Those Brown Eyes by the Tarriers

#97: Those Brown Eyes by the Tarriers

Peak Month: June 1957
10 weeks on Vancouver’s CKWX chart
Peak Position #1
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart “Those Brown Eyes
Lyrics: “Those Brown Eyes

The Tarriers formed from a collection of folk singers who performed regularly at Washington Square, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 4th Street in New York City during the mid-1950s. Since around the end of World War II, folksingers had been congregating on warm Sunday afternoons at the fountain in the center of the park. Tension and conflicts began to develop between the bohemian element and the remaining working-class residents of the neighborhood. The city government began showing an increasing hostility to the use of public facilities by the public. In 1947, the City of New York began requiring permits before public performances could be given in any city park. The Tarriers were Erik Darling, Bob Carey, Karl Karlton and Alan Arkin. Darling told Wayne Jancik in The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders. According to Darling, “Karl didn’t really mesh” and left the group before the remaining trio secured a contract with Glory Records in 1956, where the Tarriers scored two hits. The folk group got their name from the 1888 work song “Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill”. The title refers to Irish workers, drilling holes in rock to blast out railroad tunnels. A tarrier is someone who is known to tarry, to dawdle, to delay, to lag behind in their work. As such, choosing the name The Tarriers was a poke at the Protestant work ethic. Decades later a folk song chorus by Charlie King declared “Our life is more than our work, and our work is more than our job.”

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