The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55345   Message #4114654
Posted By: Charley Noble
28-Jul-21 - 03:50 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Spanish Lady
Subject: RE: Origins: Spanish Lady
In Maine a Civil War major John Mead Gould composed a ditty inspired by Spanish Lady/Dublin City which celebrates a lady who ran a grog shop/brothel on the Portland waterfront in the 1860s. She called herself Kitty Kentuck but her legal name was Margaret Landrigan (1810 to 1866).

I only have access to a portion of the ditty. The bawdy verses may still be out there somewhere:

New words by Civil War Major John Mead Gould, circa 1863
Tune: traditional “Spanish Lady/Dublin City”
A bit of rewording by Charlie Ipcar, 7/28/21

Kitty Kentuck

If you goes down to Portland City
At the hour of twelve at night,
There you’ll see my charming Kitty,
Washin’ her feet by candlelight.


Kitty, won’t you larrow, laddy,
Kitty, won’t you larrow-lee;
Kitty don’t be lazy or I’ll go crazy,
Come to the railway and have a spree.

I went down to Kitty Kentuck’s,
I gets my whack* three times a day;
Lay my digbats** on the table
Four and six the bummers pay. (CHO)

Four and six for a pound of ‘bacca;
Two and six for a pound of tea;
How can we poor railroad racks***,
E’r come to the bush and have a spree? (CHO)

* Whack is sailor slang for ration of rum
** Dingbats is also 19th century slang for money
*** Racks may be slang for workers similar to referring to them as "stiffs"

Charlie Ipcar