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Origins: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)

DigiTrad:
DRILL YE TARRIERS DRILL


Related thread:
Help: What is a tarrier (62)


Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 13 - 02:55 PM
Lighter 29 Sep 13 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Gerry 29 Sep 13 - 08:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 13 - 08:18 PM
Sandra in Sydney 29 Sep 13 - 10:04 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Sep 13 - 01:27 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Sep 13 - 01:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Oct 13 - 05:29 PM
Joe Offer 13 Mar 17 - 12:09 AM
Mrrzy 13 Mar 17 - 02:29 AM
leeneia 13 Mar 17 - 01:24 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: DRILL, YE TARRIERS, DRILL (1888)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 02:23 PM

This thread is for the original song and variants. A version (Richard Dyer-Bennett) in the DT Lyrics is close to the 1888 sheet music,

DRILL, YE TARRIERS, DRILL
Composer (?) and sung by Thomas Casey, 1888

Oh! ev'ry morn at seven o'clock,
There are twenty tarriers on the rock,
The boss comes along and says "be still
And put all your power in the *cast-steel drill."

Then drill, ye tarriers, drill,
Drill, ye tarriers, drill.
Oh! it's work all day without sugar in your tay
When ye work beyant the railway,
And drill, ye tarriers, drill.

2
The boss was a fine man all around
But he married a great, big, fat fardown,
She baked good bread and baked it well,
And baked it hard as the hobs of H--l.

Chorus

3
The new foreman is Dan McCann,
I'll tell you sure he's a blame mean man,
Last week a premature blast went off
And a mile in the air went big Jim Goff.

Chorus
4
When pay day it next came around,
Poor Jim's pay short he found,
"What for?" says he, then came the reply,
"You were docked for the time you were up in the sky."

*The drill must be hardened steel or it would shatter. "Cast iron" as in the DT song would not be usable.

Sheet music published by Frank Harding's Music Office, New York, 1888.

Taken from Norm Cohen, 1981, Long Steel Rail, pp. 553-559, University of Illinois Press.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MICK UPON THE RAILROAD (1888)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 02:55 PM

Possible precursor to "Drill, Ye Tarriers. Drill.

Lyr. Add: MICK UPON THE RAILROAD
Anon. 19th C. song sheet.

When first from Limerick I come here,
My latther days to spend and cheer,
It was to dhrink good ale and beer,
Wid the boys upon the railroad.

Chorus
The railroad, the railroad,
The divil take the railroad.

Now Mick do this, and Mick do that,
Widout a stockin' or cravat,
The divil the thing but an ould straw hat,
To work upon the railroad.

They gave me a drill to drill the hole,
And then confound my Irish sowl,
And blast the ship that brought me over,
To work upon the railroad.

Our smith he is from Molehill town,
He sharpens the picks that grubs the ground,
But be will take his jigger when it goes round,
Wid the boys upon the railroad.

When I lay me down to sleep,
The ugly bugs around me creep,
Bad luck to the wink that I can sleep,
While workin' on the railroad.

When I rises on Monday morn,
I hear the sound of the damned ould horn,
I curse the hour that I was born,
To work upon the railroad.

J. Wrigley, New York.
ImPac, the Library Company of Philadelphia, Digital Collections, American song sheets and poetical broadsides collection, has put the date range as 1850-1870.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 04:20 PM

Equally related to "Paddy Works on the Railway"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 08:08 PM

According to an online dictionary, a far-down (2nd stanza, 2nd line) is "a native of the north of Ireland".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 08:18 PM

Drilling by tarriers (paddies) took place on the Union Pacific transcontinental route, but only a fragment of a song exists. The song "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill," may have originated with this railroad or with the Central Pacific, long before the 1888 sheet music was published.

Then drill, my paddies, drill,
Drill my heroes, drill,
Drill all day, no sugar in your tay,
Workin' on the U. P. Railway.

John P. Davis, 1894, The Union Pacific Railway, S. C. Griggs, Chicago. (Quoted from Norn Cohen, The Long Steel Rail.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 29 Sep 13 - 10:04 PM

thanks for finding & posting these interesting songs, Q.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DRILL MAN BLUES (George C. Sizemore)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 01:27 PM

Rock drilling in song mostly is based on "John Henry" and Black workmen in the southeast U. S.

The Tarriers were mostly Irish, and worked in the expanding railway system.

Others worked in mines, road building and tunneling for subways, water pipelines, and other rock drilling jobs. In all of them, workmen were liable to develop silicosis.

Lyr. Add: DRILL MAN BLUES
George C. "Curley" Sizemore

1
I used to be a drill man,
Down at Old Parlee;
Drilling through slate and sand rock,
'Till it got the best of me.
2
Rock dust has almost killed me,
It's turned me out in the rain;
For dust has settled on my lungs,
And causes me constant pain.
3
I can hear my hammer rollin',
As I lay down for my sleep;
For drilling is the job I love,
And this I will repeat.
4
It's killed two fellow workers,
Here at Old Parlee;
And now I've eaten so much dust, Lord,
That it's killin' me.
5
I'm thinkin' of poor drill men,
Away down in the mine,
Who from eating dust will end up
With a fate just like mine.

Sizemore lived in Langelly, West Virginia. He was one of the victims of silicosis in the mines.
Recorded by George Korson from the singing of George Sizemore, 1940. Library of Congress record LP60 ( think a new number has been added).

