Drunkard's Poor Wife (The Moonshiners) video
#1943: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
©2011 ~ Used with permission ~

As I rode out on one airy December,
I heard a poor woman, these words she did say:
I'll never forget but will always remember,
My youth and my pleasure for now it's too late.

Now I did well in my own little cottage,
On weaving and spinning the fair tales of life;
I'm old and I'm poor, boys, my sad lamentation,
With four little children, I'm a drunkard's poor wife.

My poor little children are hungry and naked,
And close by the fireside they flee from the cold;
Their hard-hearted father in some pub is drinking,
Drinking and squandering and spending their gold.

Now what a pleasure it will be at their meeting,
To see these four children to me they will run;
It's not such a pleasure to get such a husband,
And leave you in trouble as he had leaved me.

I pray you now, mother, to consider drinking,
It is now a pleasure for them for their lives;
It's not such a pleasure when they're coldest with liquor,
And leave you forever a drunkard's poor wife.

I pray you, fair maidens, come and take a warning,
When you are single from troubles you're free;
Happy is a maiden who's living contented,
She might have comfort, but there's none for me.

But the fond mother she then bent over her cradle,
These words she did say in a cold, mournful voice:
How cold and hard-hearted is the heart of a drunkard,
And sad is the life of a drunkard's poor wife.

####.... Variant of The Drunkard's Wife, a temperance ballad written by Martin Wells Knapp, Methodist Minister from Southern Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio [1853-1901], with music by Leander Lycurgus Pickett, Methodist Evangelist from Burnsville, Mississippi and Wilmore, Kentucky [1859-1928] and published in 1894. It was collected by Vance Randolph, a folklorist from Pittsburg, Kansas, and Pineville, Missouri [1892-1980] and published as #332 in his four-volume book, Ozark Folksongs, published from 1946 to 1950 ....####
A variant was collected at Arnold's Cove, Placentia Bay, NL, in 1969 by Wilfred W Wareham from Maxwell Masters via a recording archived at Memorial University Folklore Archive, Tape number C678, tape counter 436.

This variant recorded by The Moonshiners of St Anthony, NL (Good Days, trk#9, 1989 Cassette, Independent, the Moonshiners, Goose Cove, St Anthony, NL, manufactured by SWC Productions, English Harbour West, NL).

See more songs by Moonshiners.


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