American Old Time Song Lyrics: 23 Martha, The Milkmans Daughter
Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 23
Martha, the Milkman's Daughter.
The object that you now behold
Once loved a darling fairy,
In the shape of a blue-eyed, fair-haired girl.
Whose father kept a dairy.
Not far from the middle of the Harlem Road,
How well I knew it rather;
She lived with her daddy, a cross old buffer,
And my loved one's name was Martha.
Ah, I was once as happy as a young cock robin,
Or the pretty little fishes in the water;
Those days are gone, for now I mourn
For Martha, the milkman's daughter.
She served the milk in hap'orths and penn'orths,
From the bottom of a block-tin pail;
The only cow that her father kept
Was the one with an iron tail.
And that was kept in the little back yard,
Up against the white-washed wall,
It always yielded plenty of-
Well, I mustn't tell you all.
Spoken.-So excuse me.-Chorus.
When the old boy used to "walk his chalks,"
'Twas then I'd call on Martha;
I loved the very ground she trod,
But I'd strong objections to her father.
Unexpected he one day returned,
And upon me placed a check;
For he nearly shook me inside out,
And vowed he'd break my neck.
Then I used to wander near the house
In hopes my love to see;
She'd take a survey from the second floor front,
In hopes that she'd see me.
One day she threw a "billet doux,"
Which made my blood turn cold,
Her daddy demanded that she should wed
An old codger with lots of gold.
Spoken- The root of all evil.-Chorus.
In time the wedding day arrived,
When she was to be bound
To a rich old fool she couldn't love,
But the bride could not be found.
They searched the house and scoured the streets,
When at last they did discover
A note to say that she'd gone away,
To die for her true lover.
Spoken.-And that was me.-Chorus.
Next morning in the pure, bright Hudson,
Her lovely form was found,
With all her clothes in such a mess,
Her darling self she'd drowned.
From the horrible effects of sugar of lead
Her daddy died that night,
And the verdict the coroner's inquest found
Was- " It served the old fool right."
Spoken.-And so it did.-Chorus.
In the middle of the night I jump upright,
For I dream such dreams while sleeping;
That the ghost of Martha, dressed in white,
Comes to my bedside weeping.
Without that lovely sky-blue maid,
I ne'er can be a liver;
If I knew how to swim, or wasn't afraid,
I'd throw myself in the river.
Spoken.-Ah, that I would.-Chorus.