Paddy Works on the Railroad

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PADDY WORKS ON THE RAILROAD. American, Jig. USA, southwestern Pa. D Major (noted in B Flat Major). Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. Bayard (1981) identifies this tune as a version of the widespread "Lazarus" tune family (as is the better-known "Gilderoy (2)" and "Bonaparte's Retreat (5)") that is perhaps more common as a vocal rather than instrumental set of the melody. He has found closely related British Isles sets collected by Sharp ("The Farmer's Curst Wife") and Davis ("The Rich Man and Lazarus"). In America the tune also appears in vocal sets in the hymns "The Babe of Bethlehem," "Jordan's Shore," and the hymn "Jolly Soldier." In Pennsylvania Bayard collected a rhythmic tag with the tune that went:

Oh, Paddy works up and Paddy works down
And Paddy works on the Railroad;
Oh, Paddy works here and Paddy works there,
And Paddy works on the railroad.

Source for notated version: fiddler Hiram White (Greene County, Pa., 1930's) [Bayard].

Printed sources: Bayard (Dance to the Fiddle), 1981; No. 451, p. 431.

Recorded sources:




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