Thursday, 17 March 2011

Paddy On The Railway

We could have marked St Patrick's Day with the legends of Patrick and Dumbarton, or stories of Irish migrant workers in the sugar warehouses...but instead here's another wee song from the Downriver cd, a broadside ballad which charts an Irishman's journey to Glasgow on the Greenock railway...which was of course largely built by Irish migrant workers. It is NOT the more popularly sung "Paddy on the Railway", the lyrics for this one being just a wee bit more variety theatre. See the broadside here.

A Paddy once in Greenock town
For Glasgow city he was bound
Staring all round and round
At length he saw the Railway
Then up the stair he did repair
And a sixpence paid down for his fare
And with great wonder he did stare
When he got on the Railway

Engine boiler water tight
Driving in with all his might
Upon my soul it was a sight
To see the Greenock Railway

The ladies were all Pat’s delight
And he sat down amongst their whites
I one was wrong but now I’m right
This morning on the Railway
A gent sat there with curled hair
At Paddy he began to stare
And said he did not pay his fare
For that class on the Railway


Paddy’s blood began to rise
And hit him then between the eyes
That morning on the Railway
The people all then made a fuss
To get the conductor in they must
Pat told him to enter if he durst
That morning on the Railway


But now in sight of Glasgow town
And at the station we came down
They looked if a Police could be found
To drag me from the Railway
But now my shillelah uick I drew
The conductor on the ground I threw
And then with legs so quick I flew
And left them on the Railway


Now to the harvest I will go
And tell them there of all I know
I’ll tell them of each friend and foe
That I met on the Railway
Then off to Ireland I’ll repair
And tell them all the wonders there
For never a one in county Clare
Ever saw or heard of a Railway


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