Song lyrics/translations for "We Did It! Songs of People Behaving Badly" by the Pratie Heads

to hear/buy the recording see the Skylark Productions website.

Written by Thomas Hudson in 1802

What a shocking world this is for scandal!
The people get worse every day
When everything serves for a handle
To take folks' good names away.
In backbiting vile each so labors
The sad faults of others to show body
I could tell such a tale if I liked,
But I never says nothing to nobody, fal de ral la li day

The butcher, so greasy and fat,
when out, he does nothing but boast
he struts as he cocks on his hat
as if he supreme ruled the roast
Of his wealth and his riches he'll prate
determined to be such a fine body
He's been pulled up three times for short weight...

It's a snug little house they reside in,
Those people who're living next door
They're smothered completely such pride in
as I never have met with before
but outside their door they don't roam
a large sum of money they owe somebody
When folks call, they can't find them at home...

The publican, thriving in trade
with sorrow is now looking down
his sweet little pretty barmaid
has a little one just brought to town
he's not to be seen much about
his wife is a deuce of a shrew body
the beadles are on the lookout...

The new married couple, so happy,
Seem quite the quintessence of love
He calls her, before every chappy,
"My darling," "My Duck," and "My Dove."
In private there's nothing but strife
Quarrelling, fighting o'erflow body
In short, quite a cat and dog life...

I could tell if I liked such a tale
of neighbors all round, great and small
That surely I think, without fail.
Would really astonish you all.
But here now my short ditty ends
As I don't want to hurt high or low body
I wish to keep in with my friends...


Fair Lucy she sits at her father's door a weepin' and making moan
And by there came her own dear brother: 'What ails ye, Lucy Wan?'

'I ail, and I ail, dear brother,' she said, 'I'll tell you the reason why:
There is a child between my two sides between you, brother, and I.'

And he has drawn up his good broad sword that hung down by his knee,
And he has cut off Lucy Wan's head and her fair body in three.

'What blood is that upon your sword? My son come tell to me.'
'Oh that is the blood of my greyhound, he would not run with me.'

'But your greyhound's blood it was ne'er so red. My son come tell to me.'
'It's not the blood of our greyhound, But the blood of our Lucy."

'Oh, what will you do when your father comes home? My son come tell to me.'
'I shall dress myself in a suit of blue and sail to some far country.'

'And what will you do with your houses and your lands? My son, come tell to me?'
'I'll leave them all to my children small, By one, by two, by three.'

'And when shall you come back again? My son, pray tell to me.'
'When the sun and the moon rise over yon hill, And I hope that may never, never be.'

by John Pole
You can
email John; he is a puppet master himself, now retired, and has written many other wonderful songs. We are very upset that a typo on our liner notes has him being a "composter" rather than a composer. Sorry, John!

I am the showman and on me back
I carry me actors in me pack.
A puppet showman, that's me, yours truly,
And the stars of me show are Punch and Judy.
That's the way to do it says Pulcinella,
Humpback and hooknose, symbolic old fella.

The first one up is old Punch himself.
"Ladies and Gents," he says, here's your good health."
He carries a big stick wherever he goes,
It's thick and strong and as long as his nose.
Thats... big nose and long stick, he's a comical fella.

Now up comes Judy, Punch's old lady,
Saying "I'm off now, Punch, so mind the baby."
"No I won't!" says Punch, "Yes, you will!" says Judy
"Come hold your kid, me lad, and none of your old moody."
That's... cocksure but henpecked, pathetic old fella.

The kid keeps howling, old Punch he thumps it,
It bawls, he calms it down, into bed he dumps it.
It bawls, he belts it, it bites his finger,
Punch up and throws it through the bloomin' window.
That's ... "Lie there you bleedin' brat to bawl and bellow!"

Now back comes Judy, she's back home again,
Not knowing Punch has done the nipper in.
"Where's the baby, Punch?" "Gone... gone to sleep," he says.
"Don't you know where your own son is?
You make me weep!" she says.
That's ... "I bung it out the winda" he has to tell her.

She cries her eyes out: "Where's my little son gone?"
Says Punch, "There's plenty more where that one came from."
She grabs her stick and clubs him something lovely,
He grabs it, kicks her, kills her ugly.
That's ... Why keep a wife you hate when you can kill her?

Up comes a copper dressed in blue,
Saying, "Mr. Punch, I'm arresting you,
I've got a warrant here to arrest you for what you've done."
"And I've got a warrant," says Punch, "to knock you down."
That's... Knocking him ass over head right down to the cellar.

Well the law soon catches him and in a while
Before Judge Black Cap he's standing trial.
"Kill wife and child?" he says, "You guilty wretch!
Go out and hang him, Mr. Ketch."
That's ... "Hang 'em all but don't hang me!" he cries in terror.

