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Lyr Add: The Female Husband (from Bodleian)

pavane 01 Aug 01 - 05:28 AM
kendall 01 Aug 01 - 06:57 AM
pavane 01 Aug 01 - 07:20 AM
DaveJ 01 Aug 01 - 08:03 AM
pavane 01 Aug 01 - 08:39 AM
MMario 01 Aug 01 - 08:51 AM
katlaughing 01 Aug 01 - 10:02 AM
Mrrzy 01 Aug 01 - 10:32 AM
Grab 01 Aug 01 - 01:02 PM
Kim C 01 Aug 01 - 01:10 PM
Amos 01 Aug 01 - 01:16 PM
Wolfgang 01 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM
GeorgeH 01 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM
The Walrus 01 Aug 01 - 02:09 PM
pavane 02 Aug 01 - 05:21 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: The female husband
From: pavane
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 05:28 AM

With the news that Germany is to legalise Gay marriages, I thought this might be appropriate:
The Female Husband


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: kendall
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 06:57 AM

couldn't read that page. anyway, Change is inevitable, and so is resistence to change.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: pavane
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 07:20 AM

There is a blue magnifying glass on the left of the image, which will enlarge the it.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: DaveJ
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 08:03 AM

Pavane,
The blue magnifying gass works---too well. I wish it would blow up the image to fit to screen size or maybe to a printer friendly size. Jeez, am I a whiner or what? Anyway, my spouse and I would both like a wife.

DaveJ


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: pavane
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 08:39 AM

Yes, those scans are a bit awkward. They vary a lot between different items, and some are even scanned sideways - makes them even more difficult to read! But as they had 30,000 to do, it must have been difficult to stay consistent.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: MMario
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 08:51 AM

I find that if you save them to your hard drive, then open them (as a graphic) in a word processor they are easier to read.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 10:02 AM

Intersting ballad, though I don't think any of my lesbians friends would find it so.

Good for Germany! Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 10:32 AM

I remember an ad on a bulletin board in Durham, NC - Wives for Women, they called themselves, they'd come clean your house and drive your kids to soccer while you were at work. The ad said Call This Number... Leave Mess. Great ad!


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: Grab
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 01:02 PM

Kind of appropriate, except that gay marriage as a joke isn't too pleasant - trouble is, I guess ppl back then weren't too well-informed on that.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: Kim C
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 01:10 PM

Well now, I'll tell ya, I've read about stuff like that in the papers, that a woman married a man she thought was a man but turned out to be a woman. Also one of the two times I ever watched Jerry Springer, a woman found out that her lover (who looked like a man!) was really a woman.

How people can be that ignorant, I just can't fathom.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: Amos
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 01:16 PM

I actually knew a brawny guy with a five o'clock shadow -- his name was Al. Lost track of him back in the 70's. Next I learned he was Alice, and female, making a living selling a book about "Gender Rebels". Sheeshe. Then he married a lesbian. I carefully proceeded to lose track again. The plot was just too much for me.

A


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: Wolfgang
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 01:32 PM

Valid in Germany as of today. No rush to gay marriages though.

It is not the same as marriage, but in many respects similar:

Same as in mixed sex marriage: right to choose a common name, right to immigration for a foreign partner, right to refuse court testimony, right to alimony, same treatment in life and illness insurances, right to be informed (and asked) by doctors in case of severe illness of partner, some rights for common care for a child brought into the marriage by a partner

still different: no adoption rights, no equal treatment in social security laws, no equal treatment in civil servants' salaries

The law will be appealed against before our highest court soon for several of our lands think it is unconstitutional. My prediction: They will loose by a very small margin of judges votes.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: GeorgeH
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 01:44 PM

For another "Trad" reference:

Girls if you must love
Love one another.

As for sex changes . . at one point a local company here (of about 300 employees at the time) had four staff members who no longer exhibited the gender they'd been born with. There's a single photograph of about 30 people which includes 3 out of the 4. (Three had changed in one direction, one in the other.)

There are some "better known" sex changes, but I prefer not to "name names" in this sort of matter.

On a not unrelated topic. There's an article in the current Big Issue about lack of sensitivity towards homosexual partners in the UK at present . . things like being denied visiting rights in hospitals because the rules say "close relatives only". However, the really encouraging point in the article is that Age Concern is now campaigning against this anti-homosexual discrimination.

