Digital Tradition Mirror

A Song on the Nantucket Ladies

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A Song on the Nantucket Ladies
(Charles Murphy?)

Young damsels all where ever you be
I pray attention give to me
Some braken hints I will lay down
About the girls in Sherbourn* town

When eve comes on they dress up neat
And go a-cruising through the streets
ro see if they some beaus can find
To suit their fancy and their minds

Skein (?) laces long and frills so neat
And bunnets worked so complete
With their painted cheeks and curled hair
They think to make the young men stare

Their long silk gowns and sleeves so big
You'd think that they had run the rig
With their white kid shoes and silken hose
They look like the devil in their clothes

They get the beaus all for to make
A corset board to make them straight
They'll bind it to their waist so tight
And through the streets about from morn till night

Then a few false teeth they're sure to wear
And foretop curls and false hair
And a false heart that'll ne'er prove true
We find it's so it's nothing new

They go to the factory everyday
And work twelve months without their pay
And then all for to crown the joke
Why Daniel Dusten is broke

Then Henry Gardner and Peleg West
When they will do their best
They say that they do what is right
And pay the girls every Saturday night

The girls being few with such ideas
Thinking their master for to please
For six pense a day to work they go
And then they cut a dreadful show

When round Cape Horn their sweethearts go
Then they must have another beau
To wait two years they say they can't
To wait two years they say they shan't

And when their beaus they do come back
Such lamentations they will make
Saying no one has courted me but you my dear
So come along and never fear

Oh says the beaus that never do
I'll never be taken in by you
If you keep on you'll make me laugh
You can not catch old birds with chaff

But always give the devil his due
There's some will wait, 'tis very true
The reason it doth plainly show
They cannot catch another beau

This song was made around Cape Horn
Where most of the young men are gone
Haul down your flag cut down your staff
It is all true you need not laugh

Now to conclude and end my song
There's women tells me I am rong (sic)
But if by chance they find it's right
They may sing it from morn till night

From Songs the Whalemen Sang, Huntington
Collected from the journal of Diana, 1819
Note: Sherbourn was the old name for Nantucket village. I have
     no idea whether this is an expansion of Round Cape Horn, or
     Round Cape Horn is an editing of this. Or neither. RG

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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