Old Jack (Kenneth Peacock)

When Charlie he worked out Old Jack
it caused him for to boast,
He really thought that he did have
the racer of the coast;
He really thought if he should race
he'd win a silver cup,
So he got his sister Isabel
to help him drive Old Jack up.

When Charlie he drove Old Jack home
he tied him to the fence,
The poor beast had been hungry
and to eat he did commence;
He ate Dan Pelley's moccasins,
chewed off a garden rail,
And was making for Jim's whiskers
when Charlie caught him by the tail.

Charlie's a handsome fellow,
he is proper, tall, and thin,
Aunt Pelley is his proper aunt,
his father's name is Jim;
For howling and for fighting
he's an awful lad to boast,
But you will not find a smarter lad
than Charlie up the coast.

Old Jack's body is like a matchbox
a-standing on four pegs,
Jack's ribs are long and wiry
and he's got four hairy legs;
Jack's tail is just as frizzy
as a sweet forget-me-not,
And his face is just the color
of a darn old rusty pot.

And now to tell the teamster's name
to bring it all in rhyme,
Young Jim sits on and takes the whip
and old Jim sits on behind;
They'll let him trot and walk along
till he gets up on their back,
Then hard as the Lord can give them strength
they'll have to pull Jack back.

Oh, Alec in the race with Charlie
gave to him no slack,
Until he saw it was no use
for him to chase Old Jack;
To chase him any farther
Alec saw it was no use,
And the next one he is going to race
it will be Simon Bruce.

Old Jim is a smart old chap
he never shaves his rails,
But his whiskers they are all knocked off
by the wind from Old Jack's heels;
Since old Jim lost his whiskers
it's true so I've heard,
All up and down the road, my boys,
you'll pick up tufts of hair.

####.... Sam House ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Clara Sophia Stevens [1916-1978] of Bellburns, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, pp.85-86, by the National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that Samuel Benjamin (Sam) House [1909-1982] of Bellburns, NL, who composed this native diddy about a horse, lived on Newfoundland's northwest coast where fences are often made from small spruce stakes nailed upright to cross boards. The sharp tips are sometimes left unsawed like Old Jim's in the last verse of this song ("never shaves his rails").


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