Patrick Russell
Tom Russell Lyrics


My name is Patrick Russell, I've led a Christian life
I sit here in New Hampton, the year is 1910
Looking back from Iowa towards Mother Ireland.
I was born in Templemore in 1825
Recalled a happy boyhood until my mother died
Starvation crept across the land, America's our dream
Six cruel weeks on stormy seas aboard the ship Tyrene.
American primitive man, in an American primitive land
I washed my face in a frying pan, American primitive man.
At last we docked in old Quebec, the English offered farm and ground
But we'd lived too long under English rule, to United States we're bound
By train and then by cattle boat, aw the filth down in that hold
We landed in Milwalkee, trekked 200 miles or more
A sack of new potatoes was carried by each man
Four spades for cultivation we'd brought from Ireland
We worked at splitting railroad ties, bought one old milking cow
A quarter section uncleared land, two oxen and a plough
At night we heard the wolves howl on our newly purchased farm
And starving lads from the civil war took shelter in our barn.
The Larsens and the Cooneys, the Russells the Molloys
We tilled the soil of Iowa and grew a spate of girls and boys.
American primitive man, in an American primitive land
A whiskey still in an oatmeal can, American primitive man
I'm an American primitive man.

Contributed by Colin N. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
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