- USC Digital Folklore Archives - http://folklore.usc.edu -

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

Posted By Codie Sander On May 9, 2015 @ 3:47 pm In Musical | Comments Disabled

“I’ve been working on the railroad,

all the live-long day,

I’ve been working on the railroad,

just to pass the time away,

Can’t you hear the whistle blowin’”

rise up so early in the morn’,

can’t you hear the captain shouting

Dinah blow your horn.

Dinah won’t you blow,

Dinah won’t you blow,

Dinah won’t you blow your horn.

Dinah won’t you blow,

Dinah won’t you blow,

Dinah won’t you blow your horn.

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,

someone’s in the kitchen I know.

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,

strummin’ on the old banjo.

Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o,

fee, fie, fidlly-i-o-o-o-o

Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o,

strummin’ on the ol’ banjo.

“This song is a lot of fun, and is another one I learned at girl’s camp. I like it because you can really add a lot of different things into the song, and keep it going. When I taught 4th and 5th grade, I taught this song to my students while we were learning American history. They all seemed to enjoy it.”

Like other folk songs, it seems that much of the meaning and joy that this song evokes in the performer is it’s adaptability. It can change while still retaining the core identity of the piece. With a song like this, which is deeply routed in American history, this change is important. It allows the song to remain relevant and even novel to later generations, which is crucial to the survivability of a piece of folklore.


Article printed from USC Digital Folklore Archives: http://folklore.usc.edu

URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=29838