Friday, March 20, 2020

I used to work in Dolores, In a hardware store


By Rob Carrigan, robcarrigan1@gmail.com

"I Used to Work in Chicago" is a drinking song. I have adapted it to fit my own circumstances, and 'regionalized' for my own narrative. It follows below.
Years ago, my good friend Jeff used to "bring up the house" with his guitar and this little ditty in the oldest bar in Fort Collins, when it was still a 3.2 beer only place.
The song was written by songwriter and entertainer Larry Vincent. The earliest printed date for the song is March 1945 in the underground mimeographed songbook Songs of the Century, however versions of the song circulated "on the street" as early as 1938 according to the Digital Tradition Folk Music Database. Many of the lyrics are considered humorous because of the oblique sexual references. The song is often chanted by various British university sports teams, often Rugby teams.
After World War II, there were various versions of this song commercially recorded (e.g. by Spike Jones).

  • A variation of this song is also occasionally performed by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam during their live performances with the final lines, "Liquor she wanted / Lick her I did / I don't work there anymore."
  • The same (Liquor/Lick her) version is also sung by Dusty and Lefty, played by Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly, in the film A Prairie Home Companion.
  • One verse sung by Charles Durning in the movie Jerry and Tom. "A woman came in for a house dress. I asked her what kind she wore. 'Jumper,' she said. Jump her I did and I don't work there anymore."
From USED TO WORK IN CHICAGO
(Traditional)
Three Bits Of Rhythm - 1946
Also recorded by: Merle Travis; Oscar Brand;
Rick Bedrosian; Sammy Kaye & His Orch. 
Adapted by Rob Carrigan, for regional emphasis.
 
 We used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
We worked in the candy department
We did, but we don't anymore
A lady came in for some candy
"And what will you have?" we said
"Kisses" she said, and kisses she got
We'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN: And then we got fired

I used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store (You did?)
I worked in the hat dept
I did, but I don't anymore (What happened?)
A lady came in for a hat one day
"What'll you have?" I said (What'd she say?)
"Felt," she said, and felt 'er I did
I'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN:
1st Voice: That was my Wife!
2nd Voice: She's all right
1st Voice: I'm not talkin' to you
2nd Voice: I'm not askin' you
1st Voice: Ooh!

I used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
I worked in the glove department
I did, but I don't anymore
A lady came in for some gloves one day
"And what will you have?" I said (What she say?)
"Rubber" she said, and rub 'er I did
I'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN:
1st Voice: I love my work
2nd Voice: I bet you do

I used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
I worked in the shoe department
I did, but I don't anymore
A lady came in for some shoes one day
"What kind would you like?" I said
"Boot" she said, and boot 'er I did
I'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN:
1st Voice: You get a kick out the work, don't you?
2nd Voice: Well, you see, that was my mother-in-law

I used to work in Dolores
In a department store
I worked in the stockings department
I did, but I don't anymore
A lady came in for some stockings
"And what'll you have?" I said
"Hose" she said, and hose she got
I'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN:
1st Voice: You're fired!
2nd Voice: You can't fire him, he means Nylons
1st Voice: Ooh!

I used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
I worked in the bakery department
I did, but I don't anymore (Make any dough, Joe?)
A lady came in for some bakeries
"And what will you have?" I said
"A layer" she said, a layer she got
I'll never work there anymore

SPOKEN: I love my work

I used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
I worked in the poultry department
I did, but I don't anymore
A lady came in for some poultry one day
"And what will you have?" I said
"A goose" she said, and a goose she got
I'll never work there anymore

We used to work in Dolores
In a hardware store
We worked in the meat department
We did, but we don't anymore
A lady came in for some meat one day
"And what will you have?" we said
"Baloney", she said, and wieners she got
We'll never work there anymore
 
Photo Information;
Hollywood gathering years ago. Photos courtesy of Scott Weinmaster.
 
 

1 comment:

rgain said...

funny one! Reminds me a bit of "Have Some Madeira M'Dear.