#02788
The Scramble For The Teapots At The Fire
(Johnny Burke)

Oh, last Sunday night at twelve o'clock
as I lay in my bed,
I dreamt I heard the fire bells,
and they ringing in my head;
So I leapt from 'neath the blankets,
through the window I did gaze,
And I saw the Labour Union Hall
that night was in a blaze.

There was Maud Payne, Bride Kane,
Betsy Doyle from Casey's Lane, Pearl White,
Sue Knight and Mary Jane Dwyer; Sue Wells,
Jane Wells, and women from the Dardanelles,
They all were in the scramble
for the teapots at the fire.

Sure, there was large size, small size,
and little ones for girls and boys,
Some with fancy face and eyes
(the kind we all require);
Long bibs, short bibs, and some
for washing down spare ribs,
Some in the battle lost their bibs,
in the scramble at the fire.

While the fire was burning fiercely
in the basement down below,
The women kept their peepers on
the teapots in a row;
And such a rush for crockeryware,
believe me it is true,
Was never seen in Flanders
or the Plains of Waterloo.

Sure, there was large size, small size,
and little ones for girls and boys,
Some with fancy face and eyes
(the kind we all require);
Long bibs, short bibs, and some
for washing down spare ribs,
Some in the battle lost their bibs,
in the scramble at the fire.

While the firemen worked like Trojans
the flames to keep down,
You would think a shower of teapots
from New Hampshire struck the town;
For everywhere around the block
where you could sit or stand,
You were sure to see a woman
with a teapot in her hand.

Sure, there was large size, small size,
and little ones for girls and boys,
Some with fancy face and eyes
(the kind we all require);
Long bibs, short bibs, and some
for washing down spare ribs,
Some in the battle lost their bibs,
in the scramble at the fire.

In every home in St John's town,
if you go in today,
You will find a fancy teapot
in the cupboard stowed away;
And it's "whip it" on the luxuries,
as sure as you were born,
For they'll bust themselves on tea leaves
till old Gabriel blows his horn.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL, 1928 ....####

Published as The Teapots At The Fire in Burke's Ballads, p.16, 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:
Bib - spout of a kettle or teapot.


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