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Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Joe Magarac [Jacob A. Evanson, 1946] (from Pennsylvania Songs and Legends, 1949)


artbrooks 25 Jun 01 - 10:43 PM
raredance 25 Jun 01 - 11:42 PM
raredance 25 Jun 01 - 11:54 PM
Mark Clark 27 Mar 03 - 11:15 AM
MMario 27 Mar 03 - 11:23 AM
Joe Offer 27 Mar 03 - 02:03 PM
MMario 27 Mar 03 - 02:08 PM
raredance 31 Mar 03 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,cwid@snet.net 02 Aug 05 - 08:41 AM
artbrooks 02 Aug 05 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM
Peace 02 Aug 05 - 07:18 PM
GUEST,janet.samuels@gmail.com 05 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM
Celtaddict 06 Dec 05 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Srdjan 29 Dec 05 - 08:33 PM
MMario 30 Dec 05 - 09:18 AM
GUEST 24 May 07 - 10:09 PM
clueless don 25 May 07 - 08:20 AM
mack/misophist 25 May 07 - 11:08 AM
Susan A-R 25 May 07 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Nancy 18 Jun 07 - 11:44 PM
Celtaddict 19 Jun 07 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,simone 05 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM
GUEST,chessthefacts 25 Jun 09 - 03:13 AM
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Subject: Joe Magerac
From: artbrooks
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 10:43 PM

Old Pittsburgh song about the steel worker's Paul Bunyon...anybody have the words or can point me in the right direction? Can't find a reference in DT or the Forum.


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Subject: ADD: Joe Magerac
From: raredance
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:42 PM

JOE MAGARAC

I was born in a mountain of red iron ore
I was raised in the furnace by the blast and roar
Got no time for sleeping, give me food I can't eat
Hot steel soup, cold ingots for me.

CH
Mighty Joe, mighty Joe, mighty Joe Magarac
Mighty Joe, mighty Joe, mighty Joe Magarac
Red hot steel running down my back
Mighty Joe, mighty Joe, mighty Joe Magarac

Now if you doubt my word don't you call me a liar
When you play with me, you play with fire
I'm solid steel and the good lord he knows
If you're tired of living, just step on my toes>

CH

I was pulling that shift for twenty nine men
And I had that furnace eating out of my hand
But the blasted furnace wouldn't get enough
So I jumped on in, I'm made that tough

CH

Now when you see a building climb a mile high
And you see a bridge reach across the sky
There's a little bit of steel and a whole lot of man
In every girder, in every span.

CH

This version was recorded by the Phoenix Singers, a trio that derived from the Belafonte Singers.

rich r


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Subject: ADD: Joe Magerac
From: raredance
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 11:54 PM

Here's an alternate version. Text and tune by Jacob A Evanson, 1946. Printed in "Pennsylvania Songs and Legends" by George Korson (1949, Univ Pennsylvania Press)

JOE MAGARAC

I'll tell you about a steel man,
Joe Magarac, that's the man!
I'll tell you about a steel man,
Best steel maker in all the land
Steel-heart Magarac, that's the man.

He was sired in the mountain by red iron ore
Joe Magarac, that's the man!
He was sired in the mountain by red iron ore
Raised in a furnace - soothed by its roar
Steel-heart magarac, that's the man.

His shoulders are as big as the steel-mill door
Hands like buckets, his feet on half the floor

With his hands he can break a half-a-ton dolly
He stirs the boiling steel with his fingers, by golly

He grabs the cooling steel - his hands like wringers
And makes eight rails between his ten fingers

Joe can walk on the furnace rim
From furnace to furnace - just a step for him

Joe never sleeps, but he's got to eat
Hot steel soup, cold ingots for meat

Now, if you think this man's not real
Then, jump in a furnace, see him cook the steel.

rich r


Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:15 AM

I always thought Joe Magarac was a great hero who somehow never got the publicity afforded John Henry, Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill and Old Stormalong. Does anyone have a melody for either version of this song?

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac
From: MMario
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 11:23 AM

I'd love to see a tune to either of these - I have found memories of this story being on both Captain Kangaroo and (I think) Captain Bob's TV shows.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:03 PM

OK, MMario. You'll find a tune link in the Evanson lyrics. I don't think you can call this one traditional, because Evanson was the author of the chapter on "Folk Songs of an Industrial City" in the 1949 book Pennsylvania Songs and Legends, edited by George Korson. At the time, Evanson was Special Supervisor of Vocal Music in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Still, it's a pretty good song.
Here's are Evanson's notes about Magarac:
Joe Magarac
(Text and tune by Jacob A. Evanson, 1946. Based on the famous legend.)
After learning the many stories about Joe Magarac, steelworkers' folk hero, I wrote this ballad in our folk-song tradition. Joe is a legendary superman who performs incredible feats of strength and skill, as great as the steelworkers' imagination can invent. He is the Paul Bunyan of the steel mills. They say he makes horseshoes and pretzels out of iron ingots with his bare hands. From cooling steel he makes cannon balls as easily as boys make snowballs. He's so tough he can spit right into a Bessemer, and it doesn't dare to spit back at him,
And the way he can work! Everybody wants him on his crew, for the tonnage then shoots right up, and likewise wages. More over, it's more comfortable when he's around. For instance, there was the time he caught a ladle with fifty tons of hot "soup" in it when the crane chain broke right above his crew. Not a drop splashed on anybody. And there was the time the dinkey engine with a whole train of loaded ingot-buggies broke loose and headed full steam downhill, right into the front office full of people. Fortunately, Joe caught the last buggy just in the nick of time and pulled the whole train back up hill. No doubt about it, Joe Magarac is the greatest steelworker that ever lived.
The Hungarians pronounce his name "Mah-zhe-rahk," the Slovaks, "Mah-geh-rahts," but there are some in Pittsburgh who hold that he is really Joseph Patrick McGarrick! This apparently is the first time the Irish got into the dispute. After a diligent search to determine Joe Magarac's origin, I must acknowledge that the evidence is inconclusive.
I wonder if we can get a tune for the other song.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac
From: MMario
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:08 PM

