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Oil On The Brain, song lyrics

Song: Oil On The Brain
Lyrics: Joseph Eastburn Winner(1)

Music: Eastburn(1)
Year: 1865(2)
Genre: Comic Ballad
Country: USA

The Yankees boast that they make clocks
    Which "just beat all creation:"
They never made one could keep time
    With our great speculation.
Our stocks, like clocks, go with a spring,
    Wind up, run down again;
But all our strikes are sure to cause
    "Oil on the brain."

Stock's par, stock's up, Then on the wane;
Ev'rybody's trouble with "Oil on the brain."

There's various kinds of oil afloat,
    Cod liver, Castor, Sweet;
Which tend to make a sick man well,
    And set him on his feet.
But ours a curious feat performs;
    We just a well obtain,
And set the people crazy with
    "Oil on the brain."
This song was originally posted on

There's neighbor Smith, a poor young man,
    Who couldn't raise a dime;
Had clothes which boasted many rents,
    And took his "nip" on time.
But now he's clad in dandy style,
    Sports diamonds, kids and cane;
And his success was owing to
    "Oil on the brain."


Miss Simple drives her coach-and-four,
    And dresses in high style;
And Mister Shoddy courts her strong,
    Because her "Dad's struck ile."
Her jewels, laces, velvets, silks,
    Of which she is so vain,
Were bought by "Dad" the time he had
    "Oil on the brain."


You meet a friend upon the street:
    He greets you with a smile,
And tells you, in a hurried way,
    He's "just gone into ile."
He buttonholes you half an hour:
    Of course you can't complain,
For you can see the fellow has
    "Oil on the brain."
This song was originally posted on

The lawyers, doctors, hatters, clerks,
    Industrious and lazy,
Have put their money all in stocks,
    In fact, have gone "oil crazy."
They'd better stick to briefs and pills,
    Hot irons, ink and pen;
Or they will "kick the bucket" from
    "Oil on the brain."


Poor Mrs. Jones was taken ill:
    The doctors gave her up:
They lost the confidence they had
    In lance, leech and cup.
"Affliction sore long time she bore;
    Physicians were in vain;"*
And she at last expired of
    "Oil on the brain."


There's "Maple Shade," "Excelsior,"
    "Bull Creek," "Big Tank," "Dalzell,"
And "Keystone," "Star," "Venango," "Briggs,"
    "Organic" and "Farrell,"
"Petroleum," "Saint Nicholas,"
    "Corn Planter," "New Creek Vein."
Sure, 'tis no wonder many have
    "Oil on the brain."


*Must be a fact: author saw it in the "Ledger."(4)


1 - Joseph Eastburn Winner

2 - Publised by Lee & Walker, 722 Chestnut St., Philadelphia

3 - On the sheet music the top reads, "To the afflicted" before the title, "Oil on the Brain".

4 - This is only supposition, but as Joseph Winner lived in Philadelphia, the Ledger he mentions could be the Philadelphia Public Ledger.