#02874
McGinnis At The Rink (Johnny Burke)

McGinnis and I to the rink we did go,
To put in a quiet afternoon;
When a queer fascination came into his toe,
As the band played a popular tune.
He put on his reachers to get out of pain,
When he gave such a terrible bawl;
Like the roar of an earthquake
that took a back lane,
Or a man just sat down on an awl.

Oh my! McGinnis did cry, oh! hard is my lot!
And oh! hard is my fate!
I hope I'll have bunions as big as small onions,
When next I attempt to put on a skate.

He wore a long sumger, this foolish young man,
With excitement his face it grew pale;
And when the soft zephyrs would fan his soutane,
You could dance a quadrille on the tail.
His heels shot up first, he came down on his pate,
And his left foot at comets did slash;
And an old feeble woman just learning to skate,
Nearly bit off her tongue with the lash.

Oh my! McGinnis did cry, oh! hard is my lot!
And oh! hard is my fate!
I hope I'll have bunions as big as small onions,
When next I attempt to put on a skate.

He lay on the ice and his feet they were sore,
And the skates piled up on his back;
When four men in their shirt sleeves
worked over an hour,
McGinnis to take from the wrack.
They soon hauled him out, such an awful disgrace,
While his friends for him sure did sigh;
And his bull's eyes were plastered all over his face,
Like the whorts in a bangbelly pie.

Oh my! McGinnis did cry, oh! hard is my lot!
And oh! hard is my fate!
I hope I'll have bunions as big as small onions,
When next I attempt to put on a skate.

His two eyes were closed,
he was speechless and mute,
And his face it was fearful to see;
And the flesh from his forehead
was gashed and torn,
And waved like a steamer's burgee.
We sighed for our friend at the state he was in,
And wept at the blood that he spilled;
And I'm told that there's stitches
enough on his chin
To sew a pants on a machine.

Oh my! McGinnis did cry, oh! hard is my lot!
And oh! hard is my fate!
I hope I'll have bunions as big as small onions,
When next I attempt to put on a skate.

The ambulance came and they took him away,
And he now in the hospital lay;
With sandbags and dumbbells hung out of his heels,
Regretting his nonsense that day.
He's raving all day and talks in his sleep,
And he often sings popular songs;
And his flesh is so tender, to touch him he creeps,
They must turn him in bed with a tongs.

Oh my! McGinnis did cry, oh! hard is my lot!
And oh! hard is my fate!
I hope I'll have bunions as big as small onions,
When next I attempt to put on a skate.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, pp.41-42, 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:
Bangbelly - pudding, cake or pancake originally prepared by fishermen and men in the woods, made with flour, fat pork, etc, and boiled, baked, or fried; now usually served as a dessert made by putting blueberries, sugar and hot water in a pot and adding a pinch of salt. When it begins to boil doughballs are dropped and it is left to continue boiling until the doughballs are cooked and the bluberries are thick. Served hot.
Wrack - thick algae-like growth; coarse seaweed; or slub which sometimes clings to or gums up fishing nets and impairs their catching ability.

From Dictionary.com:
Bull's Eye - large, round piece of peppermint-flavored hard candy.
Burgee - a triangular flag or one having a shallow, angular indentation in the fly, forming two tails, used as an identification flag, especially by yachts.

From Princeton University's WordNet:
Zephyr - breeze, gentle wind, air; a slight wind (usually refreshing).

From Wikipedia:
Whorts - bog whortleberry; a low-growing shrub bearing edible fruit of the genus Vaccinium, closely related to wild blueberries and huckleberries.

From Wiktionary:
Quadrille - dance originating from the mid 1700s with four dancers forming a square, rather much like the modern square dance.
Soutane - long gown like a cassock with sleeves and buttons at the front.

Excerpted from Long Distance Ice Skating by David Dermott, Nova Scotia:
Reachers - touring skates developed for skating long distances over natural uneven ice. Long distance ice skating was fairly common in the period 1860-1900 and was a practical form of winter transportation. Long reach skates (reachers) were developed by James A Whelpley and consisted of a flat blade and a wood platform that was strapped to regular winter boots.



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