Digital Tradition Mirror

The Captain With His Whiskers

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The Captain With His Whiskers

As they marched through the town with their banners so gay
I went to the window to hear the band play,
And I peeped through the blinds very cautiously then
Lest the neighbors should say I was looking at the men.
     I heard the drum beat and the music so sweet
     But my eyes at the moment caught a much greater treat,
For the troop was the first that ever I did see
And the captain with his whiskers took a sly glance at me.

When we met at the ball, I of course thought it right
To pretend that we never had met till that night.
But he knew me at once, 1 perceived at a glance,
So I hung down my head when he asked me to dance.
     He sat by my side at the end of the set,
     And the sweet words he told me, I never can forget.
For my heart was enlisted and could not get free
When the captain with his whiskers took a sly glance at me.

Though he marched from the town, and I saw him no more,
Yet I think of him still and the whiskers he wore.
I dream all the night, and I talk all the day
Of the love of a captain who has gone far away.
     I remember with superabundant delight
     When we met in the street, and we danced all the night,
And I keep in my mind how my heart jumped with glee
When the captain with his whiskers took a sly glance at me.

But there's hope! For a friend just ten minutes ago
Said the captain had returned from the war, and I know
He'll be looking for me with considerable zest,
And when he has found me you all know the rest.
     Perhaps he is here, let me look 'round the house,
     Keep still every one of you , as still as a mouse.
For if that dear captain is here he will be
With his whiskers a-taking a sly glance at me.

From Traditional American Folk Songs, Warner & Warner. Collected from
     Lena Bourne Fish, 1941.
Note: The original (words by Thomas Bayley, tune by Sidney Nelson) was
     written in the 1820s, without whiskers. The whiskers were apparently
     added during the 1850's, when such facial adornment became popular.
     As Mrs. Fish said," In the good old days, whiskers were deemed to be
an emblem of strength and manhood." We concur. DG

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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