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'Pat Works on the Railway'

 
 

 

From 1830 to 1850 more than 2 million Immigrants came to the United States and of these more than 40 percent were Irish. During this period many shortline railroads and canals were built and the Irish in particular made up the labor force that built them. "Pat Work on the Railway" tells of their trials. Versions of this song were sung by entertainers, seamen and Irish railroad workers as far away as England.

In eighteen hundred and forty?one
I put my corduroy breeches on.
I put my corduroy breeches on
To work upon the railway.

Chorus: Fill?i?me?oo?ree?i?ree?ay (three times)
To work upon the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty?two
I left the Old World for the New.
Bad cess to the luck that brought me through
To work upon the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty?three
'Twas then that I met sweet Molly McGee.
An elegant wife she's been to me
While working on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty?four
I traveled the land from shore to shore,
I traveled the land from shore to shore
To work upon the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty?five
I found myself more dead than alive.
I found myself more dead than alive
From working on the railway.

It's "Pat do this" and "Pat do that,"
Without a stocking or cravat,
Nothing but an old straw hat
While I worked on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty?seven
Sweet Biddy McGee she went to heaven;
If she left one kid she left eleven,
To work upon the railway.