The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #134031   Message #3046118
Posted By: GUEST,Fred McCormick Cookieless
04-Dec-10 - 06:51 AM
Thread Name: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
Subject: RE: does anyone know a wife-selling song?
I've just got to dash out, so I'll try and deal with this more fully when I get back.

The Ship Carpenter's Wife was also recorded from Eddie Butcher of Magilligan, Co. Derry by Hugh Shields and is in his book, Shamrock Rose & Thistle. Also, it's included in the Eddie Butcher LP, Shamrock, Rose and Thistle. The text below is basically Eddie's version, although doubtless somewhat modified by me.

The Ship Carpenter's Wife

Come all you young fellows, you flourishing folk
tis truly a fact I will surely invoke.
Tis truly a fact I will surely unfold,
Tis concerning a woman by auction was sold

A ship carpenter lived a few miles out of here.
He was little or rather too fond of the beer.
Being hard up for cash, tis a fact as my life
For ten shillings by auction he sold his own wife.

He called for the bellman announcing the sale
Up in the high market where he could not fail.
When the auctioneer came with his hammer so smart
While the carpenter's wife she stood up in the cart.

And now she's put up without grumble or frown
The first was a tailor, he bid half a crown.
He swore he would make her a lady so spruce.
He would fatten her well up on cabbage and goose.

The next was a cobbler, he gave a loud bawl
Nine shillings I'll bid for her, muscles and all.
I'm blowed, says a sailor, she's one in ten score.
But ten shillings I'll give you - and damned a screw more.

Oh thank you, oh thank you, says the bold auctioneer.
She's going, she's going, is there nobody here
To give any more, I'm afraid it's no job.
And she's going, she's going. She's away for ten bob.

Then with a loud rap he concluded the sale
And the sailor he paid down the cash on the nail.
Shook hands with his Bessy and gave her a smack.
And straight straddle legs he did jump on her back.

They called for a fiddler and fife for to play.
They sang and they danced there until it was day.
Then Jack with his Bessy to their hammock did go
While the fiddler and fifer played Rosin the how.

Now Bessy is happy at home in the croft.
Jack boxes the compass and goes up aloft.
In all kinds of danger he ventures his life
And he sings as he thinks of his ten shilling wife.
And long may they prosper and venture through life.
The young sailor who bought the ship carpenter's wife.