Tap 'Er Light

by Dublin Gulch

Released 2016
Released 2016
Sit back with a glass of porter, gaze at a turf fire, and think "High Kings" but with a true Butte, American- Irish twist.
  • 05:47 Story Lyrics
    Tap 'er Light

    Tap ‘Er Light 

     

    This old bar, it never closes. There’s no lock upon its door

    No latch to rap or rattle. No patron is ignored.

    For there’s coffee on the counter to fill your cup with cheer

    No matter where you hail from, you’re always welcome here.

     

    CHORUS

    So raise your glass to the M & M, 

    We’ll never see its likes again

    The door is always open day or night

    And when you go be sure and tap ‘er light

     

    This old bar has been a refuge for the weary and the poor

    The miner and the mucker, the gambler and the whore

    It’s been a home for the homeless, an asylum from the pain

    A haven for the heartache and a shelter from the rain.

     

    CHORUS

     

    This old bar has seen some good times when the copper ore was hot

    And workin’ men would celebrate with a “Cuban” and a shot

    But when times were slow, it struggled through the shutdowns and the strife

    The bitter desperation that cuts just like a knife

     

    CHORUS

     

    This old bar has heard the secrets of countless plans and schemes

    And wallowed in the sorrows of a thousand shattered dreams

    It’s been a harbor for the drifter who has broken every rule,

    The lover and the loser, the fighter and the fool.

     

    CHORUS

     

    This old bar, it never closes. There’s no lock upon its door

    No latch to rap or rattle. No patron is ignored.

    For there’s coffee on the counter to fill your cup with cheer

    No matter where you hail from, you’re always welcome here.

     

    CHORUS

     

    CHORUS

    So raise your glass to the M & M, 

    We’ll never see its likes again

    The door is always open day or night

    And when you go be sure and tap ‘er light

  • 05:24 Story Lyrics
    The Ballad of the Button Box

    Ballad of the Button Box 

     

    I have walked these streets at night when this town was young

    The cobblestones, I trod alone to greet the mornin’ sun

    Over turf and rocks my button box, I carried to & fro

    In Summer’s heat and Autumn sleet and chilly Winter snow

     

    CHORUS

    The gents and pretty ladies dancin’ round the floor

    I’d hear their sighs and pleading cries, “Oh, Johnny, play one more.”

    Music is my calling card wherever I may go

    I’m John “the Yank” Harrington from County Silver Bow

     

     

    My father came from County Cork as did my mother, Kate

    They gave to me a legacy of music as my fate

    When they passed on, I moved along to live across the sea

    A barber shears and button box were all I brought with me

     

    CHORUS

     

    I have been a fisherman, a thatcher, and a hod

    From “Black & Tans,” I never ran while on the Irish Sod

    From County Cork to old New York, to build the underground

    You can hear me in the tunnels by my bellows’ mighty sound

     

    CHORUS

     

    I have played accordion for five and ninety years

    A century of memories of good friends far and near

    But this old son has had his run, my time is ending soon

    So, take from me this button box and play another tune

     

    CHORUS

    And the gents and pretty ladies dancin’ round the floor

    I’d hear their sighs and pleading cries, “Oh, Johnny, play one more.”

    Music is my calling card wherever I may go

    I’m John “the Yank” Harrington from County Silver Bow

    And I’ve handed down the heritage to Country Silver Bow

  • 04:10 Story
    Gneeveguilla / Gravel Walks / Silver Spear
  • 00:35
    Your Hit Parade Introduction 1955
  • 08:41 Story Lyrics
    The Ballad of Willie & Millie / Margaret's Waltz

    The Ballad of Willie & Millie  

     

    The big band was playin’, sweethearts were swayin’  in the light of a Montana moon

    There was joy in the air, seemed the whole town was there to step to Your Hit Parade tunes

     I was only eighteen but I felt like a king when I saw you up watchin’ the band

    And just on a chance, I asked you to dance and you smiled when you took my hand 

     

    CHORUS

    Come out tonight Millie, we’ll go dancin’ 

    Because tonight is a night for romancin’

    Out through the gardens and out o’er the hills

    How I wish we could be there still.

