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 Req: Where Do You Work-A, John?

Robby 24 Oct 00 - 03:29 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Oct 00 - 03:53 PM
mousethief 24 Oct 00 - 04:00 PM
georgeward 25 Oct 00 - 03:22 AM
Robby 25 Oct 00 - 08:00 AM
Robby 25 Oct 00 - 09:52 AM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Oct 00 - 12:03 PM
mousethief 25 Oct 00 - 12:21 PM
MMario 25 Oct 00 - 12:21 PM
Robby 25 Oct 00 - 02:18 PM
georgeward 26 Oct 00 - 02:28 AM
georgeward 26 Oct 00 - 02:29 AM
Robby 26 Oct 00 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,ann mcg 22 Mar 08 - 02:27 PM
Moe Hirsch 11 Jun 11 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Heywood 19 May 18 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 22 May 18 - 12:02 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Delaware Lackawan
From: Robby
Date: 24 Oct 00 - 03:29 PM

There once was railroad in my home town known as the Delaware Lackawanna & Western (DL&W), but usually called Delay Linger & Wait. Anyway, there was a song about this RR. I remember my father singing what I believe to be the Chorus, which went:

Where do you work a John?
On the Delaware Lackawan.
What do you do a John?
I push, and I push, and I push.
What do you push a John?
I push the cars around.
Where do you work a John?
On the Delaware Lackawan, -awan, -awan, -awan,
On the Delaware Lackawan.

At least I think that is the chorus. If anyone knows the rest of the lyrics, I be happy to have them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Oct 00 - 03:53 PM

My grandparents had a huge old Edison phonograph on the enclosed porch, with old 3/8 inch thick records that must have weighed a half pound each. Delaware Lackawan' was one of them, along with The Prisoner's Song, The Letter Edged in Black, Oh How I Wisht I was in Peoria, Ramona, Dead in the Baggage Coach Ahead, Red Sails in the Sunset, and lots more.

One verse I know had
What do you do, a-John?
I poosh, I poosh-a da truck

"Truck" there is not what the Brits call a lorry, but a baggage or freight cart, hand-movable.

sorry, I don't remember any more than that right now. Who knows, more might come back now that I'm thinking about it.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: mousethief
Date: 24 Oct 00 - 04:00 PM

Ooooh! Which version of "Dead in the baggage coach ahead"? I just read about that in Norm Cohen's The Long Steel Rail: American Train Songs book.

Cool stuff.

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: georgeward
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 03:22 AM

Where do you work Marie ? In the telephone company! Whaddya do Marie ? I push, I push, I push! Whaddya push Marie ? I push, I push-a da plug! Where do you work Marie ?...etc.

The song was popular on NYC radio. Best I can recall, it would have been right after WWII. I suspect that John Gambling (the original John, not his son) played it on WOR, as that's what my dad usually had on in the morning as we were getting ready for work and school. No idea who the artist was (male). But I can still hear the song.

Some one else "push-a da broom." Might have been John himself, in the version I recall. Sounds as if the one I recall is a cover of something earlier. I don't think Gambling would have been playing those old-style disks in the late forties.

On the subject of snarky railroad acronyms (could be another thread), The old FJ&G RR up here in northern New York was, officially, the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville line (a rural trolley line, one of many). Locally referred to as "Fart, Jump & Grunt". -George


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Robby
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 08:00 AM

Thank you, thank you, Dave and George. And Alex, I'm going to check the Carnegie Library here in Pittsburgh to see if it has that book. Robby


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Robby
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 09:52 AM

For Alex, Dave & George,
I could not locate the book in either the library or by an online search of Borders or Barnes & Nobel. However, I did a Google search and found the entire song.
Where Do You Work-a John? ("The Delaware-Lackawan Song"), was written by Mortimer Weinberg & Charley Marks, with extra choruses by Ernie Krickett, music by Harry Warren, copyright in 1926 by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc. Cor.
The present format of the song is one verse and seven consecutive choruses in English and the eighth chorus in Italian. That seems rather long to post here. However, if any one really wants the entire song, I'll be glad to do it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 12:03 PM

As I recall, Mousetheif, Dead in the Baggage Coach Ahead had a scenario like this:

In a passenger railroad coach in the middle of the night, there was a young father and a persistently crying baby. The crying annoyed other passengers, who crossly asked the father, "If you can't quiet that baby, its mother should! Where is she?"

