Brush Up Your Beaver (Johnny Burke)

Oh, boys, brush up your beavers
and wear your Sunday tie,
For we're off for the Whitbourne Races
the day for to enjoy;
And we got the growler with us
on the road to have a nip,
For a jolum is the daisy
as along the road you skip.

As we have a few loose shiners
then by all means let us go,
For to see the Whitbourne races
and to watch the oarsmen row;
For the Gypsy and the Mascotte
will be pulled by hardy boys,
At the gallant Whitbourne races
for to see who'll win the prize.

Then girls get on your blouses,
for the day don't look for rain,
And get John Joe, your fancy man,
to take you on the train;
Put a bit of corn beef in your pocket
and you'll find it no great load,
For it's terrible if the gnawing
should come at you on the road.

Now all on board for Whitbourne,
the conductor he will shout,
It's too late to wax your moustache
when the train is moving out;
It's no time to look for a coloured duck
when she's on the Whitbourne trip,
For the day is spoiled on Denis
if he hasn't it in his hip.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Ballads, p.30, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke.

From Princeton University Word Net:
Beaver - man's hat with a tall crown, usually covered with silk or with beaver fur; dress hat; high hat; opera hat; stovepipe; top hat; topper.

From Dictionary.com:
Daisy - (slang) someone or something of first-rate quality.
Shiners - any of various silvery, marine fishes, such as the butterfish, a small (averaging 20 cm - 8 inches), flattened, marine food fish, Peprilus triacanthus, of Atlantic coastal waters from eastern Newfoundland and Gulf of St Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico, having very small scales and smooth skin. Marketed fresh, smoked and frozen; eaten fried, broiled and baked.

From Wikipedia:
Growler - glass or ceramic jug with a capacity of one-half US gallon (1,900 ml) used to transport draft beer in Australia, the United States and Canada. The term likely dates back to the late 19th-century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one's home by means of a small galvanized pail. It is claimed the sound that the carbon dioxide made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl.

From the Twillingate Sun and Northern Weekly Advertiser:
By Telegraph - Whitbourne, August, 1896 - Extensive preparation for the Regatta at Whitbourne on 13th inst. August 12 - All leading stores closed tomorrow on account of the Whitbourne Regatta.
The Miracles Of Railroads, December 3, 1892 - distance from St John's to Whitbourne is 57 miles. (At an average speed of 18mph including stops, the trip to the Whitbourne Regatta in 1896 would have taken approximately three hours.)


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