#01987
Lather And Shave (MacEdward Leach)

It was down in the city, not far from this spot,
Where a barber he opened his snug little shop;
With a smile on his face, he looked so trim and so neat,
That he pulled everybody right out of the street.

With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
Frizzle 'em bum.

One horrid bad custom he tried for to stop,
Was to keep people from coming for trust to his shop;
So he made him a razor full of notches and rust,
To shave the poor devil who came there for trust.

With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
Frizzle 'em bum.

One day a poor Irishman passed by the way,
Whose whiskers were growing for many a day;
Ah, he looked at the barber and he laid down his hod,
"Will ye give me a shave for the pure love of God?"

"Step in," says the barber, "sit down on that chair,
And I'll soon mow your whiskers right down to a hair."
So the whitewash he chucked over Patrick's big chin,
And with his trusty razor to shave him began.

"Och, murder," says Patrick, "now what are you doin'?
Leave off with your tricks or my jaws you will ruin.
What kind of a razor is that you have got?
Sure it wouldn't cut butter if it wasn't made hot."

"Stop, stop," says the barber, "and don't make a din,
For by moving your jaws I'll be cutting your chin."
He got up and he struck the barber and he fell on the floor,
And Patrick he bursted right out of the door.

"You can lather and shave till you're tired and sick,
But be-jeepers I'd rather be shaved with a brick."
Not long after that Pat was passing the door,
When a jackass he set up one helluva roar.

"Oh, it's murder," says Patrick, "listening to that knave
He's giving some devil a love-of-God shave."

With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
With his lather and shave 'em,
Frizzle 'em bum.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside, Love-Of-God Shave [Laws Q15] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 19th-century British broadside comic song, Lather Em, Shave Em, printed by John Ross (Newcastle) sometime between 1847 and 1852, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth B.26(197) ....####

Collected in 1950 from Angus Macdonald [1866-1951] of Upper South River, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Variants were also collected from Mrs Harvey Power of Little Harbour, Pictou County, Nova Scotia and from Sandy Stoddard of Lower Ship Harbour, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] and published as Love O' God Razor in Maritime Folk Songs, pp.86-87 (Ryerson, Toronto, 1962/1972).


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