     

    With the paintbrush in bloom and the help of the moon, I courted you all summer long

    And we’d run off at will to the top of the hill while the band kept on playin’ our song

    The band kept playin’ on & the years, they rolled along, we had babies to bounce on our knee

    But once in awhile, when you’d wink and then smile, I’d sweep you off to the Gardens with me

     

    CHORUS

     

    Not all years were kind but we would soon find, that our love kept us warm from the chill

    And the next thing we’d know, the kids had all grown and gone to dancin’ up on the hill,

    Well, the kids, they moved away and it happened one day, the mine said they’d found a new load

    And the whole city cried when the company decided that Columbia Gardens must go.

     

    CHORUS

     

    Well, they brought in their shovels and they blasted away and they stripped her like all of the rest

    Sixty-five years all gone down to dust and they still haven’t found that load yet

    Now, we are old and the wind, it blows cold where the Gardens and band used to be

    But your hand still fits mine and your bright eyes still shine as we go waltzing in our memory

     

    CHORUS

    Come out tonight Millie, we’ll go dancin’ 

    Because tonight is a night for romancin’

    Out through the gardens and out o’er the hills

    How I wish we could be there still.

  • 03:59 Story Lyrics
    The Galway Girl

    The Galway Girl  

    Well, I took a stroll on the old long walk

    On a day -I-ay-I-ay

    I met a little girl and we stopped to talk

    On a fine soft day -I-ay-I-ay

     

     

    And I ask you, friend, what's a fella to do

    Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue

    And I knew right then I'd be takin' a whirl

    'Round the Salthill Prom with a Galway girl

     

    We were halfway there when the rain came down

    On a day -I-ay-I-ay

    And she asked me up to her flat downtown

    On a fine soft day -I-ay-I-ay

     

    And I ask you, friend, what's a fella to do

    Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue

    So I took her hand and I gave her a twirl

    And I lost my heart to a Galway girl

     

    When I woke up I was all alone

    With a broken heart and a ticket home

     

    And I ask you now, tell me what would you do

    If her hair was black and her eyes were blue

    I've traveled around I've been all over this world

    Boys I ain't never seen nothin' like a Galway girl

  • 02:33 Story Lyrics
    Farewell, Johnny Miner

    Farewell, Johnny Miner 

     

    Johnny Miner, you were born 

    Never to see the risin’ dawn

    Now, it’s time that you were gone

    So, farewell Johnny Miner

     

    CHORUS

    And farewell Butte, Finn Town, too

    Dublin Gulch, the same to you

    Walkerville, we’ll bid adieu

    And farewell, Johnny Miner

     

    You battled hard with drill and scale

    Lungs turned black and faces pale

    Now, your body’s up for sale

    So, farewell Johnny Miner

     

    CHORUS

     

    They promised you the earth sometimes

    For to dig the copper from their mines

    Now, the justice for their crimes

    Is, farewell, Johnny Miner

     

    CHORUS

     

    Ah, cheer up John, don’t act so sad

    Unemployment’s not so bad

    For what you lost, you never had

    So, farewell Johnny Miner

     

    CHORUS

     

    CHORUS

    And farewell Butte, Finn Town, too

    Dublin Gulch, the same to you

    Walkerville, we’ll bid adieu

    And farewell, Johnny Miner

  • 03:04 Story
    Rick O'Shay Reel
  • 03:30 Story Lyrics
    MacAlpine's Fusiliers

    MacAlpine’s Fusiliers  

     

    As down the glen came McAlpine's men

    With their shovels slung behind them

    'Twas in the pub they drank the sub

    And up in the spike you'll find them

     

    They sweated blood and they washed down mud

    With pints and quarts of beer

    And now we're on the road again

    With McAlpine's fusiliers

     

    I stripped to the skin with Darky Finn

    Way down upon the Isle of Grain

    With the Horseface O’Toole then I knew the rule

    No money if you stop for rain

     

    McAlpine's God was a well filled hod

    Your shoulders cut to bits and seared

    And woe to he who to looks for tea

    With McAlpine's fusiliers

     

    I remember the day that the Bear O'Shea

    Fell into a concrete stairs

    What the Horseface said, when he saw him dead

    Well, it wasn't what the rich call prayers

     

    I'm a navvy short was the one retort

    That reached unto my ears

    When the going is rough, well you must be tough

    With McAlpine's fusiliers

     

    I've worked till the sweat has had me bet

    With Russian, Czech and Pole

    On shuddering jams up in the hydro dams

    Or underneath the Thames in a hole

     

