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Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be

DigiTrad:
SEVEN OLD LADIES


Related threads:
(DTStudy) DTStudy: Seven Old Ladies (31)
Lyr Req: Old Ladies Nattering Happily (10)
Lyr Req: Ladies in the Lavatory... (52)
BS: Oh Dear What can the Matter Be? (6)
Lyr Req: Women in the bathroom (5)


anne@cbc.topnz.ac.nz 15 Oct 96 - 06:10 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 96 - 06:48 PM
KickyC@aol.com 17 Oct 96 - 12:06 AM
lhorstka@osf1.gmu.edu 23 Oct 96 - 08:35 PM
Kevin 24 Jan 97 - 03:20 PM
Les Blank blank@wt.net 24 Jan 97 - 08:31 PM
Les Blank (again) 24 Jan 97 - 08:43 PM
dick greenhaus 24 Jan 97 - 09:09 PM
raredance@aol.com 24 Jan 97 - 09:17 PM
ah827@rgfn.epcc.edu (Gene Graham) 29 Jan 97 - 06:53 PM
Bobby O'Brien 29 Jan 97 - 10:07 PM
Susan of DT 30 Jan 97 - 09:39 AM
Jim Rosenkrans 11 Feb 97 - 01:02 AM
Bert Hansell 11 Feb 97 - 07:57 AM
lynn 15 Feb 97 - 04:38 PM
Nigel Parsons 13 Aug 03 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 13 Aug 03 - 01:53 PM
Herga Kitty 13 Aug 03 - 05:00 PM
Joe_F 13 Aug 03 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,Annegi 14 Aug 03 - 05:30 AM
MairSea 14 Aug 03 - 06:24 AM
Willie-O 14 Aug 03 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 03 - 11:15 AM
Tradsinger 09 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM
Susan of DT 09 Aug 05 - 10:00 PM
Peace 09 Aug 05 - 10:03 PM
R. Padgett 10 Aug 05 - 06:30 AM
Susanne (skw) 11 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM
Liz the Squeak 12 Aug 05 - 12:50 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 12 Aug 05 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,Can't say as. 26 Apr 06 - 10:52 AM
Mo the caller 26 Apr 06 - 11:08 AM
Leadfingers 26 Apr 06 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,crybaby 21 Jul 06 - 11:28 AM
GUEST 21 Jul 06 - 03:37 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Jul 06 - 03:55 PM
Barbara 21 Jul 06 - 04:09 PM
Bryn Pugh 13 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM
Bryn Pugh 13 Aug 08 - 08:27 AM
Bryn Pugh 13 Aug 08 - 10:46 AM
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Subject: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: anne@cbc.topnz.ac.nz
Date: 15 Oct 96 - 06:10 PM

I am trying to find a song we used to sing as a kids. There are various parody versions around on the net ("old ladies got stuck in the lavatory" for example) but I can't find the original - about Johnny being late home from the fair.

If anyone has the words please e-mail me as well as posting - I can only check in here very occasionally

Thanks Anne anne@cbc.topnz.ac.nz


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 96 - 06:48 PM

Hi- I've only encountered two verses:

Oh, Dear, what can the matter be (3 times) Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons (3 times) To tie up my bonny brown hair.

dick greenhaus


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE
From: KickyC@aol.com
Date: 17 Oct 96 - 12:06 AM

I remember this song from when I was a girl, but
just a little differently.

Oh,dear, what can the matter be,
Dear, dear, what can the matter be,
Oh, dear, what can the matter be,
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me a basket of posies,
A garland of lillies a bouquet of roses.
He promised to bring me a bunch of blue ribbons,
To tie up my bonnie brown hair.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE
From: lhorstka@osf1.gmu.edu
Date: 23 Oct 96 - 08:35 PM

I'm a music major at George Mason in Fairfax and we sang that in our voice class:

Dear, dear, what can the matter be?(3x)
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised he'd buy me a basket of posies,
a garland of lilies a wreath of red roses,
he promised he'd bring me a bunch of blue ribbons,
to tie up my bonnie brown hair.