So, Wolfgang, if the German changes are upheld that will put you well ahead of us!

G.


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: The Walrus
Date: 01 Aug 01 - 02:09 PM

Wolfgang wrote:

"...Same as in mixed sex marriage: right to choose a common name, right to immigration for a foreign partner, right to refuse court testimony, right to alimony, same treatment in life and illness insurances, right to be informed (and asked) by doctors in case of severe illness of partner, some rights for common care for a child brought into the marriage by a partner..."

It will be interesting to see if these rights are recognised in the rest of the EC if resident outside Germany and the effect this will have on attitudes in other member states. I can see some Tories sharpening the daggers already.

Regards

Walrus


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Subject: RE: The female husband
From: pavane
Date: 02 Aug 01 - 05:21 AM

GeorgeH - the full reference 'Our Captain cried all hands' aka 'The distressed maid' may be useful, where the line is 'so maids if you must love, love one another'. One of the finest of our songs, in my opinion. (Must be, my wife sings it). I made the original posting partly to show that we got there first. Quick, more towels for the deck chairs. <G>


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FEMALE HUSBAND (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 11:27 AM

From the Bodleian Library broadside collection, Johnson Ballads 18 between 1828 and 1829:


THE FEMALE HUSBAND.

1. If you want to hear a bit of fun, oh, listen unto me,
About a female husband, the like you never see.
Such a singular thing you never knew, no not in all your life,
As two females to be wed and live as man and wife.

CHORUS: So young women all, a warning take, and mark what I do say:
Before you wed, your husbands try, or else you'll rue the day.

2. The female husband lived in service as a groom.
'Twas there that she got wed to the housemaid in her bloom.
At Camberwell, the truth I tell, the wedding was, it's true.
To hear about the wedding night you'll laugh till all is blue.

3. The parties they were shown to bed. The bride, sir, thought of that,
But the bridegroom he was taken ill, made everything look flat.
From his bride he turn'd and twisted. Then she to herself did say:
"My husband is a hermaphrodite, a wager I would lay."

4. Time passed on for many years. A virgin she was still,
But her husband would for jealousy oft use her very ill.
At Dockhead, it was asserted, you may believe now what I say,
By her husband it was thought she was in the family way.

5. But when she turn'd herself in bed, "Dear Jemmy," she would say,
"We have been married many years. Remember this, I pray."
But what a disappointment, now, when she thought of that,
But what she never got, why, it could not make her fat.

6. Some time he was a publican and dwelt in Baldock town,
With good ale and beer his customers he did supply around.
Then to the docks he went to work, as we had often heard,
Where the men would often joke about his whiskers and his beard.

7. Sometime he was a sawyer, done his duty like a man.
'Twas there his days were ended, as you shall understand.
There was not one as we could hear did of his manhood doubt,
But now it's o'er, he is no more, and the secret is found out.

8. Now for twenty years they lived as man and wife so clever.
Both eat and drank and slept, and just these things together.
If women all could do the same and keep their virgin knot,
Why, the king and all his subjects would quickly go to pot.

9. So now my song is ended. I hope it's pleased you all.
This poor woman had a husband that had nothing at all.
Twenty years she lived a married life. Still a maid she may remain,
But we trust she'll find a difference if she ever weds again.

[LAST CHORUS?] So I do advise young women all to look before you wed,
For if you should be so deceived, you will rue your marriage bed.

Printed by T. Birt, No. 10, Great St. Andrew-Street, Seven Dials [London]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Female Husband (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 11:32 AM

Another song on the same subject.

I ran across this song by accident. It seems to be based on a true story, but I find it astonishing that the public so thoroughly misunderstood what was going on.

Anyway, finding this song is what inspired me to find this thread.

From Curiosities of Street Literature (London: Reeves and Turner, 1871), page 119:


THE FEMALE HUSBAND,
WHO HAD BEEN MARRIED TO ANOTHER FEMALE FOR
TWENTY-ONE YEARS.

[1] What wonders now I have to pen, sir,
Women turning into men, sir,
For twenty-one long years, or more, sir,
She wore the breeches we are told, sir,
A smart and active handsome groom, sir,
She then got married very soon, sir,
A shipwright's trade she after took, sir,
And of his wife, he made a fool sir.