From Duncan Emrich, 1974, American Folk Poetry, an Anthology, Pp. 596-597; Little, Brown & Company.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Sep 13 - 01:32 PM

Gerry is correct in his definition of "fardown."

Some of the folk singers of the 1950s sang of a "cast iron" drill, which was impossible because iron in that form would fracture.
The drills were hardened steel, and could be sharpened a time or two before disposal.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DRILL, YE TARRIERS, DRILL (from C Parker)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Oct 13 - 05:29 PM

Lyr. Add: DRILL, YE TARRIERS, DRILL 2
Sung by Chubby Parker, 1931

Workin' all day without sugar in my tay,
Hammerin' rocks on the old railway,
The months roll by and I don't get no pay.

Drill, ye tarriers, drill.
Drill, ye tarriers, drill.

Workin' in the tunnel, shovelin' out the dirt,
I worked so hard that I wore out me shirt,
The tunnel caved in and we all got badly hurt.
Chorus

Standin' in the mud about six feet deep,
Workin' all night without a bite to eat,
Couldn't get to camp for the mud on me feet.
Chorus

I went to the river to wash out my clothes,
I laid 'em on a log where the river swiftly flows,
The log rolled in, down the river went my clothes.
Chorus

Layin' in the bunkhouse, the chills o'er me creep,
The night was cold and dark, was rainin' hail and sleet,
Everybody snorin' and I couldn't get to sleep.
Chorus

The boss's wife, she bakes pies swell,
She bakes them done and she bakes them well,
She bakes them hot as the hubs of hallelujah.
Chorus

The boss's wife, she bakes pies swell,
She bakes them done and she bakes them well,
She bakes them hot as the hubs of hallelujah.
Chorus.

This from pp. 553-554, Norm Cohen, 1981, "Long Steel Rail," Univ. Illinois Press.

I can't find other versions that differ to any extent from those posted here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Mar 17 - 12:09 AM

Here's the version from the Digital Tradition. Seems to me there ought to be more verses.

DRILL YE TARRIERS DRILL

Every morning about seven o'clock
There were twenty tarriers drilling at the rock
The boss comes along and he says, "Keep still
And bear down heavy on the cast iron drill"

And drill, ye tarriers, drill
Drill, ye tarriers, drill
For it's work all day for the sugar in you tay
Down beyond the railway
And drill, ye tarriers, drill
And blast, and fire

The boss was a fine man down to the ground
And he married a lady six feet 'round
She baked good bread and she baked it well
But she baked it harder than the hobs of Hell

The foreman's name was John McCann
By God, he was a blamed mean man
Last week a premature blast went off
And a mile in the air went big Jim Goff

And when next payday came around
Jim Goff a dollar short was found
When he asked, "What for?" came this reply
"You were docked for the time you were up in the sky"

@work
recorded here by Richard Dyer-Bennet, but remembered from "Sing
Along with Mitch"
filename[ DRILLTAR
TUNE FILE: DRILLTAR
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF



Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill

DESCRIPTION: Describing, in extravagant terms, the hard life of the (Irish) railroad workers -- subjected to long hours, blast, short pay (and that docked for any or no reason). And always the order comes again, "Drill, ye tarriers, drill!"
AUTHOR: words: Thomas Casey/music: Charles Connolly
EARLIEST DATE: 1888 (play, "A Brass Monkey"; sheet music published by Frank Harding of New York, seemingly without attribution)
KEYWORDS: work railroading hardtimes talltale
FOUND IN: US(SE)
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Morris, #101, "Drill, Ye Terriers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen-LSRail, pp. 553-559, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Geller-Famous, pp. 14-18, "Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 217, "Drill, Ye Tarriers" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, pp. 112-113, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-RailFolklr, p. 442, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, pp. 43-44, "The Tarriers' Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 329, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" (1 text)
Fireside, p. 138, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill!" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 130, "Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill" (1 text)
DT, DRILLTAR*
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 30, #3 (1984), pp, 50-51, "Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill" (1 text, 1 tune, a Canadian version reportedly collected by Tim Rogers though no informant is listed)

Roud #4401 and 4436
RECORDINGS:
George J. Gaskin, "Drill Ye Tarriers Drill" (Berliner 064-1/Berliner [Canada] 4, 1899)
Chubby Parker, "Drill Ye Tarriers Drill" (Conqueror 7893, 1931)
Dan W. Quinn, "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" (Victor 3155, c. 1901)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Drill Ye Heroes, Drill!" (tune)
NOTES: This is believed to have originated with an Irish comedy team, (Thomas F.) Casey and (Charles) Connelly, in the 1880s. It has gone almost verbatim into oral tradition; variations in the text are very few.
Very nearly the only exception to this uniformity is the Chubby Parker recording, which is longer than the popular version, and a genuine song about railroad life rather than a humorous item. Cohen, based on this and a few hints in nineteenth century writings, wonders if there may not have been some ancestral text in existence before 1888. If so, that version has been almost completely displaced by the Casey version.
I seem to recall, in my youth, a bunch of us understanding "tarriers" as "terriers," with resulting very odd notions of what the song was about. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.0
File: LoF217

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Mar 17 - 02:29 AM

I have a slightly different version by the Weavers


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Subject: RE: Origins: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill (1888)
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 17 - 01:24 PM

Re: cast-iron drill. Haven't you ever worked for an employer who demanded excellent results but provided cheap supplies? The cast-iron drill is part of the satire here.


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