Charming Young Widow (MacEdward Leach)

I live in Vermont, and one day last summer,
A letter informed me my uncle was dead;
It also requested I go down to Boston,
As he left me a large sum of money, it said.

Of course, I determined on making the journey,
And to book myself by the first class I was paying;
But had I gone second, I'd never have encountered,
The charming young widow I met on the train.

I scarce had been seated within my compartment,
When a fresh passenger entered the door;
It was a lady, a young one,
and dressed in deep mourning,
An infant in long clothes she gracefully bore.

A white cap surrounded a face, oh, so lovely,
I shall never look on one like it again;
I fell deep in love over head in a minute,
With the charming young widow I met on the train.

The widow and I side-by-side sat together,
The carriage containing ourselves and no more;
Till silence was broken by my fair companion,
Who enquired the time by the watch that I wore.

Of course, I complied and then conversation,
Was freely indulged in by both till my brain
Fairly reeled with excitement, I felt so enamoured
With the charming young widow I met on the train.

By this time the train had arrived at a station,
Within a few miles of the great one in town;
My charmer exclaimed
as she looked through the window,
"Good gracious alive, sir, there goes Mr Brown.

"He's my late husband's brother,
dear sir, would you kindly
My best beloved child one moment sustain?"
"Of course," I complied, and out on the platform
Tripped the charming young widow I met on the train.

Three minutes elapsed when the whistle was sounded,
The train began moving, no widow appeared;
I cried "Stop! Stop! Stop," but they paid no attention,
With a snort and a jerk started off as I feared.

In my hard dilemma I sought for the hour,
My watch where was it, and where was my chain?
My purse, too, my ticket, gold pencil case, all gone,
Oh, that crafty young widow I met on the train.

While I was my loss so deeply bewailing,
The train again stopped and I "Tickets please" heard;
So I told the conductor, while dangling the infant,
The loss I sustained, but he doubted my word.

He called more officials, a lot gathered 'round me,
Uncover the child, oh, how shall I explain?
For, lo, 'twas no baby, 'twas only a dummy,
Oh, the crafty young widow I met on the train.

Satisfied I'd been robbed, they allowed my departure,
Though, of course, I was to settle
my affair the next day;
So now all you young men who ride on the railway,
Beware of young widows you'll meet on the train.

####.... American comedy song by W H Gove (ca.1868) ....####

Sung in 1950 by Jim O'Brien [1904-1998] of Cape Broyle, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Also published in the Family Herald And Weekly Star, Montreal, March 5, 1922, and October 7, 1935.

A variant was also sung by Leo, Din, and Pat Fulford of Merasheen, NL, and published for the 1980 Merasheen Reunion in Placentia Bay, NL, by Loyola Pomroy and William (Bill) Wilson Jr [1931-1993] of Meerasheen, Placentia Bay, NL.


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