[CHORUS] Sing hey! sing O! 'twas my downfall, sir,
To marry a man with nothing at all, sir,

Well, Mother Sprightly, what do you think of this Female Husband? It appears to me a strange piece of business. Why, Mother Chatter, I do not believe half what is said about it—Pho, pho, do you think I would have been in bed with my husband twenty-one minutes without knowing what he was made of? Much more twenty-one years, for I should never have patience to wait so long. My old man cuddles me as close as wax these cold winter nights, and if he was to turn his back to me, I would stick a needle into it.

[2] If the wife asked for a favour,
Then she flew into a fever,
Gave to her a precious thump, sir,
Which after left a largish lump, sir,
Then her limbs so straight and tall, sir,
She turn'd her face against the wall, sir,
And oft have quarrel'd and much strife, sir,
Because he would not cuddle the wife, sir.

Why I must say, Mother Chatter, if he had been my husband, I think after hard work all day he must have slept sound, and I would have seen what he was before I rose in the morning, or I'd know the reason why.

[3] Was woman ever so perplex'd, sir,
And through life so grievously vex'd, sir,
And disappointments oft did meet, sir,
And instead of a kiss, I oft got beat, sir,
Sometimes cuff'd and sometimes scouted,
Because I asked what woman wanted,
And if ever that I marry again, sir,
I'll surely marry a perfect man, sir.

Mother Chatter,—Man, indeed! yes, I hope she will take care next time she marries, and not be duped in that way again; and as she was such a bad judge, I would advise her to taste and try first next time.

Mother Sprightly,—I have no doubt but she'll examine the beard and whiskers of the next man she marries, and not take a beardless thing at his own word.

[4] With this pretty handsome groom, sir,
She went and spent the honey-moon, sir,
The very first night my love should cuddle,
Up in the clothes he close did huddle;
And with his face against the wall, sir,
He never spoke a word at all, sir,
A maid to bed I then did go, sir,
And a maiden am now, heigho! heigho! sir.

Well, Mother Frisky, how is your old man? Why he is quite hearty, and every inch a man, none of your sham husbands; give me the real man or none at all. Well, I am of your way of thinking, and I hope the next husband she has she will have thumping children.

[5] Pretty maidens list I pray, sir,
Unto what I now do say, sir,
Taste and try before you buy, sir,
Or you'll get bit as well as I, sir;
See he's perfect in all parts, sir,
Before you join your hand and heart, sir,
You then with all your strength may try, sir,
To be fruitful, increase, and multiply, sir.

Printed by T. Birt, No. 10, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Female Husband (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 11:55 AM

From The Life and Times of James Catnach by Charles Hindley (London: Reeves and Turner, 1878), page 191:


On Wednesday evening, January 14th, 1829, an inquiry of a singular and mysterious nature took place at St. Thomas's Hospital, before Thomas Shelton, Esq., Coroner, relating to the death of an individual styled James Allen, aged 42. The unfortunate deceased, who passed for, and assumed the dress of a man, was killed by a large piece of timber falling on the head while working at the bottom of a pit, as a sawyer, at the yard of Mr. Crisp, shipwright and builder, Mill Street, Dockhead. Death occurred on the way to the hospital. An examination of the body took place, when it was found to be of the female sex. It was proved before the Coroner that the deceased, who always lived, worked, and dressed as a man, had been married for upwards of twenty-one years, and that the wife—an honest and industrious woman—was still living, and that the deceased had left the wife several times on account of jealousy. Both the coroner and the jury expressed their astonishment at so extraordinary a circumstance as two females living together as man and wife for so long a period. It certainly was both unprecedented and mysterious.

The jury expressed a wish to have the female who lived with the deceased before them, but the coroner said that it was unnecessary; they had only to inquire how deceased—immaterial, male or female—came to her death. A verdict of "Accidental Death" was returned.

This case of "The Female Husband" took the whole town by storm, and the writers and the "Seven Dials Press" were busy on the subject with "The True Particulars," "Extraordinary Adventures," "Life and Confession of the Virgin Wife," &c., &c., together with ballads out of number, one from the press of T. Birt, No. 10, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, is entitled "The Female Husband, who had been married to another Female for Twenty-one Years." It is in form known as a "dialogue song." But from its suggestive character, with mots à double entente, we can only venture to quote one verse, while the dialogue between three old married women must be passed by sub silentio.
    What wonders now I have to pen, sir,
    Women turning into men, sir,
    For twenty-one long years, or more, sir,
    She wore the breeches we are told, sir,
    A smart and active handsome groom, sir,
    She then got married very soon, sir,
    A shipwright's trade she after took, sir,
    And of his wife, he made a fool sir.
[Good thing there's nothing sub silentio about Mudcat!]


