Charming Sally Ann (Lehr and Best)

O when I was young and boyish
and me mind was full of glee,
I roved about through several parts
when every care was free;
When I became a sporting youth
my trouble it began -
And I fell head 'n' heels in love
with charming Sally Ann.

O the first time that I met her
it being to a good ol' spree -
Sometimes I looked at Sally Ann,
each time she winked at me;
And when I looked at Sally
I was crazy as a span!
I was crazy as a bed-bug
for my charming Sally Ann.

O the next time that I met her
it was to her father's door -
I conversed with her mother
for a full long hour or more;
When up speaks Sally's mother
saying: 'I'll do what I can
For to bring you on condolence
with my daughter Sally Ann.'

O I went up next evening
the old folks were not in -
I saw so many forms that
it almost made me grin;
Sally Ann was frying sausingers
for Bob, the butcher's man,
So I asked the inclination
of my charming Sally Ann.

O Sally in a passion flew
saying: 'Boy, what do you mean?'
I said: 'My handsome Sally,
I'm not altogether green!'
She says: 'You made a promise
and you're in this trap, young man -
So come leave my house, you savage!'
cried my charming Sally Ann.

O I asked her for my jewelry
that I had given her.
Quite angry she looked at me,
like a wildcat she did purr;
When Sally in a passion flew
and whipped the frying pan,
And she knocked me hipsy tipsy!
She's my charming Sally Ann.

O I met a policeman on the road,
my story I did tell -
I gave him a silver dollar and
it seemed to please him well;
I took him back to Sally's house
and o'er the place he ran -
But the devil a fragment could he find
of charming Sally Ann.

O the old man he came home from work
and my story I did tell,
That Sally Ann was runned away
with Bob the butcher's man;
The old man he swore he'd have
the life out of the butcher's man,
The old woman she swore vengeance
on her daughter Sally Ann.

O the old man in a passion
whipped his good ol' span of grey,
He whipped his horse and swore an oath
in a good old-fashioned way;
And right ahead he spied them
driving a splendid span -
'Twas very soon he overtook
his daughter Sally Ann.

O the old man in a passion
he drove in a foreign swathe,
And with a shot they all swung out,
they went head over heels;
Their heads was in the ashes
and their heels was in the sand,
And three somersaults we got of them
before they reached the land.

O the policeman in the scrummage
he got a broken thigh -
The old man with the cudgeler
hooked out the butcher's eye;
'Twas Sally and her mother tore
their hair from hand to hand,
But she couldn't hold a candle
to her daughter Sally Ann.

We took them up as prisoners
and marched them back to town,
Where I got my gold watch again
and also fifty pound;
Where I got all my jewelry,
wasn't I a smart young man?
So here's good-bye without a sigh
to charming Sally Ann!

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####
Collected in 1977 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #20 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.33-34, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that it was really entertaining to watch Mr Power sing this song. His performance was punctuated with grins, winks, and nods at the women present and much knee-slapping and gesticulating. His grandchildren loved to request Sally Ann and squeals of delight were sure to accompany his singing.

See more Lehr and Best songs.

A ten-verse variant was published as #37 in Songs Of The North Woods: As Sung By O J Abbott [1872-1962] And Collected By Edith Fowke [1913-1996], edited by László Vikár and Jeanette Panagapka (University of Calgary Press, 2004).


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