It's the Jake's that Make the Job

About the Song

(1996) - I worked at Engine 6 (Fighting Sixes) from June, 1988 to June, 1998. In 1995 the building turned 100 years old, so we planned a birthday party. But in doing some research, we learned that the building was built in 1895 but the fire company wasn't established until 1896. So we waited until 1996 to celebrate the people, rather than the building. 

The turnout of workers and visitors was tremendous. Our wives, the neighbors, food donations, and storytelling by Deputy Burt Williams and Capt. Henry Judge, both of whom were in their 90's made the day complete. Our brand new "Quint" gave rides in the neighborhood to "kids" of all ages. At least 2,000 riders were counted. It was a great time.

Capt. Dave Janco asked me to write a song for the celebration. This is the song I sang that day. The building (as if alive) telling the tale of the men and machines - changes, experiences and history of the 100 years - in song. And it's true - it is the Jakes that make the job.

It's the Jake's that Make the Job Lyrics

Spoken: If these bricks and mortar were alive, if these old walls had ears.

If these doors could talk and this Firehouse walk It'd spread tales of courage throughout the years.

Chorus:

Cause it's the jakes that make the job. It's the Jake behind the wheel.

It's the Jake that rides beside 'em whose nerves are edged with steel.

It's the jakes that ride behind them when the truck rolls to a call.

The sirens blare and we say a prayer 'til they're home safe one and all.

Our doors have been up and down more times than Wall Street through the years.

The boiler boils, the brass pole shines, we hold our breath in fear.

'Till we hear the truck's muffler sound and we count the Jakes on board.

And sigh a sigh of relief my friends 'til it's out the door they've roared again.

Chorus:

It's the jakes that make the job. It's the Jake behind the wheel.

It's the Jake that rides beside 'em whose nerves are edged with steel.

It's the jakes that ride behind them when the truck rolls to a call.

The sirens blare and we say a prayer 'til they're home safe one and all.

'T's been times when truck and jakes return caked with snow and ice.

The coffees on smells good and strong to warm them, boy that's nice.

The talk about the trip they've made could really chill your blood.

Their main concern is people in storm or fire or flood.

Chorus:

It's the jakes that make the job. It's the Jake behind the wheel.

It's the Jake that rides beside 'em whose nerves are edged with steel.

It's the jakes that ride behind them when the truck rolls to a call.

The sirens blare and we say a prayer 'til they're home safe one and all.

We've seen the change from "hand tubs" to "steam and horse and hay".

To "the chemical" and "the combination" the finest of their day.

'Till "the motorized" retired the horse and forever changed the way.

We get to the fires but our hearts desire is still to save the day.

Instrumental.

We've gone from "the bucket brigade" to "buckets that'll reach the sky".

We'll never rest we'll stand the test and swear that none shall die.

From the ravages of smoke and fire if "these jakes could have their way"

We reaffirm our "Oath" to keep you safe and sound this day.

Chorus:

It's the jakes that make the job. It's the Jake behind the wheel.

It's the Jake that rides beside 'em whose nerves are edged with steel.

It's the jakes that ride behind them when the truck rolls to a call.

The sirens blare and we say a prayer 'til they're home safe one and all.

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