The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134031   Message #3046055
Posted By: Jim Carroll
04-Dec-10 - 04:08 AM
Thread Name: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
From the singing of John Maguire of Fermanagh.

It's in praise of John Magee who had auctioned out his wife,
She was such a damned old villain, she had plagued him all his life,
Ah! no ease nor contentment with her he could find;
How to get rid of her came into his mind.

Diddly-di-addle-dum, diddly-doodle-eedle-dum,
Di-ad-a doodle diddly-dum diddly-da.

When the chimley-sweeper's wife heard the auctioneer roar,
With a stone in her stocking she gave him a blow
He up with his crutch and he knocked this woman down
The sweep with the broom, came crack upon her crown.

The first that came up was a jolly roving tar,
And he on his way from the Indian war.
He waited till he heard the auctioneer roar
No matter what the bidding would be he'd bid a shilling more.

Oh a jobber from Killarney for the auction he did wait,
With his mouth wide open like a Newton-gate.
Oh! he took a look upon and he said that she would do
'She's a damn nice figure and well rigged too.'

Well the next that came up was a farmer riding by,
He bought this old woman aye at shillings twenty-five.
Now he being a widow and a friend of her own,
He stuck her up behind him and they both drove home.

It's now for to finish and end all my strife,
John Magee has got home but he hasn't got a wife.
'Well the devil run along with him,' the auctioneer did say;
And 'Amen', said the women, 'sure we'll all buy away.'

(From MacColl and Seeger's Singing Island – and The Greig Duncan Collection)

There lives a man in to this town,
An honest man and a weaver.
He had a wife and a scolding wife,
And he could not live beside her

He's done him doon to a ship's captain,
Says: "Buy ye any women?
I ha'e a fine Italian wench,
Just fitting for a seaman.

"It's fifty pounds I ask for her,
And not a penny lacking."
"Ye'll bring her doon to me this nicht
And ye'll receive your asking."

He's done him doon to his scolding wife,
"My sweetheart and my honey,
I've bargained wi' a ship's captain
For the lands o' brave Virginny.

"And a' that I do ask of thee,
Is to go to shipboard wi' me,
And a bottle o' good liquor strang,
I shall bestow upon thee."

He set his foot upon the deck,
"Come here to me, my honey."
He set his foot upon the pier,
"Goodnight, and joy be with ye."

When she did see that she was betrayed,
"My sweetheart and my honey,
Gin ye but tak' me back again,
I never shall offend thee."

"Fare you well, my scolding wife,
I wish you wind and weather,
And nine months sailing on the sea
Before ye find a harbour."

The captain's ca'd this man aside,
And paid him doon his money;
She got another husband there,
In the lands of brave Virginny.

It's a' that I do say to you,
Don't nag your husband, honey,
For fear they tak' the fifty pounds,
When they grow scant o' money.

Jim Carroll