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Origins: Paddy on the Railway

DigiTrad:
PADDY ON THE RAILWAY
PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY (1)
PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY (4)
PATSY OREE AY


Related threads:
Need Tune Help: Paddy on the Railway (14)
Lyr/Tune Req: Paddy Works on the Railroad /Railway (18)
Lyr Req: Pat do this Pat do that (5) (closed)
(origins) Origins: Working on the Railway (7)


thespionage 17 Mar 05 - 11:25 AM
Sorcha 17 Mar 05 - 11:30 AM
thespionage 17 Mar 05 - 11:41 AM
Sorcha 17 Mar 05 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 17 Mar 05 - 12:20 PM
GUEST,Mr Happy 17 Mar 05 - 12:47 PM
masato sakurai 17 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Mrr 17 Mar 05 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 17 Mar 05 - 01:55 PM
Lighter 17 Mar 05 - 05:37 PM
Fergie 17 Mar 05 - 06:42 PM
HuwG 17 Mar 05 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,mg 17 Mar 05 - 07:43 PM
Snuffy 17 Mar 05 - 07:43 PM
Lighter 17 Mar 05 - 08:26 PM
thespionage 18 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM
thespionage 18 Mar 05 - 03:00 PM
Lighter 18 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM
GUEST,Blackcatter 01 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 04 Dec 05 - 01:28 PM
GUEST 28 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 28 Sep 10 - 07:25 AM
mg 28 Sep 10 - 10:09 PM
GUEST,Dave 16 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM
Abby Sale 16 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM
GUEST,Lighter 22 Jul 11 - 10:26 AM
Gibb Sahib 23 Jul 11 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Lighter 25 Jul 11 - 10:20 AM
Bev and Jerry 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 PM
Gibb Sahib 26 Jul 11 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Gaurav 15 Sep 11 - 09:56 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 11 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,evanvwk 14 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM
Mr Happy 20 Jul 13 - 04:44 PM
Les in Chorlton 21 Jul 13 - 05:45 AM
Lighter 21 Jul 13 - 09:21 AM
Les in Chorlton 21 Jul 13 - 11:45 AM
Richard from Liverpool 21 Jul 13 - 12:12 PM
Richard from Liverpool 21 Jul 13 - 12:19 PM
Richard from Liverpool 21 Jul 13 - 12:28 PM
Lighter 21 Jul 13 - 12:40 PM
Mr Happy 21 Jul 13 - 12:50 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: thespionage
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 11:25 AM

I heard a version of this song, forgive me, on Shining Time Station. The other renditions I have heard did not include a chorus of "Fiddle-ay-ree-ay-ree-oh." Do you know such a version?

Thanks,
Russ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 11:30 AM

Could it be this one?
Digital Tradition Lyrics:

PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY (4)

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
My corduroy breeches I put on
My corduroy breeches I put on

To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
I didn't know what I should do (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-three
I sailed away across the sea (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-four
I landed on Columbia's shore (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-five
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-six
I made my trade to carrying bricks (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-seven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to Heaven (2x)

In eighteen hundred and forty-eight
I learned to drink my whiskey straight (2x)

printed in Bill Meek Songs of the Irish in America
@train @work
filename[ PADRAIL4
TUNE FILE: PADRAIL3
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF




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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: thespionage
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 11:41 AM

It's close. But it also doesn't have the chorus I discussed above. Thanks! I don't know why it didn't show up when I did a search before creating the thread.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Sorcha
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 12:10 PM

Are you looking for one with or w/o the Fiddle-ay-ree-ay-ree-oh?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 12:20 PM

It's the first version I ever heard, about 1958.

Filly me oorie oorie ay,
Filly me oorie oorie ay,
Filly me oorie oorie ay,
While workin' on the railway !

The verses are pretty much the same as in other versions.