The reply was in essence, "She's dead, in the baggage coach ahead." Whereupon the other women passengers took care of the baby.

Oh, I remembered one of my other favorites from those old records: "Can I sleep in your barn tonight, Mister?" A real tearjerker. I loved (and love) tearjerkers.

Dave Oesterreich


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: mousethief
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 12:21 PM

Thanks, Dave. Yep, that was the most common version given in The Long Steel Rail. There were others that had to do with soldiers returning from the war etc.

There's a 2nd edition of Long Steel Rail currently in print. clicky at Amazon

A wonderful book! Highly recommended for people who love folk songs, and/or railroad (railway?) songs.

Don't buy it at Amazon, though, if you have a locally-owned bookshop nearby. Please support your local independent bookseller!

Alex
O..O
=o=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WHERE DO YOU WORK-A, JOHN?
From: MMario
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 12:21 PM

WHERE DO YOU WORK-A, JOHN? (PUSH-A PUSH-A PUSH) (THE "DELAWARE-LACKAWAN" SONG)

(Words by Mortimer Weinberg & Charley Marks
Extra choruses by Ernie Krickett
Music by Harry Warren)

© 1926 Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc. Cor.

Verse:

Long time ago, John and-a Joe
Come from sunny Italy
To-a try-a to get-a the dough.
Joe go away, John he's-a stay,
When they meet the other day,
Here's-a what-a they got-a to say:

Chorus 1:

Where do you work-a, John?
On the Delaware Lackawan;
What do you do-a, John?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push-a, John?
I push, I push-a da truck,
Where do you push-a, John?
On the Delaware Lackawan-awan-awan-awan,
The Delaware Lackawan.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 2:

Where do you work, Marie?
In the telephone company;
What do you do, Marie?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push, Marie?
I push, I push-a da plug,
Where do you push, Marie?
In the telephone company-anee-anee-anee,
The telephone company.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 3:

Where do you work-a, Wop?
In da big-a da barber shop;
What do you do-a, Wop?
I strop-a, strop-a, strop.
What do you strop-a, Wop?
I strop da raze on da strop,
Where do you strop-a, Wop?
In da big-a da barber shop-da, shop-da, shop-da, shop,
Da big-a da barber shop.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 4:

Where do you work-a, Tess?
On-a Broadway on da west,
What do you do-a, Tess?
I press-a, press-a, press.
What do you press-a, Tess?
I press, I press-a da dress,
Where do you press-a, Tess?
On-a Broadway on da west-da, west-da, west-da, west,
On Broadway on da west.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 5:

Where do you work-a, Joe?
For the city I shovel snow,
What do you do-a, Joe?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push-a, Joe?
I push, I push-a da shov'
Where do you push-a, Joe?
For the city I shovel snow, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh,
The city I shovel snow.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 6:

Where do you work-a, Jerry?
On the Lackawanna ferry,
What do you do-a, Jerry?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push-a, Jerry?
I push, I push-a da gates,
Where do you push, Jerry?
On the Lackawanna ferry-da, ferry-da, ferry-da, ferry,
The Lackawanna ferry.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Chorus 7:

Where do you work-a, Gus?
On da big-a da Jitney bus;
What do you do-a, Gus?
I push-a, push-a, push.
What do you push-a, Gus?
I push, I push-a da clutch,
Where do you push-a, Gus?
On da big-a da Jitney bus-da, bus-da, bus-da, bus,
Da big-a da Jitney bus.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Italian chorus (phonetic):

