Chrissey's Dick (Lehr and Best)

O Chrissey went up to Aunt Margaret's
to get a loan of her dick.
Says Mary Ann to Christopher:
'Be sure and do it quick!'
Says Mary Ann to Christopher:
'Be sure now don't you stop,
For you got plenty of bait today
and you got to bait your pots.'

Chrissey went up to Aunt Margaret's
and brought the dick down home:
'O isn't he a lovely bird,
he's got a lovely comb.
Go in the house John Chesly
and get 'en a piece of bread -
O isn't he a lovely bird,
he's got the cutest head.'

The hens and chicks and all of them
were feeded for the night,
When Chris got up in the morning,
the dick he wasn't in sight;
Chrissey he jumped out of bed
and stepped on Mary Ann's toes -
Says Mary Ann to Christopher:
'I thought I heard 'en crow!'

'It rained so very hard last night,
why didn't you bar 'en in?,
For going through the woods today,
you'll get wet right through the skin.'
'Wet or dry,' says Mary Ann,
'the dick you'll have to find -
Go on up to Aunt Margaret's,
don't stop to look behind.'

Chrissey went up to Aunt Margaret's,
the dick he wasn't there,
He felt so faint and frightened
that he fell down on a chair;
He started off for home again
not feeling very stout,
He fell down in a mud-hole
and the mud ran in his mouth.

Chrissey jumped out of his breeches
and tumbled to the door.
Says Mary Ann to Christopher:
'The dick is gone for sure.
Put on your clothes,' says Mary Ann,
'and go and look for him,
For you'll get nothing to eat today
unless you bring 'en in.'

He started off for Hay Cove,
the dicky for to find,
But when he got about half ways over
he heard 'en cry behind;
He looked around there,
he was not looking very warm¹ -
He took the dick all by the tail
and tucked 'en under his arm.

Says Mary Ann to Christopher:
'I'm glad you got 'en back,
For if we lost Aunt Margaret's dick,
we'd have to pay a whack.
I'm gonna get some hens meself
and raise our little chicks,
Then we won't have to bother
Aunt Margaret for her dick!'

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland song (see note below) ....####
Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1977 from Linda Slade-Byrne of Kingwell and Arnold's Cove, Placentia Bay, and St John's, NL, published as #21 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.36-37, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

¹ Genevieve Lehr noted that the vowel in warm is pronounced like the vowel in farm to rhyme with arm. This pronunciation of the vowel 'a' in some dialects of Newfoundland English is most typically found in words such as form, storm, and fork where the vowel precedes an 'r'. Lehr also noted that this song was composed in Harbour Buffet, Placentia Bay, NL, about Chrissey Dicks' dick! Apparently Chrissey Dicks was quite often the brunt of jokes, being an odd sort of fellow, though the jokes were generally in good humour. This song seems to have been first performed on stage as a play in the community.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

From the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Dick - rooster; also dicky.


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