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Subject: Lyr Add: PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 12:47 PM

Maybe it's this one:

[You'll notice there's actually 2 choruses in this version, because the tempo on some verses speeds up, then on others slows down again]


PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
My corduroy breeches I put on
My corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging hitches,
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
From Hartlepool, I roved to Crewe
And found meself a job to do working on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging hitches,
I was working on the railway


In eighteen hundred and forty-three
I broke me shovel across me knee
And I went to work for the company
On the Leeds & Selby railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging hitches,
I was working on the railway



In eighteen hundred and forty-four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
Me belly was empty, me 'ands were raw
With working on the railway,the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway


In eighteen hundred and forty-five
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive (2x)
And working on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging hitches,
I was working on the railway


In eighteen hundred and forty-six
I changed my trade from carrying bricks (2x)
To working on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging hitches,
I was working on the railway


In eighteen hundred and forty-seven
Poor Paddy was thinking of going to Heaven (2x)
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway


Cheers,

Mr H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 01:17 PM

At Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

paddy on the railway [title]

paddy on the railway! [title]

At The Word on the Street:

Broadside ballad entitled 'Paddy on the Railway'

This is also titled "The Greenock Railway."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 01:24 PM

These are all different from the one I had by Pete Seeger:
In 1800 & 41 I put my corduroy britches on, put my corduroy britches on to work upon the railway
Fiddle-y oo-ry oo-ry ay (x3) to work upon the railway
in 1800 & 42 I left the old world for the new, bad cess to the luck that brought me through to work...
In 1800 & 43 twas then I met sweet Biddy McGee, an elegant wife she's been to me while working on ...
in 18 & 46 they pelted me with stones and bricks, I was in a helluva fix while working on...
It's Pat, do this, and Pat, do that, without a stocking or cravat and nothing but an old straw hat while Pat works on...
in 1800 & 47 sweet Biddy MgGee she went to heaven, if she left one kid, she left 11 to work upon the railway...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 01:55 PM

I have never heard it without the vocables.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 05:37 PM

Masato, those Bodleian texts look like a different song. (There is a similar broadside published aound 1865 by De Marsan at American Memory.).

Mrr's version is close to the one I remember, but that had

"In 1800 and 45, I found myself more dead than alive."
"In 1800 and 46, I changed my trade to carryin' bricks."
"In 1800 and 48, I learned to take me whiskey nate."

There must have been an "1800 and 44" as well, but I can't recall it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Fergie
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 06:42 PM

My grandfather sang:
in 1848 Poor Paddy arrived at heaven's gate
He was told he would get the Union rate
while working on the railway the railway
etc etc etc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: HuwG
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:23 PM

I usually sing it normal for 1841 - 1845

("[D]In eighteen hundred and forty-whatever
I did whatever [A7]it was
[D]I did whatever [G]it was
[D]Working [A7]on the [D]railway")

CH.


Then

"In eighteen hundred and forty six
I stood on two dynamite sticks"

Final A7 chord and stop dead.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:43 PM

Hey, we are getting it...I learned it from my girl scout leader, Mrs. Kavanaugh..and the chorus was Eerie eerie Irio..

I remember the verses about dynamite sticks..
And 1848..St. Peter said you're way too late..
43..station master's driving me..
I forget what I really learned and what we filled in but recently on some radio show I heard a version quite like the one I learned. mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 07:43 PM

In eighteen hundred and forty-one
Paddy O'Connor he first begun
Paddy O'Connor he first begun
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
With Daniel O'Connell he could not go
With Daniel O'Connell he could not go
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

Sung by Captain Mark Page (born 1835) on Dictaphone cylinder 1929 for JM Carpenter. Probably the only recording (Folktrax 142) of the song by a singer who was actually alive before the events mentioned in the song


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 08:26 PM

The Contemplator has it with a great MIDI :

http://www.contemplator.com/america/paddywrk.html

There's a picture of the 19th C. broadside in Norm Cohen's _Long Steel Rail_.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: thespionage
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 02:56 PM

I was looking for the one with "Filly me oorie oorie ay." Where does that fit in?
(I hadn't realized Pete Seeger had done it.) Thanks again!

Russ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: thespionage
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 03:00 PM

I remember the melody similar to, but a little different from, The Contemplator MIDI. Is that the standard melody, or are there other MIDIs around? Thanks.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM

Don't know about MIDIs, but there are two or three noticeably related but variant tunes. I say, feel free to sing it however you like.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 04:01 PM

In the DT is a version close to how I learned it in the 1970s:

PATSY OREE AY (though I was taught it was called 1851)

In eighteen hundred and fifty one
American railroad just begun
American railroad just begun
Working on the railroad.

Cho: Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Working on the railroad.

repeat verse and chorus, using:

1852 looking around for something to do
1853 railroad company accepted me
1854 found my back was mighty sore
1855 found myself more dead than alive
1856 stepped on a pile of dynamite sticks
1857 found myself on the way to heaven
1858 pickin' the lock at the pearly gate
1859 floating around in the clouds sublime

I learned the chorus as:

Fiddle-ly-or-ee-or-ee-ay (3X)
Working on the railroad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Dec 05 - 01:28 PM

Paddy on the railway pickin'up stanes
Along came an engine an' broke Paddy's brains
"Oh" said Paddy,"That's no fair"
"Oh" said the engine man, ye shouldn't be there.



