Mudcat Café message #1971249 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98805   Message #1971249
Posted By: GUEST,Catherine
17-Feb-07 - 11:07 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Newfoundland Mermaid song
Hello McGrath.
As promised, here is one of my favourite songs that Mom sang to me back in the '50's. I'm fairly certain that she learned it from her father. There were many Irish and Scottish songs sung in our house, over the years, however, this song seems to have a mixture of Irish names and English names. Hope you all enjoy it. It always made us laugh when Mom sang it.
written and composed by T.W. Connor; sung by George Brooks, 1903.

I often lie in bed and think, what an awful thing is work.
There are a few who started it, and finished with a jerk.
There's Beery Bob, who got a job to drive a motor car.
Said, "Blow the police! I'll let them see I know what motors are."
One hundred miles an hour he went, and quite enjoyed the fun.
A brewer's dray got in his way, and his day's work was done.

A shooting competition was the end of Jimmy Duff.
He got a job as "marker," for the first time in his puff.
He didn't understand the work, so when he heard the shots,
He thought that it was time for him to go and mark the spots.
He stood in front of the target to see which man had won.
He stopped a shot in a tender spot, and his day's work was done.

I knew a man who got a job with a menagerie.
'Twas just to feed the animals, as easy as could be.
He didnít know their appetite, that was the funny part,
íTil when the feeding time came round, he had to make a start.
He went into the lion's den and offered it a bun.
The lion smiled and then got wild, and his day's work was done.

To be a strong man was the job of Jerry MacIntyre,
And just to practice now and then, he lent himself on hire.
He went to do a moving job, some heavy things to lift,
And just to let the others see how much weight he could lift,
With a grand piano on his back, upstairs he tried to run.
Trod on a stair that wasn't there, and his day's work was done.

A man was up a ladder; cleaning windows was his job,
But all the time he was spooning with young Mrs. Thing-a-ma-bob.
Her husband came along, just as their lips in kisses met.
He didn't rave or seem to care, as if he were upset.
He simply pulled the ladder away, and said "This takes the bun".
The man up top, he came down, flop, and his day's work was done.

Jimmy made a football that would make his playmates stare.
He pumped it full of gas instead of filling it with air.
A "Bobby" took it from him, just for playing in the street,
And later in the evening, when he went to take a seat,
He sat down on the football, and it went off like a gun.
They found his feet right up the street, and his day's work was done.

When Jack was only fifty-six, he ran away to sea.
The first day out, the captain says, "We've got no milk for tea.
Who'll go ashore"? "I will," says Jack, "I never act the goat."
So while the sea rolled mountains high, he went off in a boat.
The water rushed into the boat, but Jack, brave mother's son,
Cut holes about it, to let it run out, and his days work was done.

P.s.: It was very common, in my family, at least, to take a poem and put music to it. I myself added a tune to the popular poem "The yarn of the Nancy Bell" when I was in grade four. Back then, we had to memorize poems for school. The dreaded "Strap" was always on my mind, so I put tunes to poems so that I'd remember them.

My dad recited many Robert Service Poems as well as Rudyard Kipling. You may remember that Jim Croce (in the '70's) put a tune to "Gunda Din" father's favourite recitation and one the entire family knew.