#02784
No Short Skirts To Their Knees (Johnny Burke)
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As I strolled up the streets Sunday night, Jennie,
Such queer funny sights met my eye,
And the girls with short skirts to their knees, Jennie,
So different since I was a boy;
And the stockings so taut on their spars, Jennie,
Now they call them the white silken hose,
In our grandmothers' days were unknown, Jennie,
Our grannies wore nothing like those.

In our grandmothers' days they were wise, Jennie,
For the hoops and the stiffeners they wore;
And their dresses as large as a tent, Jennie,
They wouldn't come through a half-door.

When they come to your home in the night, Jennie,
The girls they are never at ease,
But keep tugging away at their skirts, Jennie,
To try for to cover their knees;
For a half yard of cloth make a dress, Jennie,
To try for a husband to win,
And they tell me the style for this year, Jennie,
Will just reach the top of their chin.

In our grandmothers' days they were wise, Jennie,
For the hoops and the stiffeners they wore;
And their dresses as large as a tent, Jennie,
They wouldn't come through a half-door.

For the style in our grandmother's day, Jennie,
Were long to their heels they came down,
And the skirts with flounces they wore, Jennie,
From the dust nearly killed half the town;
And the trains on the skirts in these days, Jennie,
For that was the style in their day,
Would reach, when they got a fair show, Jennie,
From here half way down to Torbay.

In our grandmothers' days they were wise, Jennie,
For the hoops and the stiffeners they wore;
And their dresses as large as a tent, Jennie,
They wouldn't come through a half-door.

For the old stock is fast dying out, Jennie,
And a young race is taking their place,
In our grandmother's day they had sense, Jennie,
No powder or paints on their face;
But the same puss they brought to the world, Jennie,
For three score and ten did remain,
Their features they never improved, Jennie,
By putting their face in a frame.

In our grandmothers' days they were wise, Jennie,
For the hoops and the stiffeners they wore;
And their dresses as large as a tent, Jennie,
They wouldn't come through a half-door.

Now the skirts are so tight worn today, Jennie,
If a girl she should happen to sneeze,
Or run for a car in the day, Jennie,
She is apt to crack off from the knees;
For her skirts are so tight 'round the hips, Jennie,
It's no wonder she got the old hag,
And the skirt dance she can't do at all, Jennie,
When her legs are sewed up in a bag.

In our grandmothers' days they were wise, Jennie,
For the hoops and the stiffeners they wore;
And their dresses as large as a tent, Jennie,
They wouldn't come through a half-door.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL, 1929 ....####
Published in Burke's Popular Songs, page 6, 1929, Long Brothers, printers, St John's, Newfoundland.

Also published in Burke's Ballads, page 24, 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:
Hag - nightmare; frequently in the form old hag.
Race - generation.
Spar - leg, usually plural.

From the Princeton University WordNet:
Flounce - strip of pleated material used as a decoration or a trim; frill; ruffle.



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