From paddybile.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM

1851 that the year that i begun, thats the year that i begun working on the railroad
Cho: Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Patsy-o-ree-o-ree-ay
Working on the railroad.

52 looking aroud for something to do, looking around or something to do working on the rail road
53 section boss is driving me
54 hand and feet are gettin sore
55 found my self more dead then alive
56 kicking a couple of dynamite sticks
57 found my self on the way to heaven
58 picking the lock on the perly gate
59 finally at the age of drinking wine.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 07:25 AM

Bob Conroy and Norm Pederson recorded this on CD two years agao under the title Pat do this and Pat do that. Very nice version of the song well sung. They live in Staten Island and Bob has been the leader of the band Stout for nearly 40 years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: mg
Date: 28 Sep 10 - 10:09 PM

Guest my version is almost identical to yours and I have only seen that set of lyrics once before...except I think we sang 41 etc..

1848 or 58...st. peter says you're way too late

1849 satan says you're right on time..to work upon the railway

I always wodnered if we just added those verses but I think I have seenthem.

Anyway, where did you learn this? I learned in Girl Scouts from an irish American woman..mg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Dave
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 12:34 PM

I learned the song in the late 1950's, probably from my father (who still sings it) or at a YMCA day camp in upstate New York. I vaguely remember that there were slight differences between those versions, but can't pinpoint them. The lyrics that are ingrained in my memory are sufficiently mutated from those previously posted that I thought it worth offering them:

Chorus:
Patsy-o-ree-i-ree-ay,
Patsy-o-ree-i-ree-ay,
Patsy-o-ree-i-ree-ay,
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-one,
The railway line had just begun, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-two,
Found myself with nothing to do, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-three,
The section boss was driving me, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-four,
My feet were tired and my back was sore, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-five,
Found myself more dead than alive, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-six,
Stepped on a couple of dynamite sticks, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-seven,
Found myself on the way to heaven, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-eight,
Picked the lock on the Pearly Gate, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-nine,
Found myself on Cloud Nine, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-ten,
Like my story I'll tell it again, (3x)
A workin' on the railway.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Abby Sale
Date: 16 Jan 11 - 01:21 PM

I never thought of "Paddy" as a chantey until I found it in Frederick Pease Harlow, Chantying Aboard American Ships, p139. And why not?

He gives fairly standard verses and then:

        In eighteen hundred and forty-nine,
        I then concluded to resign, (2x)
        From working on the railway,
        
        In eighteen fifty, I soon found,
        Meself shanghaied, for Frisco bound, (2x)
        To work upon the railway,

        The railway started me to roam,
        But the sea is hell and I can't get home, (2x)
        To work upon the railway,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 22 Jul 11 - 10:26 AM

Except for Paddy working on the railway, there's no obvious resemblance between the broadside ballad and the song/sea shanty.

The minor tune, popularized by Alan Lomax and Pete Seeger, first appears (more or less) in 1891, in a college song book. It resembles that of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home/ Johnny Fill Up the Bowl." Many Civil War versions of the latter begin, "In eighteen hundred and sixty-one,/ This cruel war it was begun."

My guess is that the minor tune of "Paddy" was inspired by that, but that it took some years to catch on. The earliest mention of the shanty (no tune) is in 1864.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 23 Jul 11 - 12:34 AM

That's useful info about the tune forms, Lighter.

The earliest reference I have in my notes comes from G.E. Clark, 1867, _Seven Years of a Sailor's Life_. I'm curious to know your 1864 reference, if you'd care to share.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 10:20 AM

From the passengers' shipboard paper of the Blackballer "Young America," London to Moreton Bay, 1864, in C. Fox Smith, "Sailor Town Days" (Methuen, 1923):

"We might mention as peculiar amongst the other strange songs that we nightly hear, one which we think must be called 'Pat's Apprenticeship,' as it goes through the history of a number of years during which 'Poor Paddy works on the railway.' What becomes of him eventually we have not yet been able to discover, but we suppose that the line is not yet finished."

