#02798
The Little Bunch Of Whiskers (Johnny Burke)

A friend of mine a week ago
came here from 'round the bay,
With a funny little whisker on his chin;
And all that I could say to him
was only thrown away —
For to shave the funny whisker off his chin.

That night we went on Water Street
to have an easy stroll,
And when the girls looked at him
'round the sidewalks they did roll,
Saying: "Is that a new invention
for to paint a barber's pole?"
When they chuckled at the whiskers on his chin.

Reuben Glue, well we know a thing or two,
And then the little boys they did begin,
and the girls did shout:
"Are the safety's all played out?"
To shave the little whisker off his chin.

We next went to the races
for to see the oarsmen row,
And the party with the whisker on his chin;
And soon the boys all tumbled,
for to fun they're no way slow,
To the little bunch of moldow on his chin.

We went into a tent that day
to get a glass of beer,
And soon a row was started
just as we were standing near;
And Bibby, who had on a jag,
jumped in to interfere,
When they nailed him by the whisker on his chin.

Reuben Glue, well we know a thing or two,
And then the little boys they did begin,
and the girls did shout:
"Are the safety's all played out?"
To shave the little whisker off his chin.

We went down on Harvey's wharf
to see the boat come in,
And the party with the sash brush on his chin;
When someone whispered softly,
he looks very much like Wynne,
With the little clump of cobwebs on his chin.

A lady then got on the skids
to try and hail a cab,
When soon the gangway broke
and down in the water, dab;
I saw her clutch at something
when at last she made a grab,
And she nipped him by the whiskers on his chin.

Reuben Glue, well we know a thing or two,
And then the little boys they did begin,
and the girls did shout:
"Are the safety's all played out?"
To shave the little whisker off his chin.

They fished him out next morning
on a forty fathom line,
The party with the nasty on his chin;
One arm around his manly form
the lady did entwine,
And the other held the whisker on his chin.

He might have saved his life that day,
as anyone could see,
For he struggled like a hero
for to get his body free;
For she held him like a bull-dog, saying:
"You'll drown, my son, with me,"
As she clutched the wincy whisker on his chin.

Reuben Glue, well we know a thing or two,
And then the little boys they did begin,
and the girls did shout:
"Are the safety's all played out?"
To shave the little whisker off his chin.

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

Published in Burke's Ballads, p.11, 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:
Dab - cheap remnant or second of cloth, spoiled in dyeing and resembling smoke-damaged goods.
Moldow - any of several species of beard-moss (Usnea spp; Alectoria spp); Old Man's Beard.
Skid - gangway.

Additional notes by GEST:
Reuben Glue - apparent reference to a cartoon character drawn by illustrator, painter, and cartoonist Jimmy Swinnerton [1875-1974] and published in the Hearst Chicago American Comic Supplements c.1900-1901.


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