(from M. C. Dean. This version includes the two stanzas omitted in the printed songbook)
Note that this can also be sung to the tune Brian Miller uses for “The Day I Played Baseball”:
Oh, me name it is O’Shaughanesey, the truth I now will tell to ye,
I work upon the section and I am an Irishman;
But some brakemen came the other day and unto myself these words did say,
“O’Shaughanesey, you must away to go braking on the train.”
They took me out into the yard, they put in me hand a big time card,
They told me braking wasn’t hard, if I was only game.
They put on me a railroad cap, they said it belonged to Oliver Spratt,
Another dacent Irish chap that was working on the train.
They sent me out in Number Tin, ’twas then the troubles did begin,
An where in the divil they all came in it nearly racked me brain;
For one would send me for a pin, the other would fire me back again,
And they kept me running from end to end when I was braking on the train.
They sent me after some red “ile,” with the boys I had a terrible trial,
The boss said he was out of it, but told me to call again;
I axed him for the flat car key, ’twas then his eye he winked at me,
Saying, “I think your name is O’Shaughanesey that’s braking on the train.”
[We had a dale of switching to do in a yard, on meself it came most mighty hard,
And how in the divil it happened I’m sure I never can tell;
For they sent me to make a flying switch, meself and the box-car went in the ditch,
The conductor called me a son of a b— when I was braking on the train.]
They sent me out on the upper deck, I thought I’d surely break me neck,
I hung on the running board until both me hands were sore;
’Twas then I thought upon me sins, for I could hardly stand upon me pins,
Oh, God, forgive me if ever again I go braking on a train!
[The engine got stuck and the cars came back, and they sent me back to take the slack,
I hunted all around for it, but hunted all in vain.
The conductor he did loudly yell, “Set up that brake, damn your soul to hell,”
Oh, what a misfortune on me befell when I went braking on a train.]
My Sunday pants were minus a sate, I tore them out unloading freight,
And through a hole as big as New York my skin showed clear and clane;
The boys were laughing all the while, saying, “O’Shaughanesey, where did you get your style?”
My blood with madness fairly biled when I was braking on the train.