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Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)

Related threads:
(origins) Origin: It's a Working Man I Am? / Working Man (52)
Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil) (15)
Lyr Req: She's Called Nova Scotia (Rita MacNeil) (6)
Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil) (26)


t56ds@plato.ucs.mun.ca 19 Nov 98 - 08:00 PM
George Seto af221@chebucto.ns.ca 19 Nov 98 - 08:57 PM
20 Nov 98 - 06:49 PM
Bear 26 Nov 98 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,jycon@blueyonder.co.uk 06 Jan 06 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 06 Jan 06 - 02:12 PM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 09 Jan 06 - 08:20 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 09 Jan 06 - 03:42 PM
Peace 09 Jan 06 - 06:10 PM
Peace 09 Jan 06 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Stef 27 Mar 08 - 04:54 PM
Rabbi-Sol 27 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM
GUEST 28 Mar 08 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Guest - Chalkie 28 Mar 08 - 11:38 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 28 Mar 08 - 12:51 PM
GUEST 26 Oct 09 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Andreas Durkin 24 Feb 10 - 09:47 AM
GUEST 09 Sep 10 - 08:18 PM
GUEST 10 Sep 10 - 10:20 AM
GUEST 09 Mar 11 - 10:13 AM
GUEST 17 May 13 - 04:29 PM
GUEST 17 May 13 - 10:02 PM
meself 17 May 13 - 10:20 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 18 May 13 - 12:57 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 18 May 13 - 01:15 AM
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Subject: lyrics to Its a working am I am
From: t56ds@plato.ucs.mun.ca
Date: 19 Nov 98 - 08:00 PM

I'm looking for the lyrics to "Its a working man I am" I don't know if Rita Mcniel wrote it but I know she does sing it.


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Subject: RE: lyrics to Its a working am I am
From: George Seto af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 19 Nov 98 - 08:57 PM

It's actually, "It's a Working Man I am". and it WAS written by Rita MacNeil. It's availabe in a book called Cape Breton Songbook. The editor/compiler is Allister MacGillivray. Check his web-site out for how to order the book. If you can;t find his web-page, I have a link from my page on Cape Breton Music http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/6338/music.html


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Subject: Lyr Add: WORKING MAN (Rita MacNeil)
From:
Date: 20 Nov 98 - 06:49 PM

I thought I had got this from the Cafe recently but I couldn't find it so here it is.

It's a workin' man I am
And I've b'n down underground
And I swear to God if I ever see the sun
Or for any length of time
I can hold it in my mind
I never again will go down underground


At the age of sixteen years
Oh, he quarrels with his peers
Who vowed they'd never see another one
In the dark recess of the mines
Where you age before your time
And the coal dust lies heavy on your lungs

(Repeat chorus)

At the age of sixty-four
he'll greet you at the door
And gently lead you by the hand
Through the dark recess of the mines
Oh, he'll take you back in time
And he'll tell you of the hardships that were had

(Repeat chorus couple of times)
If you need chords leave a message.
Regards Baz


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Subject: RE: lyrics to Its a working am I am
From: Bear
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 10:46 AM

I heard a version of this song by a folk group based in Ballarat. It had about three additional verses which spoke of being old before your time and coughing up the black coal dust that tore away the lining of the miners lungs etc. In each verse the bloke was a wee bit older and I think he dies in his forties. Does this version ring a bell with anyone? Is so could you post the lyrics to this version...by the way, I recently heard the Victoria Welsh Male Voice Choir do a sensational rendition of this song at Beechworth.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST,jycon@blueyonder.co.uk
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 01:32 PM

yes ive heard at least one more verse ill try & get it & mail it to you
    cheers john mc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 06 - 02:12 PM

Another verse is

At the age of ninety two
And his time on earth all through
Friends and family we all gathered round
And as the tears welled in our eyes
We said our last goodbyes
As we laid that proud old miner underground.

Alternatively

At the age of ninety two
And his time on earth all through
Friends and family we all gathered round
We cast his ashes to the wind
For we promised our old friend
That he ne'er again would go down underground


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 08:20 AM

Another verse I know, which I think fits in rather well:-

At the age of 65 I pray to God I'm still alive
And the wheels above the mine no longer wind
And they've finally closed the hole
Where for years they/we clawed for coal
And never again will we go down underground.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 03:42 PM

There are only the chorus and two verses to this song. Other words are not correct. Baz's words are close but not exact.
                  Slainte,
                   Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: Peace
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:10 PM

Words, chords, midis and tabs here.


PS If I recall, the thread that was around a while back concerned the authorship of the song. In a return e-mail from Rita MacNeil, she confirmed that indeed she is the author, and she was most gracious about it. FYI.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: Peace
Date: 09 Jan 06 - 06:31 PM

"Dear Bruce:

I wrote "Working Man" in the '70s. I've been singing it a long, long time.

Do take care.

Love xo,

Rita MacNeil"

Here is the thread: thread.cfm?threadid=81602


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST,Stef
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 04:54 PM

Does anyone know if she was the original arist or if someone else sang it before her??

Please reply to jevisa_diamante@yahoo.co.uk

Thanks xox


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM

She was the original artist.

You can hear her perform this song on YouTube.

The song is also done by the "Men Of The Deeps" based out of Glace Bay, NS. They often do joint concerts together with Rita. You can hear them as well on Youtube doing this song.