    I grabbed it hard and I've got me cards

    And many a ganger's fist across me ears

    If you value your life, then don't join by Christ

    With McAlpine's fusiliers

  • 05:01 Story Lyrics
    The Copper Road

    The Copper Road 

     

     

    Copper pennies in a drawer gathered from a barroom floor

    Got to pay the company store the tally that is owed

     

    Little houses in a line situated by design

    Just below the copper mine on the Copper Road

     

    CHORUS

    Everyday plays out the same

    Just a pawn in a rich man’s game

    Still you remain

    To carry the load

    On the Copper Road

     

     

    Papa’s walkin’ down the hill lunch bucket in his hand to fill

    Another work day at the mill, another episode.

     

    Copper dust in his eyes, copper smoke billows in the skies

    A miner’s life holds no surprise on the Copper Road

     

    Chorus

     

    Sister, sister can you sing? There goes another Copper King.

    Who shall wear the royal ring and the royal robe?

     

    The Copper Queen in a satin sark will go dancing in the dark

    Through the gardens in the park down the Copper Road.

     

    Chorus

     

    A mile high and a mile deep, the Granite Mountain is rough and steep

    But you have promises to keep so your back is bent and bowed.

     

    On your knees ten hours a day muckin’ out the copper clay

    Just three dollars is your pay on the Copper Road.

     

    Chorus

     

    The whistle of the copper train echoes through the gallows frame

    Brother, shout the last refrain of the miners’ code.

     

    Let the shadows be your guide. Can you hear them as they stride?

    The ghosts of miners side by side, marching down the Copper Road.

  • 02:52 Story
    Kerry Rose Hornpipe
  • 04:26 Story Lyrics
    Sarah Daly / The Copper King's Daughter

    Sarah Daly 

     

    O’Brien was a Cavan man, Magee from County Clare

    And never in the union breathed such a motley pair.

    They worked deep in the Neversweat, dug copper for their pay

    Ate hardrock dust for dinner and scorned the light of day-day, scorned the light of day

     

    Now, there lived a fair young maiden at the bottom of the mine

    Her name was Sarah Daly and the boys thought her so fine.

    Her eyes were of the deepest brown with lashes long and fair

    Her legs were long and slender and chestnut was her hair-hair and chestnut was her hair

     

    CHORUS

    Jack straw knack-a-daw, it’s down into the mine

    Once more for Sarah Daly where the sun don’t ever shine

    Once more for Sarah Daly where the sun don't ever shine

     

    O’Brien wooed the sweet, young lass with tasty sugar lumps

    Magee would often pass her by and pinch her on the rump.

    The miners sure were smitten with this beautiful colleen

    And tied silk ribbons in her hair, red, yellow, blue, and green-green-red, yellow, blue, and green

     

    One day, there was a fire, 900 feet below

    “Get out,” the foreman shouted and up the men did go.

    There were but two that stayed behind, midst timbers and debris

    “We’ve got to get our Sarah out,” cried O’Brien and Magee-Magee, cried O’Brien and Magee

     

    CHORUS

     

    At the bottom of the head frame, the miners scrambled free

    They hollered out but found no sign of O’Brien and Magee

    Through smoke so thick and sooty, they searched the crowd in vain

    “They’re lost, they’re lost,” the foreman cried,

    “We’ll not see them again-again, we’ll not see them again.”

     

    Now,the fellows all concluded sure as the sun above

    Magee and Paddy O’Brien were victims of their love

    But when the dust had settled, stood a pair of Irish fools

    O’Brien and Magee with arms wrapped ‘round a ribboned mule-mule, wrapped ‘round a ribboned mule

     

    CHORUS

    Jack straw knack-a-daw, it’s down into the mine

    Once more for Sarah Daly where the sun don’t ever shine

    Once more for Sarah Daly where the sun don't ever shine

  • 05:23 Story Lyrics
    The River & the Road

    The River & the Road 

     

    When the moon is smiling in the sky

    When wild geese take to flight

    Winging o’er the snow below

    And southward out of sight

     

    I sit beside my own hearth’s fire

    And gaze into the flame

    The embers fall and I recall

    When first you spoke my name

    When first you spoke my name 

     

    Chorus:

     

    River and road, 

    River and road

    Together, we’ve wandered

    The river and the road

     

    When the frost was on the cottonwood

    And the leaves were amber hue

    I saw you sitting all alone

    I saw and then I knew

     