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Subject: Lyr Add: A MAD MARRIAGE (from Bodleian)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Oct 10 - 01:44 PM

A different story, but sharing the themes of "Transvestism; Marriage between women."

From the Bodleian broadside collection Douce Ballads 2(149b) between 1671 and 1704:


A Mad Marriage;
Or, The Female Fancy of Debtford.


Being an Account of one Margaret a Carpenter's Wife, (who to salve up the Credit of a servant named Mary, who had been dabbling with Ch——Parsons a Seaman, who soon after left her and went to Sea) dressed her self in Mans Cloaths and was Married to the said Mary, to prevent the shame of a crackt Maiden-head.

To the Tune of, Moggies Jealousie.

You Lasses of London attend me,
   whilst I a true Project shall tell,
Which lately was acted in Debtford,
   and known by the Neighborhood well:
Such things were ne'r heard of before,
   as will by my ditty be shown,
Nor Womens inventions no more
   like to this will for ever be known.

A Maiden whose name it was Mary,
   at the Sign of the Kings-Head did dwell,
Who lately we hear did miscarry,[*]
   for her belly began for to swell:
Her Mistris soon smelt out the matter,
   and took her to task for the same,
When after some sullen denyals
   she freely confessed her shame.

And said that Ch—— Parsons a Seaman,
   had been with her something too bold,
Who Courted and promis'd her Marriage,
   and by consent rummidg'd her hold:
And how he had left her dejected,
   and unto the Indies was gone
And she by her Mistris neglected,
   who gave her no ease to her moan.

She therefore repair'd to the Mother,
   of him that had trust up her Wem
And pray'd her to look up some Linnen,
   to swaddle the Bantling in:
Her Son she protested was Father,
   and married they were in the Church,
But since he is gone to the Indies,
   and leaveth me here in the Lurch.

The Old woman hereat amazed,
   to find a new Daughter-in-Law,
Desir'd to know when they marry'd,
   whereby her affections to draw:
And also the Certificate
   she then did desire to see,
For if that you tell a false Story,
   you lodge not your Bastard with me.

These words did so nettle our Mary
   she could not tell what to devise,
She saw the Old woman was careful
   and would not be put off with lyes:
She on the Rack stretch'd her invention,
   and unto a Neighbour did go,
And opened all her intention,
   and pray'd her some favour to show.

Says she Neighbour Marget, assist me,
   and hear this my pittiful case,
I know that you may much befriend me,
   and smother my woful disgrace:
If you in Mans habit will dress ye,
   and take up Ch—— Parsons his name,
We then in the Church will be married
   and neither of us shall have blame.

The Carpenters wife soon consented,
   a Suit of her Husbands she got
The Wedding day also appointed,
   when she was to act in the Plot:
To Saint Georges Church they repaired,
   and thereof the Clerk did inform
Who soon had procured the Parson,
   that they might be married that morn.

So soon as these Females were wedded,
   the Clerk he was called aside,
Then Margaret whisper'd unto him,
   and said she had wronged the Bride:
By dabling with her before hand
   and therefore the Certificate,
Abundance of kindness you'd do me
   if that you will it Antedate.

What is it that money won't do,
   soon answered was the request,
Then homeward they straight way did go,
   a great deal of joy they exprest:
The Mother of Parsons was joyed,
   a Daughter-in-Law for to find
The Certificate being produced,
   the Mother was loving and kind.

Providing all things that were needful,
   her Grand-child when't came to receive,
And thought her self blest in her Daughter,
   and did all her stories believe:
Till on a time Marget and Mary
   with some other Neighbours did meet,
Carrousing full Bumpers of Brandy,
   themselves did discover the Cheat.

The which being noised through Debtford
   the Parson soon of it did hear,
Who straightway acquainted the Justice
   and caused them both to appear:
Who having examin'd the matter,
   and found in 'um nothing but lies,
He unto the Round-House did send 'um
   to remain there till the next Assize.

Printed for I. Deacon, at the Angel in Guilt-spur-street, without Newgate.


[* Apparently the word "miscarry" meant something different then than now; i.e. "carry by mischance" or "be pregnant out of wedlock."]


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