheer up, Mrs. Riley – don't give way to the blues,
For you and I will cut a shine, we'll sport our Sunday shoes;
???????? and no more shall I ?????????
?????? down the ???????? better and [?we'll drink to] Paddy ????

My old man's a gay old boy as nimble as a fox,
???????????? claim he'd rather work [?as if he'd] ?????
????????????????????????????????????????????????? you bet,
????????????????????????????? job ????????? poverty yet

Oh, the wintertime is over and ?????? go back to work,

[After that there's "feet go bare" and "tomatoes." Maybe.]

If "atavvies" is any indication, the song was garbled when Salters learned it. But that didn't stop him. What's audible isn't always close to the original lyrics.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 July 4:10 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.