And it's oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Dear, dear, what can the matter be,
Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised he'd buy me a beautiful fairing,
a gay bit of lace that the lassies are wearing,
a little straw hat to set off the blue ribbons
that tie up my bonnie brown hair.

(repeat chorus)

laura horstkamp


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Kevin
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 03:20 PM

Does anyone remember a parody of this that went something like......

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?

Seven old ladies got stuck in the lavatory.

They've been there from Sunday to Saturday.......

Anyone know the rest?

Kevin


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Les Blank blank@wt.net
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 08:31 PM

The entire song can be heard on an old Vanguard recording called "Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads" by Oscar Brand. I have the album somewhere and will try to find it if you get no further help. Did you try the Web site concerning Hash Songs. The keeper of the site often corresponds with DT.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Les Blank (again)
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 08:43 PM

Kevin: Didn't have to seek out my copy. Try www.usa.net/~zippy/songtoc.html.

Happy humming !!!

Les


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 09:09 PM

Well, you could always look it up in the DT. Try a search on [old ladies] or lavatory.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: raredance@aol.com
Date: 24 Jan 97 - 09:17 PM

The seven old ladies were covered in some detail about tw weeks ago in the usenet group rec.music.folk. There were enough verses for about 15 old ladies. Look under "seven old ladies"

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE
From: ah827@rgfn.epcc.edu (Gene Graham)
Date: 29 Jan 97 - 06:53 PM

From Reader's Digest Boxset RDA-27

CHO: Oh! dear, what can the matter be?
Dear, dear, what can the matter be?
Oh, dear, what can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me
A fairing [souvenir from the fair] would please me
And then for a smile, oh, he vow'd he would tease me
He promis'd he'd bring me a bunch of blue ribbons
To tie up my bonny brown hair.

He promised to buy me a basket of posies
A garland of lilies, a garland of roses
A little straw hat to set off the blue ribbons
That tie up my bonny brown hair.

CHO:


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Bobby O'Brien
Date: 29 Jan 97 - 10:07 PM

This song was released on an album entitled "The Charm of Carmel Quinn" by Rego Irish Records, Garden City NY (516) 325-7800. (album catalogue #R-6000). It's the 12th (last) track on the album of truly lovely Irish songs sung only as Carmel can. You may also call me (518)842-5857.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Susan of DT
Date: 30 Jan 97 - 09:39 AM

I remember part of another parody:

Oh dear, what can the matter be Mommy and Daddy haven't spoken since Saturday...

Can anyone help?


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEVEN OLD LADIES
From: Jim Rosenkrans
Date: 11 Feb 97 - 01:02 AM

I first heard the song 50 years ago or more, so long ago I have no recollection whatsoever about the original verses. I heard the following parody from Kevin James, a well-known Washington, DC metro area folk singer:

REFRAIN:
Oh dear, what can the matter be
Seven old ladies locked in the lavatory
They were there from Sunday till Saturday
Nobody knew they were there

The first old lady was old Mrs. Flynn
She prided herself on being quite thin
But when she sat down the poor dear fell in
Nobody knew she was there

The second old lady was old Mrs. Humphrey
She twisted and turned until she got comfy
But when she was through she could not get her bum free
Nobody knew she was there

The third old lady was old Mrs. Hart
Every two minutes to the toilet she'd dart
But when she got there all she did was read
Nobody knew she was there

The fourth old lady was old Mrs. Moore
She was drunk as skunk when she came through the door
The seats were all full so she peed on the floor
Nobody knew she was there

The fifth old lady was old Mrs. Brewster
She don't get around like she uster'
When she sat down she said somebody goosed her
Nobody knew I was there

The sixth old lady was old Mrs. Bender
When she sat down she snapped a suspender
It hit her in the feminine gender
Nobody knew she was there

The seventh old lady was old Mrs. Mason
She came in and peed in the basin
That's the water I washed my face in
Nobody knew I was there


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Bert Hansell
Date: 11 Feb 97 - 07:57 AM

There were only Three Dear Old Ladies when I first heard it.