It was sung at the pumps.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 25 Jul 11 - 11:38 PM

And here's a somewhat more modern version:

PAT GETS ON AN AIRPLANE

1. In twenty hundred and forty one
My trip to Houston had just begun
I went through hell before I was done
To get upon an airplane

cho:

Pat me on my derriere
Touch me almost everywhere
Take a picture of me bare
To get upon an airplane

2. In twenty hundred and forty two
I bade my family a sad adieu
I got into the security queue
To get upon an airplane

3. In twenty hundred and forty three
They studied my anatomy
I gave up all my dignity
To get upon an airplane

4. In twenty hundred and forty four
My private parts they did explore
They fondled my posterior
To get upon an airplane

5. In twenty hundred and forty five
I thought myself more dead than alive
But still I thought I might survive
To get upon an airplane

6. It's Pat do this and Pat do that
Take off your shoes take off your hat
Remove your belt and your cravat
To get upon an airplane

7. In twenty hundred and forty seven
I wished that I was up in heaven
If they checked one place they checked eleven
To get upon an airplane

8.In twenty hundred and forty eight
I thought we were going to copulate
Until I told him that I was straight
To get upon an airplane

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 26 Jul 11 - 02:08 AM

Thanks, Lighter.

***

RR Terry's comments might be of interest, even if their accuracy is to be disputed.

In, Terry, R.R. 1920. "Sailor Shanties (I)." _Music and Letters_ 1(1):35-44.


Bullen included in his collection..."Poor Paddy works on the Railway," and his expressed dislike for it was doubtless due to the commonly accepted opinion that it was not a genuine shanty, but had been imported wholesale from "The Christy Minstrels" who
flourished in the 'fifties. [Actually, they started in 1843] But I think it is not sufficiently understood that just as sailors borrowed and adapted tunes from any and every source, so did the Christy Minstrels. Without wishing to be dogmatic, I have the following reason for thinking that "The Christies " annexed "Poor Paddy" from the sailor, and not vice versa. Mr. James Runciman (who died in 1891 [born 1852, Terry's uncle]) gave me a shanty which he had learnt from a great-uncle of his, the melody of which is nothing more or less than that of " Poor Paddy." I place the two side by side for purposes of comparison :—

THE SHAVER.

When I was a little tiny boy, I went to sea in Stormy's employ.
I sail'd away across the sea, When I was just a Shaver, a Shaver.
It's I was weary of the sea, when I was just a Shaver.

Oh they whacked me up, and they whacked me down.
The Mate he cracked me on the crown.
They whacked me round, and round, and round.
When I was just a Shaver. It's I was weary, etc.

[my rendition, for example]

POOR PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILWAY.

In eighteen hundred and forty one, My corduroy breeches I put on,
My corduroy breeches I put on, To work upon the railway, the railway.
I'm weary of the railway, Oh poor Paddy works on the railway.

So here at any rate we have an instance of a tune, universally attributed to the Christy Minstrels, but which (whatever its original source) was actually sung at sea before the Christy Minstrels came into existence. [This statement cannot be verified.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,Gaurav
Date: 15 Sep 11 - 09:56 AM

PNR means Passenger Name Record. It is basically a travel record of a single individual or group of individuals that is stored in Railway computerized reservation system. It is a ten digit number written on the top left corner of rail ticket provided to a person whenever he goes for rail ticketing for a train journey. This PNR number presents the current status of a passenger's reservation. By using reservation status device a passenger can find out the - confirmed, waiting or in RAC status.
http://www.irctcpnrstatusinfo.com/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 11 - 08:43 AM

In eighteen hundred and forty one
Me corduroy breeches I put on
Me corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty two
From Hartlepool I moved to Crewe
And I found meself a job to do
Workin' on the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty three
I broke me shovel across me knee
Went to work with a company
In the Leeds and Selby Railway, railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
Me belly was empty, me hands were sore
With workin' on the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty five
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive
Daniel O'Connell he was alive
And workin' on the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty six
I changed me trade from carryin' bricks
Changed me trade from carryin' bricks
To workin' on the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty seven
Poor Paddy was thinkin' of goin' to Heaven,
(God bless him)
And if he left one child then he left eleven
All workin' on the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

IRCTC PNR STATUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: GUEST,evanvwk
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM

I remember this from Shining Time Station also. Haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

http://youtu.be/MXqIOhH-8T4


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Mr Happy
Date: 20 Jul 13 - 04:44 PM

Bev and Jerry,

Love your PAT GETS ON AN AIRPLANE version - LOL!

However, it's somewhat futuristic, is it a prophecy?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 05:45 AM

I learned the "Patsy orie orie ay" version in the scouts and the "Phillami orie orie ay" version from the Spinners.

