When The Outport Member's Family Comes To Town
(Maurice Devine)

Why this heaving and commotion
On society's broad ocean?
Why are all the people staring in the street?
Why are all the shop-folks busy
Till their hurry makes you dizzy?
Why is everybody running that you meet?
Why are all the cabmen happy?
Why the leer on every chappie?
Why are dressmakers at work on hat and gown?
Why are all reporters rushing
At the railway station crushing?
'Cause the outport's member's family's come to town.

Yes, the Honourable Jim Twister,
With wife, daughter, sons and sister,
Likewise his maiden aunt and servant girl,
Has his outport home forsaken,
And a house in town has taken,
Being determined to join the giddy whirl.
He struck lots of fish last season,
And he wants to know the reason
Why he can't do the stylish act up brown.
And he'll make the city wonder
Why its frills can't knock him under,
When he condescends to come and live in town.

Eldest son must go to college,
Just to burnish up his knowledge,
For he learned a lot down in the village school.
And he must don fancy knickers,
Like the best football kickers,
For with trousers he'd look like a silly fool.
And Miranda -- charming creature --
Must throw by the "constant screecher"
Which she sang to in her simple village gown;
For her Pa has bought an organ,
And he got it for a bargain,
Since the outport member's family came to town.

Mamie's hat cost twenty dollars,
Joe wears finest cuffs and collars,
And Ma has bought a boa made of mink;
And for Kitty and for Lennie
It will cost a pretty penny
Just to fit them out in ball-dresses of pink.
But the poet here confesses
That when shorn of her old dresses,
And attired in a new and fashionable gown,
That there's no maid of the city
Half so pretty, half so witty
As the outport member's daughter just in town.

####.... Maurice A Devine [1859-1915] of Kings Cove, Bonavista Bay, NL ....####

See more of the Devines songs.

Published on page 76 of Old Time Songs and Poetry of Newfoundland: Songs Of The People From The Days Of Our Forefathers, Second Edition, 1940, printed by the publishers of The Family Fireside For Gerald S Doyle, St John's.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Outport - bay or harbour other than the chief port of St John's; the inhabited coastal strip or settlement of such an inlet of the sea; out-harbour.


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