Thanks for the other four.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: lynn
Date: 15 Feb 97 - 04:38 PM

He promised to buy me a beautiful fairing
A gay bit of lace that the girls are all wearing
He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons
To tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Or

He promised to buy me a fairing should please me
And then for a kiss, oh he vowed he would tease me
He promised to buy me a bunch of blue ribbons
To tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Or

Oh dear, what can the matter be,
Four old ladies locked in the lavatory,
They were there from Monday to Saturday,
Nobody knew they were there!

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 10-Aug-02.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 12:53 PM

Subject raised again in a recent quiz, and someone asked "Why was Johnny so long at the fair?"
It seems the song fails to answer the question.
Is Johnny being unfaithful?
Has he had an accident & not returned?

If he was unfaithful, is he a forerunner of that other 'Johnny' mentioned in "It's my Party" "Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone...."

I think these questions need answering!

CHEERS
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 01:53 PM

"O, dear what can the matter be", 'A Favourite Duet', single sheet
song with music, c 1792. Also in the Mansfield/St. Clair MS slightly
earlier and #494 in 'The Scots Musical Museum', V, 1796.


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 05:00 PM

The version I heard, many years ago was:

Oh dear what can the matter be
Trouble is brewing way down in Battersea
29 coppers were laid out on Saturday
Down at the Suicide Arms

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Joe_F
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 07:04 PM

Round about 1963, at Caltech, one of the freshman sections had a version of this (21 freshmen all locked in a lab'rat'ry) inspired by the agonies of the chemistry laboratory course. Each stanza was a squib about one of the students, with a rhyme for his name & an apposite taunt:

The next poor freshman was Uncle John ---------.
It's been seven months and a week since he's been home.
His girl's been out with all his buddies and then some,
And nobody gives a shit.

I suppose it is long forgotten, but it was a real folksong by the strictest standards.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST,Annegi
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 05:30 AM

Billy Connolly had a version of this.
Oh dear what can the matter be
I'm feart tae go tae the lavat'ry
Ah've no been since three weeks last Saturday
Ah know who's hidin' doon there


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: MairSea
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 06:24 AM

Another version:

Oh dear what can the matter be?
Dear, dear what can the matter be?
Oh dear what can the matter be?
Women are wanting the vote.

A version from the turn or the 20th century! :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Willie-O
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 08:01 AM

Didja know that Natalie MacMaster recorded the tune Oh Dear... as part of a medley of jigs in G on her second album "Road to the Isle". Excellent set. Other tunes in the set are Mahone Bay, Peggy's, Fraser's (the latter in Gm making for a very cool modulation).

W-O


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 03 - 11:15 AM

Traditional versions lsited at #1279 in Steve Roud's folk song index.
The song's early popularity is evident from nearly 50 early copies of the tune noted on the EASMES website.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Tradsinger
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 07:15 PM

Can anyone provide the full text and author of "Down at the Suicide Arms"?

Gwilym


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Susan of DT
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 10:00 PM

It doesn't look like anyone else knew the "Mommy and Daddy haven't spoken since Saturday" version I asked about in 1997.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH DEAR WHAT CAN THE MATTER BE
From: Peace
Date: 09 Aug 05 - 10:03 PM

O dear, what can the matter be
And what can the matter be
O what can the matter be
Johnny bydes lang at the fair

He'll buy me a twopenny whistle
He'll buy me a threepenny fair
He'll buy me a Bunch o' Blue Ribbons
To tye up my bonny Brown Hair

O saw ye him coming
And saw ye him coming
O saw ye him coming
Hame frae the Newcastle fair

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to buy me
A trinket to please me
And then for a smile,
Oh, he vowed he would tease me
He promised to buy me
A bunch of blue ribbons
To tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised to bring me
A basket of posies
A garland of lilies,
A wreath of red rosies
A little straw hat to
Set off the blue ribbons
That tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.

He promised he'd buy me
A beautiful fairing,
A gay bit of lace that
the lassies are wearing,
To set off the hat that
Sets off the blue ribbons,
That tie up my bonnie brown hair.

Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Oh, dear! What can the matter be?
Johnny's so long at the fair.


It is more popularly known as "Johnny's so Long at the Fair".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: R. Padgett
Date: 10 Aug 05 - 06:30 AM

O dear what can the matter be
some silly beggar has moved us to Athersley
We,ve been up Athersley three weeks on Saturday
EEh how I wish we weren't here!


