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Origins: Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old

DigiTrad:
A DANDY FOR NINETEEN YEARS OLD


Goose Gander 04 Mar 06 - 05:36 PM
Goose Gander 10 Mar 06 - 06:25 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Mar 06 - 06:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Mar 06 - 06:51 PM
Goose Gander 10 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM
Goose Gander 10 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM
MartinRyan 06 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM
GUEST,Elizabeth 07 Jun 11 - 11:28 AM
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Subject: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Goose Gander
Date: 04 Mar 06 - 05:36 PM

Does anyone know anything about this song?

It appears as Ninety Years Old in Voices From the Dust Bowl

Ninety Years Old
Wayne Dinwiddie
Visalia FSA Camp
8-14-41

As I was out walking down by the seashore
I spied a young lady she sure did look grand
Ribbons and laces, her hair shone like gold
She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old

Now when we were married I thought I would faint
She raked from her pale cheeks a full box of paint
When out on the carpet her glass eye did roll
She appeared to be eighty or ninety years old

I counted her fingers, I could only count three
She unscrewed her cork legs both at the knee
Took off her false wig, her bald knob it shone
I found I'd married an old lady 'bout ninety years old


Here's a more complete text posted at
bluegrasslyrics.com but no source is provided.

She Appeared To Be Eighteen Or Nineteen Years Old

As I was out walking down by the seashore
I met a fair maiden she sure did look grand
Her lace and her diamonds and her hair shone like gold
She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old

Her fingers they jingled like bells on a door
Her nose was turned up but not very much more
When we were married the wedding bells told
I have married a young lady just nineteen years old

When we were married and retired for our rest
My love changed for her why you can guess
For a box full of powders my love did unfold
She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old

She raked from her pale cheeks a box full of paint
When she took out her false teeth I thought I would faint
Out upon the carpet her glass eye did roll
She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old

She unsnapped her fingers I counted just three
Then she unscrewed both cork legs up to her knees
When she took off her false wig her old bald head told
I had married an old lady about ninety years old


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 06:25 PM

Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old

From the Max Hunter Folk Song Collection


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 06:45 PM

A very common plot device documented back as far as the 17th century, continually re-invented and still current so far as I know; both in song and narrative. Various forms have been discussed here before, I think; see also Steve Gardham's useful piece, reprinted from English Dance and Song, at Musical Traditions:

False Parts Theme


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 06:51 PM

Broadsides at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

News from Hide-park


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 07:53 PM

From the Bodleian Library, the closest I've found seems to be The Virgin, Only Nineteen Years Old printed by T. Pearson, Printer, 4 & 6, Chadderton Street, Oldham Road (Manchester), between 1850 and 1899.

A VIRGIN, ONLY NINETEEN YEARS OLD

As I was out walking one night near the Strand
I met a young damsel all hoop'd up so grand
She had feathers and finery, jewels and gold
And she said she was a virgin, yes a virgin only nineteen years old.

Her fingers were tapered, her neck like the swan
Her nose like a turnip, her voice not too strong
In three weeks we were married, and the wedding bells tolled.
That I married a virgin, yes a virgin, only nineteen years old.

The wedding party broke up, we retired to rest
But my hair stood upright when my bride she undressed
For a cart-load of padding my young bride did unfold
A thing very peculiar, very peculiar, for nineteen years old

First she took off her right foot, about a foot wide
Then she unscrew'd her left ear, and laid it aside
Then she pulled out her right eye, on the carpet it rolled
Thinks I, here's a virgin, what a virgin, only nineteen years old.

Next she unscrewed her left leg as far as the knee
Then pulled off her fingers, I counted just three
Then on her left shoulder, a large hump I did behold
So I said, there's a virgin only nineteen years old

When she wiped off her eyebrows I thought I should faint
And scrapped from her thin cheeks a cart-load of paint
When she pulled off her black wig, then her bald pate soon told
That she was an old virgin, an old virgin, more than nineteen years old.

When she pulled out her false teeth, jumped up in terror
For her nose and her chin very near stuck together
From the chamber I stepped, never more to behold
The virgin not nineteen, no not nineteen but ninety nine years old.

Now young man take a warning ere to church you go
Be sure your bride perfect, from top to the toe
Or you'll pay for your folly, and like me be sold
By some pach'd (?) up bit of stuff cruel old virgin
About ninety-nine years old.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old'
From: Goose Gander
Date: 10 Mar 06 - 11:24 PM

I didn't realize how much had already been posted about this type of song in the threads accompanying Old Maid and the Burglar in the DT. I tried searching under "eighteen or nineteen years old" but didn't think to just try "nineteen years old"! It looks like the band Danu also recorded the song


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Subject: RE: Origins: Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Jun 11 - 11:25 AM

This the Danu version (the earlier link seems ot have gone the way of all flesh)


As I roved out walking one evening last May
A charming young damsel I met on my way
She had jewellery and riches,
she had diamonds and gold
And she said she was a virgin,
only nineteen years old

I quickly fell in love with this beautiful dame
I asked where she came from, and she told me that same
In three weeks we were married,
and the church bells, they tolled
I was married to a virgin,
only nineteen years old

On awakening next morning,
I thought I would faint
When she scraped from her two cheeks a full pound of paint
And on her left shoulder a hump I behold
"Oh," sayd I, "You're a daisy, only nineteen years old?"

She pulled out her fingers 'til she left only three
She screwed off her right leg right over the knee
She pulled off her false wig,
her bald head I behold
Oh good God Almighty,
only nineteen years old

She pulled out her eyebrow which was black and sublime
She pulled out her false teeth which was only nine
She pulled out her glass eye,
on the carpet it rolled
Oh bad luck and damnation to your nineteen years old

Now all you young fellas,
when for marriage you go
Examine your true love from the top to the toe
And if you don't do that,
like me you'll be sold
To a damsel not nineteen, but a ninety year old


I've heard the great traveller singer, Tommy McCarthy sing this or a very similar version.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Eighteen or Nineteen Years Old
From: GUEST,Elizabeth
Date: 07 Jun 11 - 11:28 AM

I believe Danu got the song from "The Mount Callan Garland Songs from the Repertoire of Tom Lenihan" by Tom Lenihan


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