We'll Have To Splice To Get A Flask
(Johnny Burke)

Last Wednesday morn at one o'clock,
for the East End Store I chanced to stroll,
When Mr Mifflin took my name
and then he put me on the roll;
I waited there for three long hours
and on my spars I had to stand,
For all my lessons I had off
and had my primer in my hand.

Come close the door, time is up,
it's now two minutes after one,
No more refreshments for the boys
who dearly like their drop of rum;
Our hours are strict, says Mr Grant,
we always act up to the rule,
Ye scholars must be here on time,
at one o'clock we close the school.

The school was packed, oh,
such a crowd at school was never seen before,
And all had primers in their hands
before the master closed the door;
Ye all can take a half day off
for no more booze today can take,
Our store is closed for half the day,
you'll have to trot to Windsor Lake.

At one o'clock we always close,
for that's the rule, said Mr Grant,
And after that we sell no booze,
you know yourself darn well we can't;
Before that hour you must be here,
for after that no use to come,
It's hard on boys who like their beer
when St John's bellies crave for rum.

Says Mr Mifflin you may go,
bring home this book and learn your task,
And when you have your lessons off,
you'll get a bottle or a flask;
Before you get your drop of booze,
mind have the money when you come,
A flask or bottle you may choose
half Windsor Lake and Foxy Rum.

Come bar the door the time is up,
shut off the lights, said Mr Duff,
The crowd that's waiting in the hall
must do without their drop of stuff;
For we must do as we are told,
it's not what you or I desired,
For we must act up to the rules
or lose our jobs and then we're fired.

Close up saloons, close up saloons
for ever more, said Silas Bell,
And if I only had my way,
I'd fire the rum half way to hell;
A little drop is very good
for man who's troubled with gout,
But now three bottles every week,
soon half the town will be burnt out.

####.... Johnny Burke ....####
Published in Burke's Popular Songs, page 2, 1929, Long Brothers, printers, St John's, NL.

Also published in Burke's Ballads, p.42, 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 the Dictionary of Newfoundland English:
Foxy Rum - light-coloured or amber rum.
Spar - leg, usually plural.
Splice - to join with others in the purchase and drinking of liquor.

General Note:
Windsor Lake is a large inland body of standing water 4.6km west of the city of St John's; hence, "Half Windsor Lake and Foxy Rum" would be rum diluted with water.


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