                                                    SOL


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 08:28 AM

Working Man


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST,Guest - Chalkie
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 11:38 AM

I can't remember where I got this from but she (Rita McNiel) apparently wrote the song in dedication to her father.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 12:51 PM

This is a direct quote from Rita in The Cape Breton Song Collection (pub. 1985):   
"Upon returning home five years ago, 1 went down on a tour through the mine. I was deeply moved by the men who spoke to us while on that tour; hence, I wrote the song, 'Working Man'."
-R.M.N.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 09 - 01:35 PM

I guess that everyone has come across this song popularized in the Irish show "Celtic Thunder" on PBS (Public Broadcasting System in USA), in which the soloist is George Donaldson, the only Scot in the ensemble.

"Celtic Thunder" is a stunning show and "It's a Working Man I am" is one of the highlights.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: It's a Working Man I Am (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST,Andreas Durkin
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 09:47 AM

Irish recording artist Kathy Durkin recorded the song Working Man and was in the Irish Charts for 1 year during 1991/92.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Sep 10 - 08:18 PM

I have just discovered this song and it is so poignant and haunting. I heard it performed by Carlo Paul Santanna (ex-Paper Lace)at one of his concerts and it was quite extraordinary. His father was a Derbyshire miner and it showed in the passion and emotion with which he performed the song as a tribute to him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 10:20 AM

Its only natural that anyone with mining connections would be able to relate to this song.

cant blame the Welsh really

The variant of the first verse where the words are altered to:

'At the age of 16 years
with my father close to tears
as he vowed never again to send his son
To the dark recess of the mine'

echoes what my grandfather wanted for my father,
to whom I am eternally grateful

The late Michael Alexander and Paul Child are well worth a view on the tube


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 11 - 10:13 AM

iT JUST BRINGS TEARS TO MY EYES


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 13 - 04:29 PM

My daughter is doing some homework about the local area which used to be a big mining area and researching came across this song. What I,m trying to understand is the meaning of some of the lines. In particular the second verse.

Is it referring to god/Jesus who is leading the miner out of the mine because he died at 64? If not what is your interpretation?

In the first verse where it mentions that:
He quarreled with his peers, does the next line supposed to mean that they vowed never to see each other again. I thought miners were supposed to have a strong bond between them? Again am I miss reading it? What do you think it means

Hopefully you can get back to me before my daughter has to hand in her homework?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:02 PM

Rita was a straight-up-front gal. Always. She began the song with a 'general' description of one voice: that of a miner who worked underground. He knew the substantiality of his life, and he knew the dangers. Things that would terrify many people were the conditions under which he made his pay. Cape Breton is a proud (and mostly honourable)
under worse conditions than most of us face. Many CBers live in tough and sometimes deplorable conditions, but they have never bowed to either the conditions or those who thought worst of them for their pride. They exemplify what freedom means: their logo should be "We kneel before no man."

Anyway, as I hear the song--a song I have seldom listened to without growing some tears in my eyes--it tells the story of what it means to be a miner with hopes and dreams for tomorrow.

The structure of certain ballads (perhaps all s'far's I know) is that in the telling of a man or woman's life is what needs to be documented or written down. But to 'feel' about it is to come close to being there.

The song:

General statement setting the scene for the balance of the tale, both lyric and melody. Remembering the past.

She's telling about him when he was 15 and what he came to find.

General statement again--often called the song chorus--and it resets the song's 'meaning'; brings it back to what we need to remember, consider and learn from. (The downside is seldom advertised in the papers.)

She then jumps to the fellow being 64 years old (something I have wondered about since my first time hearing the song, a song which is at once a declaration of freedom within the confines of prison walls and the freedom of thoughts that straight-on deliver us.

Her voice (Rita's) is beautiful. The age of 64 stanza shows us an old man who lives with his past life. He will gladly tell you of that life--one he's proud to have lived through, but no miner wants his son to follow in his footsteps. It is dirty, hazardous, dangerous and basically thankless work.

Once again the chorus which is also 'anthemish' brings us back to a statement of fact. Beautiful song. Best wishes with the homework assignment.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: meself
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:20 PM

Not sure how accurate Baz's lyrics are; I sing the first verse slightly differently, but I don't know where my lyrics came from, so I won't bother putting them here. Anyway, I've taken the first verse to indicate that the young man is determined not to work in the mine; the second verse indicates that he did end up spending most of his life in the mine (a familiar story). The second verse is clearly referring to the Glace Bay Miner's Museum - an actual mine, in which retired miners act as guides.

Btw, though I don't on principle object to people adding verses to songs like this, I find the verse quoted above in which the old miner prays for the mine to close to be almost bizarre. In a mining community, those wheels turning over the mine are bread and butter.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 18 May 13 - 12:57 AM

There are only two correct verses and a repeated chorus to this song. It makes no mention of Jesus or God and any doing so is only the result of


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Working Man (Rita MacNeil)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 18 May 13 - 01:15 AM

Sorry, I hit the wrong key and posted too soon!
The first verse describes the lack of options for a young man in a Cape Breton mining town. Although many aspired to another life most ended up in the pit, often at a young age.
The 64 year old portrayed in the second verse relates to a guide at a mine in Sydney Mines. He spent his life underground and portrayes that to Rita when she took a tour.
Many believe the tour guide to have been at the Miners Museum in Glace Bay but that is also not correct. Also the guide was not her father as some threads state.
Rita has passed away recently and in Cape Breton we miss her dearly and I hope her legacy will live on for many years!
The best versions of this song are done by Rita herself or by Cape Breton's coal mining choir, the Men Of The Deeps with Nipper macLeod singing the lead. Both can be found on YouTube.


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