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Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil) (25)
Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil) (15)
Lyr Req: She's Called Nova Scotia (Rita MacNeil) (6)
Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil) (26)


Hillheader 29 May 05 - 07:02 PM
Leadfingers 29 May 05 - 07:15 PM
Hillheader 29 May 05 - 07:21 PM
Hillheader 29 May 05 - 07:26 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 07:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 May 05 - 07:37 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 07:53 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Seaking 29 May 05 - 08:05 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 08:07 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 29 May 05 - 08:42 PM
Hillheader 29 May 05 - 08:43 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 09:12 PM
Peace 29 May 05 - 09:16 PM
Stewie 29 May 05 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,bfdk 30 May 05 - 06:49 AM
Little Robyn 30 May 05 - 03:53 PM
Hillheader 30 May 05 - 04:49 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 May 05 - 04:54 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 30 May 05 - 05:38 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 30 May 05 - 05:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 May 05 - 06:02 PM
Peace 30 May 05 - 07:32 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 May 05 - 07:57 PM
rich-joy 31 May 05 - 01:16 AM
GUEST, - GEST On The Road 31 May 05 - 05:14 AM
Hillheader 31 May 05 - 01:22 PM
Chris in Wheaton 31 May 05 - 05:16 PM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 04:00 AM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 04:03 AM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jul 05 - 07:33 AM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,jimw03@aol.com 31 Jul 05 - 04:33 PM
Cluin 01 Aug 05 - 12:54 AM
GUEST,Mo Carter 08 May 06 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,ChiTownJoe 08 May 06 - 08:14 AM
Amos 08 May 06 - 11:26 AM
Teribus 08 May 06 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Grahampa 14 May 06 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Guest 21 Sep 08 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,d.lacey 09 Jan 10 - 05:50 PM
GUEST 09 Jan 10 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Stuart Reed 10 Jan 10 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,UltimateRitaFan 11 Jan 10 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,UltimateRitaFan 11 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 13 Aug 10 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,terry 28 Mar 11 - 04:53 PM
Andy Jackson 28 Mar 11 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 11 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,999 28 Mar 11 - 06:51 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 28 Mar 11 - 08:26 PM
GUEST,old trombone 20 Aug 11 - 05:26 PM
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Subject: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:02 PM

I was in a local social club tonight and sang "It's a Working Man I Am" which I understood to have been written and first performed by Rita MacNeil. When asked what MALE singer covered the song I said I did not know but would find out.

The link below seems to suggest that Rita MacNeil did not write the song originally and I can find no trace of a male covering it!!! Can anyone help? I have a week to find the answer and would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance

Davebhoy

http://nfldsongs.tripod.com/04/workingman.htm


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:15 PM

Put [Its a Working Man I Am] in the search box top left - There are a lot of threads about this song going back YEARS , and dont forget the SQUARE brackets !


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:21 PM

Leadfingers

Thanks for the prompt reply. I tried that and only came up with this

thread.cfm?threadid=7629#46191

I was surprised at the lack of detail. Am I doing something wrong?

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:26 PM

Leadfingers

Tried again with an apostrophe in "It's" anmd it produced several threads!!!!! None seem to shed any light on the dubiety regarding the writer or information about cover version.

Again thanks


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:28 PM

Aggie McFee (Popularized By Rita MacNeil)


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:37 PM

working man I am
no marks, no caps-this gets threads 9604, 5276, 11173 (with music), 45131, 50912. Put in too many words and mis-spellings in thread titles and Mudcat peculiarities get in the way.

Hear Rita MacNeil sing it here: Working man


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 07:53 PM

Pardon me all to hell and back.

MacNeil is the author.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 08:04 PM

Davebhoy:

Google her name
Her official site is there near the top.
Gives her discography woith transcriptions of the words to her somngs and who authored what.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,Seaking
Date: 29 May 05 - 08:05 PM

Great link Q. What a voice !! What a song !!

Chris


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 08:07 PM

If y'ain't heard this gal before, you have been missing THE Canadian voice. Yes there are others, but she's it, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 29 May 05 - 08:42 PM

Don't know what male performers might have covered it, but Rita recorded it with a chorus of Cape Breton miners called "Men of the Deeps", who've since become well-known on their own. It's pretty likely they've recorded it separately.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 29 May 05 - 08:43 PM

Brucie

Thanks for the response.

I searched Rita McNeil's site before posting here and am still confused by the Agnes McFee link.

When was this song written? I had people telling me tonight that their fathers' sung it in the early sixties. An earlier Mudcat link to John Denver suggests circa 1966 for the song origin but that may not be correct.

I am also looking for male singers who covered this song. Can anyone help?

Assistance so far is (as expected) fantastic but there are still some gaps I would like to fill in.

Cheers all

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 09:12 PM

The McFee link: He did it dedicated to his father. However, the attribution to MacNeil 'popularizing' it is confusing to me.

I am gonna e-mail her and ask. Let you know when and if.

BM


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 29 May 05 - 09:16 PM

E-mail sent.