(Talk:) And this is how an Italian friend of mine sings this song:
(Sung:) Ah-dough fa-teeka, Jew-wan?
Me work in da Lackawan,
Kee noon tay kapisco, Jew-wan?
Mee push, mee push, mee push.
Mah two kay push-a, Jew-wan?
Mee push, me push da truck-o,
Wait-a minoots, Jew-wan,
Port-ah may poor-ah push-ah, push-ah, push-ah, Jew-wan,
Ay port-ah ah may ah push-ah.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

Italian chorus:

Addo fatiche, Giuvan'?
Mi work in da Laccuan'
I nun te capisco, Giuvan'?
Mi pusce, mi pusce, mi pusce.
Ma tu che pusce, Giuvan'?
Mi pusce, mi pusce di trocco,
*(Ueni minuzz') Giuvan'?
Porta me pur a puscia-puscia-puscia-Giuvan',
E porta a me a puscia.
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!
Ah-ah-ah!

*- (Aggio pacienze)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Robby
Date: 25 Oct 00 - 02:18 PM

Thanks, MMario.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: georgeward
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 02:28 AM

Thanks Robby and MMario!Fragments of that song have come back to me for years.

-George ::-.--O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: georgeward
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 02:29 AM

Thanks Robby and MMario!Fragments of that song have come back to me for years.

-George ::-.--O


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Robby
Date: 26 Oct 00 - 07:50 AM

Gee, that's exactly the reason I started looking for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: GUEST,ann mcg
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:27 PM

George,

I was trying to remember the lyrics to the same song. Here is what I remember and then get stuck on the last verse:

Where do you work a-Frank? I'm a working in a bank.
What do you do a-Frank? I take, I take, I take.
What do you take a-Frank, when you're working in a bank; what do you take a Frank?
I take, I take-a the dough, the dough, I take, I take-a the dough.
That's Nice!

Where do you work Marie? In the telephone company.
What do you do Marie? I push, I push, I push.
What do you push Marie, in the telephone company; what do you ppush Marie, I push-a a push-a the plug, the plug, I push-a push-a the plug.
That's Nice!


What do you do Louise? I'm a doin as I please.
What do you do when you please? I ...
That's Nice!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Delaware Lackawan
From: Moe Hirsch
Date: 11 Jun 11 - 12:58 PM

In the 1930s my parents had a record of "Where Do You Work a-John?" which had the intro "A long time ago ...", the choruses about the Delaware Lackawan' and Telephone Company, and also
this chorus making fun of Roosevelt's WPA:

Where do you work a-Jay?
On the double-a-u p-a
What do you do a-Jay?
I joost, I joost I joost.
What do you joost, a-Jay?
I joost-a collect-a my pay!
Where do you joost a-jay?
On --- the double-a-u p-a,p-a, p-a, p-a,
The double-a-u p-a!

Republicans disliked the WPA, claiming workers were being paid for not working.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Where Do You Work-A, John?
From: GUEST,Heywood
Date: 19 May 18 - 12:50 PM

Sometimes that "where do you work-a John" pops.up. It must be written in indelible ink somewhere on the inside of my skull.

My dad was a railroad engineer and when, One day in the car I warbled the words "I would not marry a railroad man, this is the reason why, I never knew a railroad man who wouldn't tell his wife a lie".
He laughed so hard I thought the car was going into a ditch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Where Do You Work-A, John?
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 22 May 18 - 12:02 PM

To ann mcg above, if she's still awaiting completion of her Louise verse after ten years, here it is, from https://www.mamalisa.com/blog/pusha-da-truck-john-italian-american-folk-song/

What do you do, Louise? I'm doing what I please,
And what do you do, Louise, I tease, I tease, I tease,
And who do you tease, Louise, when you're doing what you please?
I tease-a da heck, I make her a wreck, my sister's got funny knees.
(Oh, you frighten me)
La la laah, la la, la la laah,
La la laah, la la, la la, laah

I question if that "tease-a da heck" line and what follows was ever part of the original. Sounds like a camp song addition to me. Nice though!

Bob


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: 20 November 9:22 PM EST

[ 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.