"Section men a-workin' there all side by side." One of them, Mike, boasts of his work on the railroad. He works and fights hard. One day he works in the jimson, picks up a crosstie, is attacked by a snake, and flees


The chorus of this piece runs, "Damned be the President, My name's Mike, I got a hand in it, I drive the spike." I assume this refers to the famous "driving of the golden spike" (May 10, 1869 in Promontory, Utah), completing the first transcontinental railroad. This is only a guess, though. - RBW

Historical references

  • May 1869 - Transcontinental railroad complete


  1. Lomax-ABFS, p. 23, "Mike" (1 text)
  2. Roud #15523
  3. BI, LxA023


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1934
Keywords: work railroading animal
Found in: US