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The Charlie Maguire Songbook

Words and Chords to His Most Popular Songs


Words & Music by Charlie Maguire © 2001 Mello-Jamin Music. All rights reserved.

A day on the Mississippi River with pilot Will Ribbins led to this song about how tow boats, barges, and materials move on the river. The words "All Gone" in the refrain are river-rat slang for "Let's go!"

Play Sample (version from "Biography")


Tow boat, tow boat, where you been?
G                       D
Up the Mississippi and down again

When the deck hand pulls in the line
He waves his arms and that's the sign

C                       G         D
That we're all gone!  All gone!  All gone!
We're going to feed that diesel move on and on!

Additional verses:

Tied to the lock with "polly-d"
Tied to the barge so you can't get free
Tied to a schedule, no time to waste
Move that tow and deliver the freight (Chorus)

Filled with corn, and oats, and beans,
With double-hull for the gasoline
Riding up and down on the old "J-O"
So the pilot can see where the river flows (Chorus)

That tow boat turns the water white
That load don't move without a fight
Side by side, all in a line
Six, eight, ten, barges, at one time (Chorus)

Previous Songs: I Like It Here/O Cold and Misery * Darling * Fine Old Lady * The Teton Dam * The Hinkley Fire * L'Etoile Du Nord * Goodnight Baby * The B. C. Rail * Play Us a Waltz * Ozawindib * Long Way to Another Friend * Itasca: A Place of Beginnings * I'm From Minnesota * The Ballad of Augie Mattsen * The Strike Is On * Sam Smith * Mary Gibbs * The C.C.C. * Interstate of Broken Hearts * Fall Is Here * Rainfall Has Turned to Snow * Winter on the Farm * Getting in the Cows * Gypsy Woody * We'd Go To Town (And Go Dancing) * Talking Home Improvement

This month's song

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