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Were You in Boston in 1919?
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The story of Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919. Back-up vocals by Laura Munzer. Fiddle by Gina Tlamsa.
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Steve Suffet
Steve Suffet
Folksinger's Fancy
Tue Aug 19, 2008
Acoustic : Folk
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» highest in charts:   # 44   (153,134 songs currently listed in Acoustic)
» highest in sub-genre:   # 3   (14,010 songs currently listed in Acoustic > Folk)
About the song
A huge storage tank burst on January 15, 1919, sending a 40-foot high wall of molasses crashing through the North End of Boston, killing 21 people and injuring 150. Some said the Germans did it. Others said it was the Russians or the anarchists. It was none of the above.
Lyrics
WERE YOU IN BOSTON IN 1919?
By Steve Suffet © 2008

Start on chorus:
Ah, were you in Boston in 1919?
Were you in old Boston town?
Molasses did flood like a brown wall of mud.
Were you in old Boston town?

They built a big tank at the foot of Copp's Hill.
Were you in old Boston town?
And up to the top that big tank they did fill.
Were you in old Boston town?

Four years had passed since they last took a peek.
Were you in old Boston town?
To see if that tank would dribble or leak.
Were you in old Boston town? [Repeat chorus.]

The foreman had told them, "Just fill it half way."
Were you in old Boston town?
He said the old tank would be safer that way.
Were you in old Boston town?

The owner said, "Fill it way up to the top."
Were you in old Boston town?
So the crew didn't stop 'til the rivets went "Pop!"
Were you in old Boston town? [Repeat chorus.]

The rivets went "Pop!" like the burp of a gun.
Were you in old Boston town?
And I thought once again I was facing the Hun.
Were you in old Boston town?

But it wasn't a German and it wasn't Red.
Were you in old Boston town?
And it wasn't a Russian left twenty-one dead.
Were you in old Boston town?

No, it wasn't a German and it wasn't a Red.
Were you in old Boston town?
Just the rich owner's greed that left twenty-one dead.
Were you in old Boston town? [Repeat chorus twice.]