A Week's Work (Kenneth Peacock)

On Monday morning with Mary Ann
In Torry Lane I took her hand,
I wanted a bride so very bad,
"To my eye," says she, "you're just the lad."
We both agreed as quick as thought,
The ring and the license then I bought,
To church we went, made all things right,
And married we were on Monday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

On Tuesday morning got up with glee,
There's no man felt more joy than me,
A stranger to the breakfast came,
A serving-girl from down the lane,
As she was frying a sausage for me
I pinched her just where you shouldn't see,
My wife did glare with an awful spite,
Now jealousy came on Tuesday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

On Wednesday morning as I roved out
To take the air and walk about,
To ease my care and take a drop
I hastened to a brandy shop.
'Twas there I drank up most of the stock,
I staggered home at twelve o'clock,
And for my bed I did prepare,
But another man seemed more happier there,
Another man just took me right,
A cuckold I was on Wednesday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

On Thursday morning sure I looked blue,
My wife looked vexed and snappish too,
Vexation came and vexation rose
Till first it was abuse and then 'twas blows.
"I'll conquer you," she quickly said,
And with her tongue she shattered my head,
Then we fell at it with left and right,
I blackened her eyes on Thursday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

On Friday morning we had to part,
I went and hired a horse and cart,
To pack my duds without delay
I soon did put them all away.
And oh my wife began to grieve
For without me she could not live,
Her garters she tied 'round her neck so tight,
And hung she was on Friday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

On Saturday morning I hired a ground,
I bought her a coffin so tight and sound,
The mourners dressed in dark array
Came in to bear the corpse away.
I cried until I was almost blind,
I hung me head and I laughed behind,
With onions oh I stung me eyes
And gave a few more sobs and sighs,
I saw her into the ground all right,
Latched onto another on Saturday night.
     Whack fall lor all lor all lee,
     Whack fall for I day.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an early 19th-century British broadside ballad, A Week's Matrimony, published by J Catnach (London) sometime between 1813 and 1838, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Johnson Ballad 289 ....####

This variant was collected in 1960 by Kenneth Peacock from Leonard Hulan [1881-1964] of Jeffrey's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports , Vol 1, pp.322-323, by The National Museum Of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Another variant was collected by MacEdward Leach, and published as #120, Days Of The Week in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this seems to be an Irish (or Newfoundland Irish) variant of an English comic ditty which goes back at least as far as 1760 when it appeared in West Country Garlands , an anthology of stall ballads of the period. Peacock also noted that the sexual connotation of "frying a sausage for me" (verse two) may be further corroborated by referring to a similar passage in the native comic ditty In Duckworth Street There Lived A Dame.


Index Page
GEST Songs Of
Newfoundland And Labrador


~ Copyright Info ~

~ Privacy Policy ~

Confirm Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Here