The Scolding Wife (MacEdward Leach)
See also: Scolding Wife (Great Big Sea)

I got married to a scolding wife
a few years ago,
And ever since I lived a life
of misery and woe;
My wife she is a tyrant
around the house within,
And she'll fetch me to the dickens
for a glass or two of gin.

When I comes home at breakfast time,
with patience I must stop,
For she'll drink what's in the teapot
and sure I must drink the slop;
And if I chance to grumble
it's well I know my doom,
It's the poker or the fire shovel
up and down the room.

I would ask of my scolding wife
to let me go to bed,
For to just get one hour
on the pillow to lay my head;
But like a roaring lion
she burst open the door,
And she grabbed me by the middle,
slashed me naked on the floor.

It is pokers, chairs and tables
at me she would let fly,
It's with her nails she'll tear my face,
with the billets she'll black my eye;
She'll tear my shirt in pieces,
break my sweater with the broom,
And she'll bang me with the fire shovel
up and down the room.

Me and my companion
we'd go to some public house,
And she'll search all the neighbourhood
until she finds us out;
She'd hoist me up and ridicule me
before the company,
Saying, "Paddy Poteen's your master, Jack,
and ever more will be."

####.... Author unknown. Possible derivative of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Scolding Wife, published by J Kendrew (York) sometime between 1803 and 1848, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth c.20(109) ....####

Sung in 1951 by John (Jack) Knight [1883-1975] of Shoe Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also arranged and recorded as Scolding Wife by Great Big Sea of St John's, NL (Sea Of No Cares, trk#4, 2002, WEA, Scarborough, Ontario).

See more songs by Great Big Sea.


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