I've Been Working on the Railroad

 

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"I've Been Working on the Railroad," is another old favorite whose origin is unknown.  It was around long

before it was published as "Levee Song" in Carmina Princetonia, a book of Princeton University songs

published in 1894.  The "Dinah Won't You Blow" section was an entirely separate song that was first

published as "Old Joe, or Somebody in the House with Dinah" in London in the 1830s or '40s. 

The music was credited to J.H. Cave. 

 

 

 

Here's a great orchestral version of the tune from 1929!

 

 

For all the versions ouot there, the lyrics have remained pretty consistent.  Here they are:

 

I've been workin' on the railroad, all the live long day.

I've been workin' on the railroad, Just to pass the time away.
Can't you hear the whistle blowing?

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 Strumming on the old banjo.

Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o. Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o-o-o-o.

Fee, fie, fiddle-e-i-o. Strumming on the old banjo.