Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 102 pages of information about Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse.

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I never was naturally vicious;
  My spirit was lamb-like and mild;
I never was bad or malicious;
  I loved with the trust of a child. 
But hate now my bosom is burning,
  And all through my being I long
To get one solid thump on the head of the chump
  Who wrote the new popular song.

[Illustration:  “The washwoman sings it all wrong.”]

    The office-boy hums it,
    The book-keeper drums it,
      It’s whistled by all on the street;
    The hand-organ grinds it,
    The music-box winds it,
      It’s sung by the “cop” on the beat. 
    The newsboy, he spouts it,
    The bootblack, he shouts it,
      The washwoman sings it all wrong;
    And I laugh, and I weep,
    And I wake, and I sleep,
      To the tune of that popular song.

Its measures are haunting my dreaming;
  I rise at the breakfast-bell’s call
To hear the new chambermaid screaming
  The chorus aloud through the hall. 
The landlady’s daughter’s piano
  Is helping the concert along,
And my molars I break on the tenderloin steak
  As I chew to that popular song.

    The orchestra plays it,
    The German band brays it,
      ’T is sung on the platform and stage;
    All over the city
    They’re chanting the ditty;
      At summer resorts it’s the rage. 
    The drum corps, it beats it,
    The echo repeats it,
      The bass-drummer brings it out strong,
    And we speak, and we talk,
    And we dance, and we walk,
      To the notes of that popular song.

It really is driving me crazy;
  I feel that I’m wasting away;
My brain is becoming more hazy,
  My appetite less every day. 
But, ah!  I’d not pray for existence,
  Nor struggle my life to prolong,
If, up some dark alley, with him I might dally
  Who wrote that new popular song.

    The bone-player clicks it,
    The banjoist picks it,
      It ’livens the clog-dancer’s heels;
    The bass-viol moans it,
    The bagpiper drones it,
      They play it for waltzes and reels. 
    I shall not mind quitting
    The earthly, and flitting
      Away ’mid the heavenly throng,
    If the mourners who come
    To my grave do not hum
      That horrible popular song.

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I hain’t no great detective, like yer read about,—­the kind
That solves a whole blame murder case by footmarks left behind;
But then, again, on t’other hand, my eyes hain’t shut so tight
But I can add up two and two and get the answer right;
So, when prayer-meet’ns, Friday nights, got keepin’ awful late,
And, fer an hour or so, I’d hear low voices at the gate—­
And when that gate got saggin’ down ’bout ha’f a foot er so—­
I says ter mother:  “Ma,” says I, “Matildy’s got a beau.”

Project Gutenberg
Cape Cod Ballads, and Other Verse from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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