The Shrew Wife

Kind folks, if you’ll listen a story I’ll tell,
It is of a misfortune that has me befell,
I married a jade and her name it is Nell,
And she’s all the time scolding and brawling.

Twenty pounds of a pension I draw every year,
Which caused her to drink both whiskey and beer,
Her voice like a cannon would sound in my ear,
Before the daylight in the morning.

To kindle the fire, that is me first job,
And if I don’t do it, it’s a slap in the gob,
A kick or a cuff or a rap on the nob,
I’m sure for to get from me darling.

Before I go to the barn I must lave the tay kettle to bile,
And when I come in I must nurse a young child,
I wish I’d been kilt on the banks of the Nile
Before I ever met me darling.

Without a sign of a shoe or a sock to me feet,
Me bed it is left without blanket or sheet,
I’m a show to the world when I go on the street,
While she to the neighbors is galivanting.

It is now my wife’s beauty I mean to disclose,
She’s dirty, she’s ragged, with a dam crooked nose,
She’s a disgrace to all women wherever she goes,
With her tatters and rags a-hanging.

She has hair on her lip like a wandering Jew,
Damn the tooth in her head that is sound, only two,
Not a stitch on her back, aither red, white or blue,
That ever was wet with a washing.

I have traveled through France, through England and Spain
All through the East Indies and back home again,
At Waterloo battles I suffered great pain,
But I never met with the likes of me darling.

Gordon, Robert Winslow, 1888-1961
Date Recorded: 
September, 1924
Track Duration (h:m:s): 
Original Medium: 
wax cylinder
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Call Number/Physical Location: 
AFS 19010A: G53 Misc 084

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