American Old Time Song Lyrics: 31 The Ragged Coat

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 31

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Oh! what a world of flummery, there's nothing but deceit in it.
So you will find through life, e'er as you travel on.
Old and young, rich and poor, every one you meet in it,
'Tis the same, I will maintain, and prove it In my song;
When I was poor I found that friends seldom e'er did heed me,
'Till a rich one died and left me cash, which set me all afloat,
So then I had money, but I kept it quite a secret.
And to fathom out deception I put on a ragged coat.

I thought my friends I would try, as I had so many;
At least so they professed to be at Brooklyn, Mr. Ford;
And as a trip by steamboat would be as cheap as any,
I went down to the ferryboat and quickly stepped on board,
When I heard a silly puppy say, though lowly he did breathe it,
'Tis a shame to let a ragged man on board of a steamboat;
Says I, you spooney rascal, there's a good heart beats beneath it,
Don't despise a man because he wears a ragged coat.

My journey being ended, I placed my foot on shore, sirs,
Glad enough I was of such a crew to get relief;
I went to the house and knocked at the door, sirs,
The people all kept eyeing me as though I was a thief.
The door was banged against my face with many a snarl, sirs.
When I shouted loud, "Good Master Ford, I come to pay a note,"
I beg your pardon, sir, said he, come step into the parlor,
We thought you were a-begging when we saw your ragged coat.

A chair was quickly placed for me, and down I sat instanter,
You've come from town, you must be tired, pray stop here and dine;
Jane, bring the glasses, likewise the decanters,
I think you will find that is most excellent port wine.
Your wine you may keep, though I got this ragged dress on,
I tell you what! I changed my mind, I mean to keep my note
And put it to a better use, so let this be a warning.
Don't despise a man because he wears a ragged coat.

Next I went a-courting the brisk young Widow Moore, sir,
I went to the house, and boldly I proposed;
My suit I pressed, but she exclaimed, pray show this knave the door, sir,
At the sight of my appearance she soon turned up her nose.
But when I showed my bag of gold, she fain would be a talker,
At the sight of all my money, she quickly changed her note;
Says I, I'm off, dear madam, 'tis time my name was Walker,
Don't despise a man because he wears a ragged coat.

Never trust to appearances, they often will deceive you,
'Tis not the gaudy peacock turns most faithful bird,
'Tis not your wealthy relatives stand forward to relieve you.
Trust not those who raise their nose, the thought is quite absurd;
But when of those deceitful friends this country has a clearance,
Down life's tide there's many a bark once more will proudly float;
So mark my moral well, don't trust to one's appearance.
For there's many an honest heart beats beneath a ragged coat.
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