#01354 Print This Page
You landsmen and you seamen bold, come listen to my song,
I'll tell you of a trick was played on me before 'tis long;
This last six weeks I've been to sea I have saved fifty pounds,
And my parents they are expecting me tonight in Whigham town.
I came from sea the other day a fair one did I meet,
And she kindly asked me to a dance 'twas up in Peter Street;
I said, ''My handsome fair one I cannot dance well,
And I am bound for Whigham town where all my friends do dwell."
"If you cannot dance well," said she, "sure you can have a treat,
You can take a glass of brandy or something for to eat;
And if you'll consent at ten o'clock I'll meet you at the train,
Or, if you choose you can give a call when you come to town again."
When I found her so friendly sure I called for a car,
To take us to the ballroom the distance was not far;
The ladies on the other side those words I heard 'em say,
My poor old chap you'll lose your cap if you do go that way.
When we reached to the ballroom the liquor was poured in,
The liquor was passed around the room and the dancing then began;
Me and my love danced around the room, danced to a merry tune,
And she said, my dear, we'll soon repair to a chamber all alone.
When the dancing was all over straightway we did go,
But little did I ever think she would prove my overthrow;
My watch and clothes and fifty pounds my damsel with it fled,
And she left me here, poor Jack-alone, stripped naked on the bed.
When I came to my senses there was nothing could I spy,
But a woman's shirt and an apron upon the bed did lie;
Wringing my hands I tore my hair and cried what shall I do,
Oh fair thee well sweet Whigham town I'll never more see you.
When everything was silent at the hour of twelve o'clock,
I put on that shirt and apron and started for the dock;
When the sailors saw me coming those words I heard 'em say,
My poor old chap you've lost your cap since you have gone that way.
Is that the new spring fashion, Jack, the ladies wear on shore?
Where are the shops they're selling in or are there any more?
Oh Jack, I heard our captain say, he thoughts you for Whigham bound,
Sure, Jack, I'd buy a better suit than that for fifty pounds.
Sure I could buy a better suit if I had got the chance,
But I met a girl on Peter Street and she asked me to a dance;
I danced to my destruction, I got stripped from head to feet,
And I'll take my oath I'll go no more to a dance in Peter Street.
You landsmen and you seamen bold a warning take by me,
Be sure you choose good company when you go on a spree;
Don't go to a dance in Peter Street or you will rue the day,
With a woman's shirt and an apron they'll fit you out for sea.
Sung by Jacob Noseworthy of Pouch Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).
A variant was collected and edited by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and recorded in the field by Grace Yarrow Mansfield, published as #112, The Shirt and the Apron in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Harvard University Press, 1933.
A variant was recorded as Peter Street by The Fables (Tear The House Down, 1998) and Signal Hill (Live At The Lower Deck III, 2007).
A variant was recorded as St. John's Girls by Shanneyganock (Set You Free, trk#16; 2004, Avondale Music, St. John's, NL, produced by Patrick Moran, recorded and engineered by Spencer Crewe at Great Big Studio).
A variant was also published as #112, The Shirt And The Apron in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1968).