#01354
Peter Street (MacEdward Leach)
See also: Peter Street (The Fables)
And also: St John's Girls (Shanneyganock)
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You landsmen and you seamen bold,
come listen to my song,
I'll tell you of a trick
was played on me before 'tis long;
This last six weeks I've been to sea
I have saved fifty pounds,
And my parents they are expecting me
tonight in Whigham town.

I came from sea the other day
a fair one did I meet,
And she kindly asked me to a dance
'twas up in Peter Street;
I said, ''My handsome fair one
I cannot dance well,
And I am bound for Whigham town
where all my friends do dwell."

"If you cannot dance well," said she,
"sure you can have a treat,
You can take a glass of brandy
or something for to eat;
And if you'll consent at ten o'clock
I'll meet you at the train,
Or, if you choose you can give a call
when you come to town again."

When I found her so friendly
sure I called for a car,
To take us to the ballroom
the distance was not far;
The ladies on the other side
those words I heard 'em say,
My poor old chap you'll lose your cap
if you do go that way.

When we reached to the ballroom
the liquor was poured in,
The liquor was passed around the room
and the dancing then began;
Me and my love danced around the room,
danced to a merry tune,
And she said, my dear,
we'll soon repair to a chamber all alone.

When the dancing was all over
straightway we did go,
But little did I ever think
she would prove my overthrow;
My watch and clothes and fifty pounds
my damsel with it fled,
And she left me here, poor Jack-alone,
stripped naked on the bed.

When I came to my senses
there was nothing could I spy,
But a woman's shirt and an apron
upon the bed did lie;
Wringing my hands I tore my hair
and cried what shall I do,
Oh fair thee well sweet Whigham town
I'll never more see you.

When everything was silent
at the hour of twelve o'clock,
I put on that shirt and apron
and started for the dock;
When the sailors saw me coming
those words I heard 'em say,
My poor old chap you've lost your cap
since you have gone that way.

Is that the new spring fashion, Jack,
the ladies wear on shore?
Where are the shops they're selling in
or are there any more?
Oh Jack, I heard our captain say,
he thoughts you for Whigham bound,
Sure, Jack, I'd buy a better suit
than that for fifty pounds.

Sure I could buy a better suit
if I had got the chance,
But I met a girl on Peter Street
and she asked me to a dance;
I danced to my destruction,
I got stripped from head to feet,
And I'll take my oath I'll go no more
to a dance in Peter Street.

You landsmen and you seamen bold
a warning take by me,
Be sure you choose good company
when you go on a spree;
Don't go to a dance in Peter Street
or you will rue the day,
With a woman's shirt and an apron
they'll fit you out for sea.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad, The Shirt And The Apron [Laws K42] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Sung in 1950 by Jacob Noseworthy [1900-1985] of Pouch Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was collected and edited by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and recorded in the field by Grace Yarrow Mansfield, published as #112, The Shirt and the Apron in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Harvard University Press, 1933.

A variant was recorded as Peter Street by The Fables (Tear The House Down, 1998) and Signal Hill (Live At The Lower Deck III, 2007).

A variant was recorded as St. John's Girls by Shanneyganock (Set You Free, trk#16; 2004, Avondale Music, St John's, NL, produced by Patrick Moran, recorded and engineered by Spencer Crewe at Great Big Studio).

A variant was also published as #112, The Shirt And The Apron in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968).


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