BM


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Stewie
Date: 29 May 05 - 09:31 PM

Jeremiah, The Men of the Deeps recorded it on their CD 'Diamonds in the Rough' Men of the Deeps Music 02 50398. Great rendition led by Nipper McLeod. Their attribution is to Rita MacNeil.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,bfdk
Date: 30 May 05 - 06:49 AM

Stephen Quigg recorded the song on his CD "Highlands Tomorrow" (2003). LOWLAND 014.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Little Robyn
Date: 30 May 05 - 03:53 PM

Doesn't Jez Lowe sing it?


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 30 May 05 - 04:49 PM

I have also found today David Alexander, Ray Lyell, and John Conlee (although I confess to knowing only David Alexander).

Still puzzling over the assertion that it was written by Agnes McFee and "popularised" by Rita McNeil. Hopefully Brucie's Email will produce a result.

Appreciate all the help thus far.

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 May 05 - 04:54 PM

Jez Lowe - "Black diamonds" - his own song, also about working in the mines.
TB


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 30 May 05 - 05:38 PM

It IS a song written by Rita MacNeil, Big Pond, Cape Breton. She's currently ill.

I don't know which SOLO mail performer sang it after she first sang it, but the Men of the Deeps, a male chorus with one common point among all members - Former or presently Coal Miners. If I recall correctly, they were the first performers after Rita MacNeil.

BTW, Rita wrote the song in remembrance of her father who had been one of the coal miners of Cape Breton.

I'm uncertain of when it was written, (some songs are written WAY before they are recorded), but I would venture to guess that the song was written in the early sixties to early seventies. The song really got launched in the early 80s. Rita MacNeil really became an international star after 1986.

Will check on the dates later.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 30 May 05 - 05:43 PM

Well, the fellow from Nfldsongs has been at the Mudcat before. Hopefully he'll fix that attribution to McFee! No idea where he got that idea!


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 May 05 - 06:02 PM

The "Men of the Deep" have toured with Rita MacNeil. Their cd credits the song to MacNeil. I have emailed 'Gest' also.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 30 May 05 - 07:32 PM

Q,

I expect to hear from RM before that--hope so, anyway. I will let y'all know what she says.

Bruce M


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 May 05 - 07:57 PM

Check Mudcat thread 9604. A post there by Grant Cockburn gives the lyrics; Rita McNeil, in her spoken introduction to the song: "This song is dedicated to my father, Dan McFee, who worked in the coal mines of Cape Breton."
Aggie could be Rita or a relative.

George should be able to answer this.

It is a hard one to google because there are a number of songs with 'working man' in the title. I was trying to find a copyright or original publisher. Not sure what another post in thread 9604 refers to- something about a BBC single released by Fruher and the date 1987.

9604: Working Man


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: rich-joy
Date: 31 May 05 - 01:16 AM

I have in my possession (via charity shop bargain!), an LP-sized single from Polydor in 1990 by Rita MacNeil. It features :
Working Man B/W Two Steps From Broken / The Music's Going Round Again.

With regard to "Working Man", it actually says on the label and the cover "written by Rita MacNeil".



Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST, - GEST On The Road
Date: 31 May 05 - 05:14 AM

Rita MacNeil recorded Working Man as early as 1981 on her album, Part of the Mystery (Lupins Records). How apropos is that album title to this thread?

I shall change the attribution when I get back to the Island. In the meantime, I wonder if Rita's name was changed between her birth, her marriage, her divorce, and her notoriety. Think about it, eh?

Thanks, Q ~ I'm a happy camper again. :-)


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Hillheader
Date: 31 May 05 - 01:22 PM

Gest on the Road

The same thought was crossing my mind regarding "stage names" or something of that ilk.

My assumption has always been that Rita wrote the song and nothing here has really convinced me otherwise. Confused me perhaps but not convinced.

All

The feeling is that it will be the David Alexander recording people here are remembering. I will test that theory at the weekend and update then. In the meantime thanks again for proving what a useful resource the Mudcat is.

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 31 May 05 - 05:16 PM

John ac Alun in Wales heard the song in a pub - the Welsh version, Y Chwarelwr - the quarryman. It was the first "big hit" for them. Their weekly Radio Cymru show is archived on the BBC radio player.
Chris yn Chicago


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:00 AM

I just now received this e-mail from that lovely woman with the great voice.

Dear Bruce:

I wrote "Working Man" in the '70s. I've been singing it a long, long time.

Do take care.

Love xo,

Rita MacNeil



You guys just remember that she gave that xo to me. That is not a group xo. FYI.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:03 AM

And I will treasure it, too.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:33 AM

I thought an XO was only half a cup of OXO...


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:15 PM

Robin, I have some of that at home. OXO that is. It is a poor substitute for Southern Comfort, or beer. FYI


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,jimw03@aol.com
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 04:33 PM

The male your looking for is welshman David Alexander you are correct about Rita MacNeil.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Aug 05 - 12:54 AM

Didn't John McDermott record this one too? I know he must've sang it upon occasion.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,Mo Carter
Date: 08 May 06 - 07:08 AM

I recently heard a beautiful rendition of this song by a duo called "Closing Time". They are a Welsh country music duo. Len is the vocalist with a beautiful baritone voice and Gwyndaf is the brilliant guitarist accompanying him (various guitars including pedal steel).