Thanks Joe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: raredance
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 09:55 PM

Well it's on the lp sitting about 20 feet from me. If only I had a means to convert it to a computer file.   I've sung it myself a few times in the past for Cub Scouts or something like that.

Also there is another "Joe Magarac" on the New Chrity Minstrels "Land of Giants". That one is credited to Randy Sparks et al.


rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,cwid@snet.net
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 08:41 AM

I have a 1950's print-picture in original frame of Joe Magerac, about 21" x 25". Bending that big band of red-hot steel. Muscles bounding. I was from Pittsburgh. Hate to put it on e-bay. Am in Avon, CT now. Suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: artbrooks
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 09:49 AM

Get it scanned and send me a copy?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 11:42 AM

So the accent is on the middle syllable of Magerac, right?

In the 1970's or 80's my brother had occasion to repair some equipment inside a Pittsburgh steel mill. He had thought that the production line would all be automated, but he told us the actual scene was incredible. The furnace was open and glowing hot, and great big men were standing on a railed platform above it, ripping open bags of additives and heaving them in. Joe Mageracs, all of them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: Peace
Date: 02 Aug 05 - 07:18 PM

Painting of him here.

Statue here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,janet.samuels@gmail.com
Date: 05 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM

hi - you posted in august thatyou had an old joe magarac poster-well, if you still have it and are interested, could you send me the picture of it? thought my sister might get a kick out of it for xmas-we are also from pgh-thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: Celtaddict
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 05:45 PM

The album notes on that New Christy Minstrels version indicates that "Magerac" (or Magarac, but I seem to recall it being an "e" on the label) is a Slavic word for "jackass."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,Srdjan
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 08:33 PM

Hi, all

Magarac is not Hungarian, Slovak, or Slavic. Magarac is Croatian for donkey. Since Pittsburgh in general, and steel plants and mines in particular, employed thousands of Croatians in the golden age of steel mills, there is little doubt where the name comes from.
Croatian pronounciation is like this - Muggeruts, with the stress on the first syllable.

Regards,
Srdjan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: MMario
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 09:18 AM

Hi Srdjan! Just an FYI - Croatian in the US is classed as one of the 'Slavic' languages; also for many 'jackass' and 'donkey' are nearly synonyms. Donkey is often used as a euphimism for Jackass


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 07 - 10:09 PM

jnjk


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: clueless don
Date: 25 May 07 - 08:20 AM

My wife is from the Pittsburgh area (Plum Borough), and she pronounces it MAG-er-ack, with the emphasis on the first syllable.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: mack/misophist
Date: 25 May 07 - 11:08 AM

It might be worth noting that they are thought to have used the word for jackass because they work so hard. There was a time when that was a virtue.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: Susan A-R
Date: 25 May 07 - 01:54 PM

I still have that New Christy Minstrels recording, and remember my teenage brother delighting in the translation of Maggerac, as only boys that age can do. I was always annoyed, even then, that the only female hero they seemed to be able to come up with for that album was the Stature of Liberty. Ah well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,Nancy
Date: 18 Jun 07 - 11:44 PM

Just a note about Peace's link to a painting. It's actually a photo of a mosiac that was originally commissioned by Andrew Carnegie's Steel organization, and hung in the pool area of his first free library in Braddock PA. When the pool was closed, it was relocated to a medical office building in downtown Braddock. When THAT closed, it was installed on the wall of Benjamin Fairless Middle School just over the town line in North Braddock, and it's still there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: Celtaddict
Date: 19 Jun 07 - 12:10 AM

I can remember the tune but only some of the words of the New Christy Minstrels/Randy Sparks version.
To the big steel mill big Joe went down
big Joe (pause two three) Magerac
He said all you steelmen gather round
Big Joe (. . .) Magerac
He said they're gonna build a railroad to Frisco and back
From Maine down to Mexico
And who's gonna make the steel for that track but
Joe (. . .) Magerac. . .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,simone
Date: 05 Mar 09 - 07:28 PM

I love Joe Magarac and i hope that he could insperate some people like many other tall tales did. I love you call me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Joe Magerac / Joe Magarac
From: GUEST,chessthefacts
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 03:13 AM

I remember this from an album by Ernie Sheldon and the Villagers called Big Men Bold and Bad from the early sixties.
The lyrics matched those from raredance.
A great tune as well.
In the song there is the heavy accent on the last syllable of the name with a secondary emphasis on the first. Mag-er-RAK.


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