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Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850

GUEST,Craig 09 May 10 - 08:26 PM
Beer 09 May 10 - 09:31 PM
JWB 09 May 10 - 10:34 PM
Steve Gardham 10 May 10 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,mg 10 May 10 - 12:57 PM
Jim Carroll 10 May 10 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,mg 10 May 10 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,mg 10 May 10 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,mg 10 May 10 - 03:44 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: GUEST,Craig
Date: 09 May 10 - 08:26 PM

I am trying to find songs that would have been sung by the navvies who built the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway in the 1850's.
Does anyone know of lyrics and tunes of any songs?
They could be work songs actually sung by the workers or songs that they would have heard at the time
Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: Beer
Date: 09 May 10 - 09:31 PM

Wow!! I wish you luck buddy. Try contacting Denny LaCousta(sp.maybe) or Darrel Delaronde. Both are Metis singers and writers. They may have some in their collections.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: JWB
Date: 09 May 10 - 10:34 PM

Guest Craig,

The chantey "Poor Paddy Works on the Railway" has no sea references in it, and it's about building a railroad, so that could work.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 May 10 - 09:51 AM

I would imagine most of these navvies would be English speaking immigrants in which case they would be mainly singing the popsongs of the period. In 1850 the biggest craze sweeping N America and Britain was the minstrel troupes like Christie's and the Virgina Serenaders.
If you just require texts the Bodleian Broadside Ballad Website will give you tens of thousands to go at. If with scores the best bet is The Lester Levy website. If you're looking for home-made and folk-songs no-one was really recording this in 1850 so the broadsides would be the best indication.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 May 10 - 12:57 PM

Could we get some info on who the navvies probably were? In US it is at least folklore that from the east to west it was mostly Irish and west to east mostly Chinese..but at least east to west there were many ethnic groups.

I thought railroads came a bit later..but in 1850s probablya lot of Irish came through ports in Canada..probably how my ancestors got in..then they worked their way down through Vermont and New York, got jobs on the canals, and some settled in midwest and their sons worked on the railroads.

So I think first we must establish who did the railroads in Canada..a lot of the Irish coming through Canada were not English speakers, although I am sure they knew enough to handle a pick etc...I think there were Cubans building US railroads, as well as Slavs, etc. Poor Pedro works on the railway...mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 10 May 10 - 01:08 PM

Ultan Cowley, author of 'The Men Who Bult Britain' has done a considerable amount of work on the Irish Navvies, and might be able to help. He has just completed a second book. He has posted here on several occasions.
Some years ago we attended a conference in Aberdeen; one of the papers was on the influence of the railway navvies on the North East Scotland song tradition which, the speaker (I think, the late Peter Hall) claimed was extremely significant.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 May 10 - 01:29 PM

I can't google much now but a quick glance leads me to Chinese..although maybe not at that particular early period.

Here is an interesting web page, but for a later period.

http://railways-atlas.tapor.ualberta.ca/cocoon/atlas/Chapters-5-1/

This is a very interesting topic. I think also that borders were pretty fluid then between US and Canada. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 May 10 - 03:20 PM

later Italian workers..remember that what was called Italy was switching back and forth a lot..Austria, Croatia etc.

http://www.ammer-fvg.org/_Data/Contenuti/Allegati/eng/en_grossutti_canada.pdf

I suggest googling by various nationalities. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: songs sung by the navvies in 1850
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 10 May 10 - 03:44 PM

doukabors later on

http://www.doukhobor.org/Railroads.htm


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