"See this here rope?" says Ketch, "poke your head through."
Old Punch lets on he don't know what to do.
"In here, Mr. Ketch, or perhaps in here?"
"Hang on," the hangman says, "I'll show you where."
That's ... Swing up the hangman, he's a swinging old fella.

"Jack Ketch is dead," cries Punch, "Hurrah, hurrah I'm free!
Don't care if a devil from Hell should come and call on me."
"Jack Ketch is dead," cries Punch, "Hurrah, I'll do 'em all!"
Up pops the devil - tail, horns, hooves and all.
That's ... "Leave off, I'm your best friend, we're birds of a feather!"

Well the devil darts at Punch cause he ain't havin it,
He swings his stick but Punch keeps grabbin it.
He lands a mighty swipe on Satan's nut and
The devil's out for the punch, as dead as mutton.
That's ... He's killed the Devil, heroic old fella.

Now the show is ending and the dolls need mending.
The Punch and Judy show is never-ending.
Inside each on of us is a Punch and Judy,
In you, sir, you, ma'am - and in me, yours truly.
That's ... the Punch and Judy show goes on forever.


There was a young woman in our village who in our village did dwell
She loved her husband dearly, but another man twice as well...

She went onto the doctor to see if she could find
Anything in the whole wide world to make her old man blind.

"Just give him sixteen marrowbones and make him eat them all
And when he's finished he'll be so blind he won't see you at all."

She gave him eggs and marrowbones and made him suck them all
Before he had the last one sucked he couldn't see any at all

"Oh help me wife, my darling wife, I fear that I am blind,
I think I'll go to the water's edge and there I'll end me life."

"For fear that I should courage lack, or if I try to swim,
Take me down to the water's edge and there you'll push me in."

"Says she, "We'll go to the River and there perhaps the air
Will help you to regain your sight. Come on, I'll guide you there."

So she ran up behind him, she ran with all her force
But the silly old bugger he stepped aside and she fell in, of course.

"Oh help me, help me husband dear, oh help, I cannot swim!"
The bugger he got a barge pole and he pushed her further in

It may take sixteen marrowbones to make your old man blind
But if you want to drown him you must creep up close behind.

The Downfall of Piracy
This was written by Benjamin Franklin at the age of 13. He was so thrilled by the recent bloody death of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard! Jane wrote the music.

Will you hear of a bloody Battle lately fought upon the Seas,
It will make your Ears to rattle and your Admiration cease;
Have you heard of Teach the Rover and his Knavery on the Main;
How of Gold he was a Lover, how he lov'd all ill-got Gain.

Teach married to a Lady and he gave her five hundred Pounds,
But to her he prov'd unsteady, for he soon march'd off the Ground.
And returned, as I tell you, to his Robbery as before,
Burning, sinking Ships of value, filling them with Purple Gore;

Valiant Maynard as he sailed, soon the Pirates he did espy,
With his Trumpet he then hailed them and to him they did reply:
"Teach is our Commander!" Maynard said: "He's the Man
Who I'm resolv'd to hang, Sir, let him do the best he can."

Teach reply'd unto Maynard" You no Quarter here shall see,
But be hang'd on the Main-yard, you and all your Company."
Maynard said: "I none desire of such Knaves as thee and thine!"
"None I'll give," Teach then replied, "Me Boys, give me a Glass of Wine."

He took the Glass, and drank Damnation unto Maynard and his Crew;
To himself and Generation, then the Glass away he threw;
Maynard was resolv'd to have him, tho' he'd Cannons nine or ten:
Teach a broadside quickly gave him, killing sixteen valiant Men.

Maynard boarded then and to it they fell, with Sword and Pistol too;
His sailors showed great courage, killing the Pirate's Crew.
Teach and Maynard fought under the mainsail high,
Maynard cut the pirate shorter. Losing his Head, Teach there did die.

When the bloody Fight was over (we're inform'd by a Letter writ),
Teach's Head was made a Cover to the Jack Staff of the Ship.
Thus they sailed to Virginia, And when they the Story told,
How they kill'd the Pirates many, They'd Applause from young and old

BOWIE, BOWERIE (The Two Sisters)
Either collected or composed by John Jacob Niles

Bowie, bowerie,
A lord once lived by the deep blue sea; he had daughters as you shall see
Bow down, bow downarie, bow down, bow downarie

There came a knight a courtin fair, he chose the youngest that was there

He gave to her a beavery hat - the eldest thought quite ill of that

"Oh sister, let's we walk about, to see the ships go sailing out."

The daughters walked by the ocean's brim; the eldest pushed the youngest in.

"If you will lend your lily-white hand, you may have my house and land."

"I'll neither lend you either hand, but I"ll have your lover and your land."

The miller pushed her farther in, he wanted of her silver pin.

