Railroad To Hell

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note 1] “go to the Tap”:- go to a place where beer is sold [OED]

[note 2] “parlours and snugs” :– rooms in a public house.

[note 3] “quacks of all sorts for to heal your complaints”:-

[note 4] “blue devils”:- A characteristic hallucination supposedly experienced by a drunken person [OED] a symptom of alcoholic poisoning.

[note 5] “his badgers and bums”- To badger someone is to ply with repeated requests for something [OED] in this case money. John Jamieson’s Supplement to the Etymological dictionary of the Scottish language 1825 defines bum as a lazy, dirty, tawdry, careless woman” [OED]

[note 6] “Her topnots (sic) and feathers have gone to the pop”:- topknot = bow or ribbon worn on top of the head [OED], feathers also probably means feathers worn as a headdress but possibly means a feather boa.

[note 7] “gone to the shades”:- gone to the “the darkness of the nether world; the abode of the dead” [OED],

[note 8] “Pop-ticket women and Wags”:- Pop-ticket pawn ticket. Wag a mischievous boy in wider application a youth, young man,

[note 9] “hanging in jags”:- hanging in shreds

[note10] “sign of three balls”:- pawn brokers shop.

[note 11] “old dresses and brats”:- A cloth used as an over-garment, esp. of a coarse or makeshift character. The OED says that the word is of Celtic origin and was used in Northumbria.

[note 12] ”as you may have seen Pat’s”:- Meaning not known.

See Variant set vs015~Railroad to Hell for further discussion of this song.


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