This version:

In eighteen hundred and forty one
Me corduroy breeches I put on
Me corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway
I'm weary of the railway
Poor Paddy works on the railway

I was wearing corduroy britches
Digging ditches, pulling switches
Dodging bitches
I was working on the railway

with the change of rhythm and quite different chorus I first heard on a Dubliner's record but I think this song was recorded by Ewan MacColl and he claims it was collected 'in a loco shed in Newton Heath, Manchester'. How much was collected by MacColl and how much was arranged or regenerated is hard to tell.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 09:21 AM

According to MacColl, he stuck it together from two separate versions. Hence the variation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 11:45 AM

Sounds right Ms/Mr Lighter


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 12:12 PM

I think the composite version appearing above is the one from "The Shuttle and Cage: Industrial Folk Ballads" ed. Ewan MacColl; there he combines a version from Hellefield, Yorkshire (which is the version that contains the "I was wearing corduroy britches..." chorus) with one collected from Albert Gilmore of Birkenhead (in which the verses end "I'm weary of the railway... poor paddy works on the railway").

(As for being collected in Newton Heath, it's quite possible he claimed that elsewhere, but it's also possible people are mixing it up with other railway songs like Moses of the Mail that he lists as collected in Newton Heath?)

As has been noted above, The Spinners recorded a version with the "Fillimiooriay" chorus (using that as the title)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 12:19 PM

Actually, when I first heard that MacColl was talking about it as a song collected from railwaymen, I was surprised because I'd thought of it fairly exclusively as a shanty rather than a "land" song. But then again, I've been told that the "Railwaymen" of Crewe Alexandra Football Club (a town where traditionally the Railway was the primary source of employment) used to sing "Poor Paddy" as one of their terrace songs.

As for earlier sources on this song, Edward Keble Chatterton, in a 1923 book called The Mercantile Marine, quotes Liverpool shipowner Sir William B. Forwood:

"On the morning of the 20th November, 1857, I embarked by a tender from the Liverpool pierhead. It was nearly the top of high water. The crew were mustered on the forecastle, under the 1st Mate, Mr. Taylor. An order comes from the quarter-deck. ' Heave up the anchor and get away.' Aye, aye, sir.' 'Now then, my boys, man the windlass,' shouts the Mate, and to a merry chantie:
'In 1847 Paddy Murphy went to Heaven
To work on the railway, the railway, the railway,
Oh, poor Paddy works upon the railway'
'The anchor is away, sir,' shouts the Chief Officer. 'Heave it a-peak and cathead it,' comes from the quarter-deck, and the tug retriever forges ahead and tightens the tow-rope as we gather way. Bang, bang went the guns, and twice more, for we were carrying the mails, and good-bye to old Liverpool, and the crowds which lined the pierhead cheered, for the Red Jacket was already a famous ship, and it was hoped she would make a record passage."


(I used the above information on my Liverpool folk song a week blog, although I have a feeling that I first saw it unearthed by Gibb Sahib)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Richard from Liverpool
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 12:28 PM

Further to the Crewe Alexandra link I mention in the post above, just re-found a thread I once saw on the Crewe Alexandra F.C. fan forum discussing this song: http://www.crewe.vitalfootball.co.uk/forum/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=10314

From that thread it emerges that Crewe fans used to sing a version that goes something like this:

In eighteen hundred and forty one
Me corduroy breeches I put on
Me corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway, the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty two
From Hartlepool I rove to Crewe
And I found meself a job to do
Workin' on the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty three
I broke me shovel across me knee
And went to work with the company
On the Leeds and Selby Railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
Me belly was empty, me hands were raw
With workin' on the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty five
When Daniel O'Connell he was alive
Daniel O'Connell he was alive
And workin' on the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty six
I changed me trade from carryin' bricks
Changed me trade from carryin' bricks
To work upon the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

In eighteen hundred and forty seven
Poor Paddy was thinkin' of goin' to heaven
Poor Paddy was thinkin' of goin' to heaven
To work upon the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!

Now let me tell you this fine day
Do not work on the railway
Cos you will get no f#**ing pay
For working on the railway

Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay,Fil-i-me-oo-re-i-re-ay, to work upon the railway!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 12:40 PM

Great 1857 find, Richard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Paddy on the Railway
From: Mr Happy
Date: 21 Jul 13 - 12:50 PM

Richard from Liverpool,

Great info, many thanks!!


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