And when she died the fiddles played, her father heard how she'd been slayed.

The miller and the eldest one hanged for the murder they had done.

A version of the "Raggle Taggle Gypsy" from the Appalachian mountains

Ra-da-da-da-dim da-da-dim da-da-dim
da-da-ra-da-da-da-dim dye easy
ra-da-da-da-dim sing a liddle diddle dim
sing a liddle diddle Gypsen Davey

It was late in the night when the squire came home enquiring for his lady.
Serving woman answered him: 'She's gone with the Gypsen Davy.'

"Go saddle me my milk white steed, the black one ain't so speedy
I'll ride all night till the broad daylight and I'll overtake my lady."

He rode till he came unto the town, he rode till he came to Barley
The tears came rolling down his cheeks 'cause there he spied his lady.

"O come go back, my own true love, o come go back, my honey.
I swear by the sword that hangs by my side that you'll never lack for money."

"I won't come back and be your love, and I won't be your honey.
I'd rather have a kiss from the gypsen's lips than all your lands and money."

"Then hand me back those high heeled shoes made of the Spanish leather
Give to me your lily white hand and we'll bid goodbye forever."

She handed him those high heeled shoes made of the Spanish leather
She gave to him her lily white and and they bade goodbye forever.

"Last night I slept in a feather bed beside my husband and baby
Tonight I'll sleep on the cold cold ground in the arms of the Gypsen Davy."

JESUITMONT (Justamont)
Bob Vasile wrote this music. The text is traditional.

There lived a knight in Jesuitmont
A hunting he did ride
His footmen all attending him
His horsemen by his side

And they found out in Jesuitmont
A pleasant sport and play
His lady goes exceeding fine
To hear the masses play

And she's called on her daughter Anne
To come and not be late,
To go and tell the master cook
To dress the dinner straight

"Go tell the cook I'm sending him
The fair and milk-white doe
That in the parlour shines so fair,
There's none so fair to show."

To go her message for to tell
Young Annie feared no ill
So she's gone to the master cook
The message for to tell

and the cook said...

"This blade is in my hand
To bereave thee of thy life;
For you're the doe that I must dress,
So says your father's wife."

Up then spoke the kitchen boy
And he spoke loud and high:
"O save, o save fair Annie's life,
And bake ME in your pie."

"I will not save fair Annie's life,
No, not for such as thee,
But if you tell the secret of his wife,
Your butcher I will be."

And when the day was done
And they were sitting in the hall
The knight must see his daughter Anne
So for her loudly he did call

Up he rose and away he goes,
An angry man was he;
"One bit of meat I will not eat
Till I fair Annie see."

Up then spoke the kitchen boy,
And he spoke loud and high:
"If you want to see your fair Annie
You must break up the pie."

"Her meat it was all minced small
And forced by the fire,
And cursed be her stepmother,
For it was her desire."

This lord he is all clad in black
All for his Annie's sake,
And he has caused her stepmother
To be burned at the stake.

And he has caused the master cook
In boiling lead to stand,
And he has made the kitchen boy
The heir of all his land.


Oh it's Lamkin was a mason good as ever built with stone
He's built Lord Weary's castle and payment he's got none.

"Now pay me, Lord Weary, now you must pay my fee."
"I can't pay you Lamkin, for I'm going on the sea."

"Well, if you do not pay me, this vow I make to you:
Before that you come home again, you shall have cause to rue!"

Then Weary bought a bonny ship on the sea to sail away.
"Beware of Bold Lamkin" to his lady he did say.

Their nurse she was a false jade so when the night did fall
Lamkin came to a window and she let him in the hall.

"Where's your lady of the castle with the jewels on her gown?"
"She's in her pretty bower, you can soon bring her down."

Then it's Lamkin he took a sharp knife that hung by his side
and he's given the bonny baby a deep wound and wide.

And it's Lamkin he rocked and the false nurse she sang
Till from out of the cradle the red blood outsprang

And it's then cried the lady as she stood upon the stair:
"What ails my son, nursie? Why's he crying so sore?"

"Can't you still him with the pap or can't you still him with the bell?"
"He will not still, lady, till you come down yourself."

How can I come down the stair so late in the night
Without any fire or any candlelight?

The jewels on your gown they're shining bright as the day
Come down the stairs, lady, let the jewels light your way

So the lady started down not thinking it no harm
But Lamkin stood ready to catch her in his arms

"Oh mercy mercy Lamkin, have mercy on me
You've taken my son's life, can't you let my own life be?"

"Oh shall I kill her, nursie, or shall I let her be?"
"Oh, kill her, kill her, Lamkin -- she was never good to me."

