Historic Sheet Music Collection

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The Hold Up Rag

Lyrics by Edward Madden

Music by Egbert Van Alstyne

New York: Jerome H. Remick & Co. (1912)

Some of these resources may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials should be seen in the context of the time period and as a reflection of attitudes of the time. The items are part of the historical record, and do not represent the views of the library or the institution.


[Verse 1]

Mister engineer no look you here
There’s something wrong along the track, track, track, track;
See that flag of red, that man ahead,
Hear his pistol going crack, crack, crack, crack.
Hide your watch and chain he’ll rob the train
This is no time to boast or brag
For you’ve cert’nly got to hand it to the gentlemanly bandit
When he makes you do the
Hold up Rag.


Hands up!
Hands up!
Ev’ry body hands up when they do the
Hold up Rag.
Pardon me for giving you a shock,
Don’t you hide that diamond in you sock!
It’s a rock, it’s a rock, it’ll hock, Stop shaking!
Shell out! Shell out!
Don’t you dare to yell out!
Drop your little trinkets in the bag.
All aboard, clang! clang! toot! toot! bang! bang!
(Look out!)
It’s the Hold-up Rag.

[Verse 2]:

Mister engineer why linger here?
Go on ahead or get a hack, hack, hack, hack;
Don’t you stay behind, he’ll change his mind,
He’ll steal the train if he comes back, back, back, back.
See him going there he doesn’t care
He’s riding in a bony nag,
As he jingles ev’ry dollar you can hear him loudly holler
“Don’t forget to do the Hold up Rag.”



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.