Digital Tradition Mirror

Putting on the Style (2)

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Putting on the Style (2)
(George P. Wright)

Eighteen and eighty-four, June the twenty-first,
Thought I'd write a poem, if I could a verse;
Sitting by the window something made me smile,
I saw a fellow passing, putting on the style.

cho: Putting on the agony, putting on the style,
     What the stylish people are a-doing all the while;
     When I look around me I very often smile
     To see so many people putting on the style.

Young man and his true love a-going to see the scenes,
Looking mostly like a bunch of garden greens,
Gingerbread and candy eating all the while,
Going to see the show, boys, putting on the style.

Young man in the the carriage, going like mad,
Pair of spanking horses he borrowed from his dad,
Cracked his whip so suddenly he made the ladies smile
Oh, isn't he a-going it, Putting on the style?

Young man in the dramshop smokes the dirty pipe,
Looking like a pumpkin only partly ripe,
Drinks, swears, and gambles, thinking all the while
That this is something equal to putting on the style.

Preacher in the pulpit shouts with all his might
"Glory Hallelujah!" with the people in a fright
Thinking of pretences come out on double file
But the preacher's only putting on the style.

Swwwt sixteen at meetin', going to see the boys,
She turns her head and sniggers at every little noise
She turns her head on this side, and then on that a while
Oh, isn't she a swell, boys, putting on the style?

From Ozark Folksongs, Randolph
Collected from Doney Hammontree, Ark, 1941
Copyrighted 1875; recorded by Dalhart and Houchins.
note: Hammontree said it was in all the popular songbooks
     in the late 1890s RG


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