#02718
Mrs. Brookins' Cat (Johnny Burke)

Mrs. Brookins has a pretty cat,
she called it Tortoise Shell,
And it's often times I'd wish
that cat was drowned in Coady's Well;
For 'twas at my window early
I would hear her mew and chat,
And I only wish the devil had Mrs Brookins' cat.

With her mew, mew in the morning,
and her mew, mew every night,
And her clatter, clatter, clatter,
and her growl, growl, growl,
And her concert on the roof till broad daylight.

Her face was all disfigured,
and her eyes had lost their sight,
And her nose was slewed all crooked,
dodging boot jacks in the night;
And her tail was like the target
that the sportsmen used to shoot,
For I had to make new-fashioned oaths
for this mischievous brute.

With her mew, mew in the morning,
and her mew, mew every night,
And her clatter, clatter, clatter,
and her growl, growl, growl,
And her concert on the roof till broad daylight.

I bought a Colt revolver
and some powder, caps and shot,
"And now," said I, "my mouser,
I will make it, make it very hot."
So I fired three times and missed her,
but one grave mistake I made,
I missed the cat, but tumbled one
of the Scavenger Brigade.

With her mew, mew in the morning,
and her mew, mew every night,
And her clatter, clatter, clatter,
and her growl, growl, growl,
And her concert on the roof till broad daylight.

I was tried next day, found guilty,
and the judge he looked at me,
But he said it was murder
in the thirty-first degree;
He told me he should fine me,
and for three months should go down,
He said, "You know the law forbids
all firearms in this town."

With her mew, mew in the morning,
and her mew, mew every night,
And her clatter, clatter, clatter,
and her growl, growl, growl,
And her concert on the roof till broad daylight.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, pp.6-7, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Slewed - bent; crooked; at an angle.

From Wikipedia:
Boot Jack, - boot device; boot pull; a small tool which aids in the removal of boots, consisting of a U-shaped mouth which grips the heel of the boot, and a flat area to which weight can be applied. To operate, the user places the heel of the boot in the mouth of the jack, stands on the back of the device with the other foot, and pulls his foot free of the boot. The process is then repeated until both boots are removed.

From Vital Records Register of Deaths, Book 2, 1894, District of St John's, p.192:
Coady's Well - Michael Gladney, a 17 year old Roman Catholic born in Coady's Well, died on Aug 30, 1894, in Coadys Well, and was interred in Portugal Cove.

Additional note:
Scavenger Brigade - street sweepers.



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