There's blood in the kitchen and there's blood in the hall
Weary's wife and his little baby are lying dead against the wall

And it's sweetly sang the blackbird that sang their song of spite
But sorer cried the false nurse when she was condemned to die

And it's bonny sang the mavis out of the thorny brake
But it's sorer cried Lamkin when he was tied to the stake

Steve Tilson. We learned Peter Bellamy's version.

He was barely a man, in his grandfather's coat
Sewn into the lining was a ten shilling note
"Goodbye to my family, goodbye to the shore,
Til I find good fortune, I’ll see you no more."
There's a boat on the ocean tossed up like a cork
And then one fine morning he sighted New York
He stood on the gangplank and breathed in the air
"Hello Land of Plenty, I've come for my share!"

And he did like the ladies, the rise and the fall
Of ankles and dresses down on the dance floor
And the roll of the dice, and the spin of the wheel
But he took most delight in the slip jigs and reels

Now there's talk of a pistol and some say a knife
But all are agreed there was somebody's wife
Some kind of commotion, a terrible fight
He left one man dead and ran into the night

Next the train to St Louis just one jump ahead
he slept one eye open with a gun neath his head
But he dreamed of the green fields and mountains of home
while crossing the plains with a bus full of rogues

And they called him the "kid", and by twenty one
all he had learned was the power of the gun
And by twenty three he had shot five men down
who got in his way as he rambled around

But a bad reputation is a hard thing to bear
Poor mothers would scorn, young children they stared
But he found consolation in flash company
and life is the best with a girl on your knee

It was wild Mezcaleros I've heard people say
In the deadliest ambush in old Santa Fe
A young buck was taken rolled up in his coat
and inside the lining was a ten shilling note

Learned from the singing of Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill and Touchstone

When pretty Peg went down the street some fresh fish for to buy,
I winked at her and I talked to her and I kissed her by and by.

With me tid-dy right fa-la-did-dle die do
with my tid-dy right fa-la-did-dle die...

Now how can I get to your chamber, love? Or how can I get to your bed?
When your daddy goes to bed at night with the key lyin' under his head?"

"Oh get you a ladder thirty foot, thirty foot and three
And put it up to the chimney top and come down in a creel to me"

No peace nor ease could the old wife get with dreams running through her head
"I'll lay me life," cried the silly old wife "There's a man in me daughter's bed"

The old man he got out of bed for to see if it was true
But she's pushed me down with her lily white arms and under the coverlet blue

"What are you doin, father dear, what are you doing so late?
You've disturbed me at my evening prayers and ah but they were sweet!"

"The devil take you, silly old wife, and an ill death may you die,
Your daughter's lyin' with a book in her arms and she's praying for you and I"

No peace nor ease could that old wife get 'Til she would rise and see
But her foot gave a shot to the chamber pot and into the creel went she

"Rise and help me husband dear, rise and help me now,
For the one that you have wished me to, I fear he has got me now!"

"Well the hold he's got I hope he keeps, and never lets it go -
For between yourself and your daughter dear, it's time for the cock to crow!

Learned from the singing of
Graham and Eileen Pratt

When I was seven years old, oh, my mother she did die
My father married the worst woman that ever your eyes did spy

And she has made me the laily worm that lies at the foot of the tree
And me sister Lady Maisery made the mackerel of the sea

And every Saturday at noon the mackerel comes to me
And combs me hair with a silver comb and washes it in the sea

"It's seven lords that I have slain all at the foot of the tree
If you were not my father, the eighth one you should be."

The lord's sent for his lady gay as fast as send can be
"Oh where's me son that you sent from me, and me daughter Maisery?"

"Your son is at the King's court, serving for meat and fee,
Your daughter's at the Queen's court, a maiden sweet and free."

"You lie, you lie, you ill woman, so loud I hear you lie,
For me son he is the laiy worm that lies at the foot of the tree!"

And she has taken the laily worm and given him strokes three
He's started out the bravest knight that ever your eyes did see

And she has taken her silver horn and loud and shrill blew she
And ne'er a mackerel came to her, but the lady Maisery

"Me brother you made the laily worm and the mackerel you made me,
You shaped me once an unseemly shape but you'll never more shape me!"

Text by William Shakespeare, music by Penka Kouneva

Fear no more the heat of the sun, nor the furious winter's rages.
Thou thy worldly task hast done - home art gone and taken thy wages.
Golden lads and girls all must as chimney sweepers come to dust...

Fear no more the frown of the great, thou art past the tyrant's stroke
Care no more to clothe and eat, to thee the reed is as the oak,
The sceptre, learning, physic, must all follow this and come to dust...

Fear no more the lightning flash nor the all-dreaded thunderstone
Fear no slander, censure rash - thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must consign to thee and come to dust...

No exorcisor harm thee nor no witchcraft charm thee
Ghost unlaid forbear thee nothing ill come near thee
Quiet consummation have and renowned be thy grave, thy grave.

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