Peter Street (The Fables) video

See also: Peter Street (MacEdward Leach)

And also: St John's Girls (Shanneyganock)
#892: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2009 ~ Used with permission ~

Oh, you landsmen and you seamen,
come listen to my song,
It's of a trick was played on me,
it won't delay you long;
I came from sea the other day,
a fair girl I did meet,
She kindly asked me to a dance
was up on Peter Street.

Oh, no, says I, me fair maid,
though I can dance quite well,
For tonight, I'm bound for Wicklow's town
that's where my people dwell;
You'd better come with me, she said,
for the distance is not far,
And finding her so friendly,
I jumped into her car.

Well, as the dance was over,
straight to the bed did go,
'Twas a little did I ever think
she'd pull my overthrow;
Robbed my gold watch, and thirty pounds,
a pack of fags and fled,
And left me there stark nak'd,
alone upon the bed.

Now, when I awoke in the morning
'twas nothing did I spy,
But a woman's shirt and apron
upon the bed did lie;
I wrung my hands, I tore my hair,
I cried, what shall I do?
Ah, tonight I'm bound for Wicklow's town,
no more will I see you.

Well, as the streets were lonesome
at the hour of two o'clock,
I put on the shirt and apron
and marched down to the dock;
The crew they saw me coming,
these words to me did say,
My dear old chap, you've struck a snap
since you've been gone away.

Are those the new spring fashions
that the ladies wear on shore?
Where is the shop you bought 'em at
and is there any more?
The captain on the quarterdeck
looked at me with a frown,
Sayin', Jack, I'd buy a better suit
than that for thirty pounds.

I would, sir, if I could, sir,
if I'd only got the chance,
But I met a girl on Peter Street,
and she asked me to a dance;
She danced my heart's deception,
I got robbed from head to feet,
And I'll take my oath, no more I'll go
to a dance on Peter Street.

Oh, you landsmen and you seamen,
a warning take by me,
Be sure to choose good company
when you go out on spree;
Be sure to choose good company
or you'll find yourself like me,
With a woman's shirt and apron
for to fit you out for sea!

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad [Laws K42] The American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####
The video above features this fast and lively variant recorded by The Fables (Tear The House Down, trk#15, 1998 CD, First City Productions/Actual Music, St John's NL).

See more songs by The Fables.

A very similar variant was recorded by Signal Hill (Live At The Lower Deck III, 2007).

A variant was recorded as St John's Girls by Shanneyganock (Set You Free, trk#16; 2004, Avondale Music, St John's, NL, produced by Patrick Moran, recorded and engineered by Spencer Crewe at Great Big Studio).

A variant was sung by Jacob Noseworthy [1900-1985] of Pouch Cove, NL, and published as Peter Street in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA)

A variant was also sung by Abraham White of Sandy Cove, NL, and published as #112, The Shirt And The Apron in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).


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