The German Musicianer
I'm a poor married man and I'm near broken-hearted
My wife she has left me and she's gone away
We had a misfortune, so she and I parted
Now I'll tell you what happened to her the other day
Women are weak, they should mind their possessions
I think now with grief, mad me it will send
For she's gone away with a German Musicianer
Who goes about crying: Pianos to mend
cho: Fol-the-rol, fol-the-rol, fol-the-rol, laddie
All sorts of tunes and things he could play
There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle
And this to my wife the old German did say.
It happened one day this old German Musicianer
Came through our streets crying: "Pianos to mend"
My wife's piano being out of condition
Straightway the boy for the old German did send.
He knocked at the door and he said most politely
"I think, ma'am, it's here you are needing repairs
Please, ma'am, I've called to mend your piano."
"All right," said my wife: "Will you please walk upstairs."
She took him upstairs, showed him her piano
And with the old German seemed greatly amused,
And when he had seen it, he said to my Hannah,
I think, ma'am, your music's not very much used.
He touched it, he handled it, both over und under
Sharp as a needle, and light as a cork;
With all sorts of tools he pulled it asunder
And rattled away with his old tuning fork.
When I came home she told me the story
And said the old German had been there all day
He'd worked very hard to mend her piano
And do what she would he'd not taken her pay.
I thought it was strange when she told me the story
And said the old German was ever so kind
Would you ever believe that this old German sausage
Before going away left his trade-mark behind?
I swre and I tore at my darling wife Hannah
With grief and with rage I'm sure no one can tell
I told her to hop it and take her piano
And likewise to take the old German as well
So come all young married men, don't take too much spooning
For all women want is to handle your pelf
So if ever your wife's piano wants tuning
Just take my tip, boys, and tune her yourself.
From Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, Kennedy
Collected from Harry Cox, 1956