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Jean Murray: Music

Cheechako Lil

(Vocals: Shirley Hughes and Bruce Hanson)
Words by "Tin Whistle" Jack: music taken from the 1902 Harry Von Tilzer song, "Down Where the Wirtzburger Flows."
This is really a song about three people of the Klondike and Fairbanks gold rushes. Lil was a "good time girl" who stopped by Ft. Gibbon at the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon Rivers before moving to Fairbanks in 1904. Curley Monroe was a trustworthy miner who judged wrong about gold in Fairbanks. George Noble was a local business man and sometime entertainer. Cheechako means "new comer." The Fairbanks area was first called "The Tanana," (district) after the river that flows along it southern edge. The song was collected from Frank Young who crossed the Chilkoot with his father in1898 when he was 7 years old.