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Lyr Add: County Jail

Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 10 - 09:33 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: COUNTY JAIL
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 10 - 09:33 PM

"As sung by E. Dugan"

1. Good people, all give ear I pray.
And mark ye all to what I say;
To my misfortunes, great and small,
Come listen and I will tell you all;
I used to lead a glorious life,
Devoid of care, devoid of strife;
Could go to bed and fall asleep,
No ugly visions around me creep-
But oh! The toots and Cupid gods,
They nearly drove me ramping mad,
They piped into a railroad mail
And carried me off to the County Jail!

2. And when we got to the end of the route,
The turnkey turned my pockets out,
To see if I had got such stuff
As money, grub, tobacco, or snuff;
They took me in to try my size,
The color of hair, the color of eyes-
They measured me up from root to lip,
To see if I had but one top lip;
Then straightway to the yard did go
And ordered me a suit of clothes.
The kyds came out and did me hail;
"Another new cove for County Jail!"

3. Then one of them, with roughish leer,
Says, "My jolly old cove, what brought you here?"
What do you think brought me out?
What brought me here but your railroad route?
Then they gathered around me like so many fools,
And one talked about the rules,
That each new comer should sing a song,
Or tell a tale- God knows how long-
Or they'd break his wind and give him a whack,
Or they'd take him down to Black Jack,
From there they wollop him, tooth and nail,
With an old wet towel from County Jail!

4. As I walked out and strolled the yard,
Thinking my case was wondrous hard,
All at once I heard a din,
The deputy warden shouts "All in;"
Then lumbering down the yard we go,
Like beasts let out of a wild beast show-
Some caacked in mind, and some in wind,
And others with a crack behind;
Then one by one we march around the tub
To get our county allowance of grub,
Which blew our ribs out like a sail
With a skilly and whack from County Jail!

5. At five o'clock one of them said:
"It is nearly time to go to bed:"
The truth from him I found did creep,
For all turned in and went to sleep.
The turnkey bawled as stiff as starch:
"Right about face and then quick march!"
We did, and made such a rush
Like monkeys marching around a bush.
Such clanking of clogs, such shaking of knees,
Such crouking of bellys, and clanking of keys
Such damning beds as hard as a nail,
They'd starve a poor devil in County Jail!

6. At six next morning up we got,
Each man was called to clean his pot,
Then through the yard we did lurch,
All fell in line to go to church;
And there such dresses as met my view,
One arm was red, the other was blew-
One leg was yellow, the other was gray,
And then the parson began to pray.
He said that Elijah went up in a cloud
And Lazarus walked about in his shroud,
And that Jonah he lived inside of a whale,
A damned sight better than County Jail!

7. Service being over, we all got back,
And fell in line for skilly and whack;
We crushed like pigs all in a lump-
At nine each took his hand at pump,
At ten we raised a glorious mill,
And smathered each other with right good will!
At eleven we raised it and quit the house,
All fell in line for pans of skouse.
Then if there's a man, no matter how droll,
We pop him into Pomples hole,
Where whack and water-cocks his tail,
There's glorious times in County Jail!

H. De Marsan, publisher. 19th C.
American Memory.

Some interesting lines, but seems to me it could stand a bit of improving.

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Mudcat time: 16 July 1:04 PM EDT

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