The Longest Song Wiki

A traditional song that can be found under the names of "Eliza Lee", "Margaret Evans", "Margot Evans", "Clear Away the Track", and "Let the Bulgine Run."

The song has been performed by countless folk singers.

Eliza Lee is the second track on Written in Salt, and has been performed by The Longest Johns both in a youtube video and several livestreams.

Factoids

This iteration of the song dates to the mid 19th century.

The song pays homage to the Margaret Evans, a packet ship on the London-New York shipping route, built by Westervelt & MacKay of New York and taken on as one of the ships of the Blue Star Line shipping company. The Margaret Evans was severely damaged in 1865 while at anchor in New York when the steamer Bridgeport collided with her. She was subsequently decommissioned.

Numerous other variations of the song pre-date the Margaret Evans version, under a variety of names.

A bullgine is commonly understood to have been slang for an engine, though most commonly used for trains, it was also used aboard steam ships. The use of "clear away the track" seems to suggest the chorus is borrowed from railway work songs.

A jaunting car: a two wheeled 'buggy' pulled by a horse, in this context could be another hold-over from railway terminology, though that is purely speculative.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns on Written in Salt, too many variations of the song exist to choose an "original."

Oh the finest ship that you will find is
(Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done?)
She's the Margaret Evans of the Blue Star Line
(Clear away the track and let the bullgine run!)

{Chorus}
To me hey rig-a-jig in a jaunting car
Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done
With 'liza Lee all on my knee
Clear away the track an' let the bullgine run

O, we're outward bound for the West Street Pier
(Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done?)
With Galway Shale and Liverpool beer
(Clear away the track and let the bullgine run!)

{Chorus}

And when we're out in New York Town
(Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done?)
We'll dance those Bowery girls around
(Clear away the track and let the bullgine run!)

{Chorus}

Oh! the Margaret Evans of the Blue Star Line
(Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done?)
She's never a day behind her time
(Clear away the track and let the bullgine run!)

{Chorus}

And when we're back in Liverpool town
(Ho-way, ho, are you 'most done?)
I'll stand ya's whiskeys all around (hey!)
(Clear away the track and let the bullgine run!)

{Chorus til Finish}