Popular Music Of The Olden Time Vol 1

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She never lins her bawling,
Her tongue it is so loud, But always she'll be railing,
And will not be controll'd: For she the breeches still will wear,
Although it breeds my strife; If I were now a bachelor,
I'd never have a wife.
Sometimes I go in the morning
About my daily work, My wife she will be snorting,
And in her bed she'll lurk, Until the chimes do go at eight,
Then she'll begin to wake, Her morning's draught well spiced straight
To clear her eyes she'll take.
As soon as she is out of bed,
Her looking-glass she takes, (So vainly is she daily led),
Her morning's work she makes In putting on her brave attire,
That fine and costly be; While I work hard in dirt and mire :
Alack what remedy?
Then she goes forth a gossiping
Amongst her own comrades; And then she falls a boosing
With all her merry blades; When I come from my labour hard,
Then she'll begin to scold, And call me rogue without regard ;
Which makes my heart full cold. ,
When I, for quiet's sake, desire
My wife for to be still, She will not grant what I require,
But swears she'll have her will; Then if I chance to heave my hand,
Straightway she'll murder cry ; Then judge all men that here do stand,
In what a case am I.
And if a friend by chance me call
To drink a pot of beer, Then she'll begin to curse and brawl,
And fight, and scratch, and tear; And swears unto my work she'll send
Me straight without delay;' Or else with the same cudgel's end,
She will me soundly pay.
Then is not this a piteous cause,
Let all men now it try, And give their verdicts, by the laws,
Between my wife and I; And judge the cause, who is to blame,
I'll to their judgment stand, And be contented with the same,
And put thereto my hand.
If I abroad go anywhere,
My business for to do, Then will my wife anon be there
For to increase my woe ; Straightway she such a noise will make
With her most wicked tongue, That all her mates, her part to take,
About me soon will throng.
Thus am I now tormented still
With my most wretched wife; All through her wicked tongue so ill,
I am weary of my life : I know not truly what to do,
Nor how myself to mend, This lingering life doth breed my woe,
I would 'twere at an end.
O that some harmless honest man,
Whom death did so befriend, To take his wife from oiFhis hand,
His sorrows for to end, Would change with me to rid my care,
And take my wife alive, For his dead wife, unto his share !
Then I would hope to thrive.
In Fletcher's play, The Knight of Malta, act ill., sc. 1, there is a " Song by the Watch," commencing thus:
" Sit, soldiers, sit and sing, the round is clear, And cock-a-loodle-loo tells us the day is near; Each toss his can until his throat be mellow, Drink, laugh, and sing Tlie soldier has no fellow." The last line is repeated in three out of the four verses or parts, and I suppose The soldier has nofelloio to have been then a well-known song.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III