Use as a link into verses such as (diiferent tune)

Now my aunty Kitty she mad a rice pud
And when it were finished she said it were good
But she made it in't kettle and we could'nt get beggar art
So we all took it in turns sucking it art through the spart

Now my Uncle Jabeus was fond of a stunt__ (NO NO its very clean)!!

Now I went out walking with my Uncle Jim
Some naughty young children threw tomatoes at him___

I had a fiancee her name was Miss Brown____

There was tramp he was tattered and torn
He was eighting the grass on the front of ower lawn__

Any body heard these before? any more links author?
I do know the rest but by all means if you have others!

Heard Bernard Wrigley working on some similar recently

Ray


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 11 Aug 05 - 05:34 PM

Another song that uses this tune can be found in the thread Reprobate's lament


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:50 AM

RE: quantities of elderly females availing themselves of the facilities...

I knew a version of the 7 which had this as the first verse.

The first two were off to have tea with the vicar,
They went in together, they thought it'd be quicker,
The lavatory door was a bit of a sticker
And vicar had tea all alone.

I used to sing it whilst cleaning the toilet floor of the restaurant I worked in.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 12 Aug 05 - 12:06 PM

RE: Old Ladies etc.

Then there's a verse that goes:

The next was the Bishop of Chichester's daughter,
Who popped in to pass some superfluous water;
She pulled on the chain and the rising tide caught her,
And nobody knew she was there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST,Can't say as.
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 10:52 AM

The song if what I was told years ago is true originates from the days of the press gang in England, where young men were often "pressed" into service in the royal navy.
The favourite place for this to happen would be taverns in coastal towns, and on many occasions this would occur during fairs and markets as it gave the best recruiting chances.
The locals would mainly sit watching the door to give them a chance to escape should the press gang arrive, while the green country youngsters would enjoy too much ale and be off guard.

Hence Johnny probably either didn't come back from the fair at all or came back several years later...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Mo the caller
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 11:08 AM

Oh dear, what can the matter be
Answers to questions that were not asked yesterday
Ten long years of waiting there has to be
Funny how things come around


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Apr 06 - 11:12 AM

I used to know a Whitewashed version of the three old ladies
but can now only remember two verses !!

Oh Dear what can the matter be
Three old ladies nattering happily
They were at it from Monday to Saturday
And Nobody knew they were there.

The first ladies name was Old Mrs Humphrey
She sat down and made herself comfy
She revelled in scandal and she let her tongue free
While nobody knew she was there

The second old lady was Old Mrs Porter
Her favourite topic was stopping her daughter
From letting the wrong man lead her to the altar
While nobody knew she was there


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST,crybaby
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 11:28 AM

The next old lady was old Mrs. Draper
She reached around and there was no paper
All that was left was a bricklayer's scraper
And nobody knew she was there


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 03:37 PM

The next old lady, her name was Miss Carter,
And she was a most incredible farter,
From God Save the Queen to The Moonlight Sonata,
And nobody knew she was there

Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 03:55 PM

As a Mrs Draper can I point out that a) there is only the one P in the surname... and b) there is a copious supply of paper if you would care to look in the cupboard.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Jul 06 - 04:09 PM

The next to come in was Sylvia Perkins
She was terribly fond of sweet gherkins
She ate 63 and and she pickled her workin's
And nobody knew she was there.


Blessings
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 07:30 AM

The next lady's name was Elizabeth Twitt
Who only sat down for a minute to knit.
I bet you all thought I was going to say "Shit"
And nobody knew they were there.

The next lady's name was Elizabeth Tandy
Who'd take all her clothes off on one lager shandy.
The lads all agreed "She is cheap, but she's handy"
And nobody, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 08:27 AM

I know another verse about Elizabeth Draper, but out of respect for Liz the Squeak I's't not type it . . .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 13 Aug 08 - 10:46 AM

Scrawping the barrel, now -

The next lady's name was Elizabeth Slaughter
She only went in so that she could passs water ;
She thought she had queefed, but had birthed a fine daughter
And - well, you all know the rest.

I'll get me Barbour . . .


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