Their website is http://www.closing-time.co.uk/ . They sing the song in both English and Welsh and have recorded both versions on their CDs.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,ChiTownJoe
Date: 08 May 06 - 08:14 AM

I have an old cassette with a rendition by Paddy Reilly


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Amos
Date: 08 May 06 - 11:26 AM

Cara also recorded it on one of their CDs I believe.


A


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: Teribus
Date: 08 May 06 - 02:54 PM

I have a CD with Paddy Reilly singing it


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,Grahampa
Date: 14 May 06 - 01:20 PM

Seems to me the original male recording of this song (written by Rita), might be attributed to Matt Minglewood........he certainly makes good use of it in his stage shows.


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Subject: RE: Infor Please: It a working Man I am
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 21 Sep 08 - 08:53 PM

Matt Minglewood also sang 'Working Man' on his 1988 'The Promise' cd.
A sensational tribute by the East Coast Music Awards to Rita MacNeil, can be seen on You Tube, with Matt Minglewood, accompanied by The Men of the Deeps, and numerous other east coast musicians by typing in: Matt Minglewood Working Man.


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Subject: RE: Info Please: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: GUEST,d.lacey
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 05:50 PM

a welshman called david alexander covered the song you can find it on youtube. the original was released by rita in 1990 thats all i know.


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Subject: RE: Info Please: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jan 10 - 08:14 PM

Rita MacNeil wrote & recorded the song Working Man many years ago.

I have also heard Matt Minglewood, John McNabb, Men of the Deeps & the All Male Welsh Choir, Cwmbach, & Celtic Thunder record it as well. The Men of the Deeps & the All Male Welsh Choir, Cwmbach, have also recorded this song as back-up for Rita in the 80s & very early 1990s. The Men of the Deeps on her albums Part of the Mystery & Reason to Believe, while Cwmbach recorded it on her Polydor release of Working Man single & 1993 Rita MacNeil - The Best Of .

Here is the youtube clip of Working Man by Rita MacNeil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-EiwiiAh68


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Subject: RE: Info Please: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: GUEST,Stuart Reed
Date: 10 Jan 10 - 06:54 PM

I know the first verse as:

At The age of sixteen years
I saw my Daddy's blackened tears
And he swore he'd never send another son
To the dark recess of the mine
Where you age before your your time
And the coal dust lies heavy in your lungs.

I may be wrong but I'm sure I read or heard an interview with Rita McNeill in which she said that she sometimes sings different versions of her song, including the verse above, which I prefer to the original with its puzzling allusion to an unspecified quarrel.


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Subject: RE: Info Please: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: GUEST,UltimateRitaFan
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 04:30 PM

Here is the url to the song you are looking for. This version was written by Welsh singer, the late David Alexander.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuUAocdj7S8


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Subject: RE: Info Please: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: GUEST,UltimateRitaFan
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 04:56 PM

Working Man by the late David Alexander

It's a workin' man I am
And I've b'n down underground
And I swear to God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

At The age of sixteen years
With my father close to tears
As he vowed he'd never again would send his son
To the dark recess of the mine
Where you age before your your time
And the coal dust lies heavy in your lungs.

It's a workin' man I am
And I've b'n down underground
And I swear to God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

At the age of 65 I pray to God I'm still alive
And the wheels above the mine no longer wind
And they've finally closed the hole
Where for years we clawed for coal
And never again will we go down underground.

It's a workin' man I am
And I've b'n down underground
And I swear to God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

It's a workin' man I am
And I've b'n down underground
And I swear to God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuUAocdj7S8


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Aug 10 - 05:49 AM

Can anyone please help me?
Is it possible to obtain a recording of "I's a working man I am" in German? I have a neighbour who was sent down a mine at 14 after the defeat of Germany by the Russians.


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: GUEST,terry
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 04:53 PM

Iheard Tom jones sing this song


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 05:08 PM

I hope someone comes up with a definitive answer to the male singer. I'm sure I've heard Frank Hennesy sing it.
I have joined in with it many times so someone I know sings it.
It has a Vin Garbutt feel to it but that is too obvious.
At least we know who wrote it!!


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:49 PM

"I know the song you mean. I've heard it sung by many people. Max Boyce sang it on one of his albums as did the Welsh singer Paul Child. Here are the lyrics though."

Found this while I was dickin' around on the www.


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 06:51 PM

Read elsewhere that it was also done by The Dubliners.


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 28 Mar 11 - 08:26 PM

Nipper Mac Leod singing lead with the Men Of The Deeps would have been the first male voice. I have yet to hear anyone sing it better!
Nipper


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Subject: RE: Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man
From: GUEST,old trombone
Date: 20 Aug 11 - 05:26 PM

I'm sure Johnny Caesar sang this.He wrote "The Price of Coal' and other mining songs


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