    That you and I, this road would walk

    No matter what the cost

    The river always seemed to show

    The way when we were lost

    The way when we were lost

     

     

    Chorus:

     

    River and road, 

    River and road

    Together, we’ve wandered

    The river and the road

     

    River and road, 

    River and road

    Together, we’ve wandered

    The river and the road

  • 04:38 Story
    Dispute at the Crossroads / Maids of Mt. Cisco / The Scholar
  • 03:05 Story Lyrics
    Early Morning Shift Change at the Mine Circa 1930 / The Orphan Girl

    The Orphan Girl 

     

    In the darkness, we arrive to greet the Orphan Girl

    Every morning before five where the headframes whirl

    As we drop into the black for our children and our wives

    We hear the cage bells ringing for the Orphan Girl

     

    Now, daylight’s but a dream for the Orphan Girl

    We are following the gleam of the silvers’ swirl

    Set the charges, light the fuse and blast another seam

    To keep the hammers swinging in the Orphan Girl

     

    We toil around the clock with the Orphan Girl

    We are bustin’ up the rock that we heave and hurl

    Then we push it down the track and to the loading dock

    To keep the smelter singing o’er the Orphan Girl

     

    They come from all around to meet the Orphan Girl

    To the chippy hoist, they’re bound down the shaft they’ll twirl

    Where the air is always cool and the timbers stout and sound

    And another heart is clinging to the Orphan Girl

     

    If there’s a mine for us, it’s the Orphan Girl

    Where the rattle and the fuss of the steam drill’s skirl

    Takes us deeper down the hole, closer to the Devil’s dust

    For the bounty we’ll be bringing from the Orphan Girl

     

    In the darkness, we arrive to greet the Orphan Girl

    Every morning before five where the headframes whirl

    As we drop into the black for our children and our wives

    We hear the cage bells ringing for the Orphan Girl

     

    As we drop into the black for our children and our wives

    We hear the cage bells ringing for the Orphan Girl

  • 01:10 Story
    Drop Yer Diggers
  • 03:04 Story Lyrics
    Leave Her Johnny (Live)

    Leave Her, Johnny     

     

    And I thought I heard the Old Man say

    Leave her Johnny, leave Her

    It’s a long, hard pull to the next pay day

    And it’s time for us to leave her

     

    CHORUS

    Leave her Johnny, leave her.  

    Oh, leave her Johnny, leave her

    Oh, the voyage is done and the winds won’t blow

    And it’s time for us to leaver her

     

    Oh, the skipper was bad but the mate was worse

    Leave her, Johnny, leave her

    He’d blow you down with a spike and a curse

    And it’s time for us to leave her

     

    CHORUS

     

    Oh, it’s pull you lubbers or you’ll get no pay

    Leave her, Johnny, leave her

    Oh, pull you lubbers and then belay

    And it’s time for us to leave her

     

    CHORUS

     

    And I thought I heard the Old Man say

    Leave her Johnny, leave Her

    It’s a long, hard pull to the next pay day

    And it’s time for us to leave he

     

    CHORUS

    Leave her Johnny, leave her.  

    Oh, leave her Johnny, leave her

    Oh, the voyage is done and the winds won’t blow

    And it’s time for us to leaver her

NOTES
Dublin Gulch has finally reached the quarter century mark and is still going strong. For the past twenty-five years, Butte native son, Tom Powers has led the group with his vocal prowess and encyclopedic knowledge of songs. Mick Cavanaugh, aka The Tin Whistle Wonder of Walkerville, is a triple threat on banjo, mandolin, and guitar. He also adds his vocals to the mix. Jim Schulz claims he has at least one drop of Irish whiskey …
Read more

Dirty Old Town

by Dublin Gulch

Released 2009
Released 2009
From Butte, America comes a mountain fresh blast of reels, jigs, polkas, and songs; think Dubliners but different. These lads can rock and bake a mean pasty ta boot!
NOTES
"Don't bother to tarry in America, go straight to Butte," was the call of many an Irish hardrock miner to his relatives back in Ireland.

Most of Butte's Irish came from West Ireland, predominately County Cork, but thousands immigrated from Co. Mayo and Donegal as well. David Emmons, author of The Butte Irish, writes that by 1900, Butte had 12,000 residents of Irish descent in a population of 47,635. A quarter of the population was Irish, a higher …
Read more