MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Down in a Boston Restaurant (Hobo, You Can't Catch Me)
Mike Kent NFLD 1 Tape 10 Track 8 and Tape 10A Track 4
Cape Broyle Audio: Version I;Version II;
Ballad / comic

Version I

Down in Boston in a restaurant the hobo chanced to stray,
He asked the waiter for a feed he had no money to pay,
We had cakes and pastries and baked beans by galore,
The hobo snatched a jar of beans and started for the door.

Saying "You can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see you're no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I'll bring you back your bean crock in the sweet bye and bye."

The cop can clinch the hobo but the hobo wasn't green,
He hit the cop down on the mop with half a crock of beans.

Saying "You can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see you're no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I hope your get better in the sweet bye and bye."

Down to Mrs. Jones's back yard the hobo chanced to stray,
He asked the waiters for a feed he had no money to pay.

Saying "You can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see you're no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I'll bring you back your empty in the sweet bye and bye.

It's then that I got married like lots of foolish men,
I met a girl I bought a ring I married her there and then.
I was but nine months married when my wife she took a pain,
Her teeth were false her hair was false and she had a wooden leg.

But to change her I can't,
. can't no matter how I try,
But I'll bring you back your bean crock in the sweet bye and bye.

As I went home the other night she met me by the door,
She says, "We have another one Jack which makes a half a score.
It's the cutest little baby girl I hope you'll wish her joy."
I'll wish her to the devil what I wanted was a boy.

But to change her I can't no matter how I try,
But I'll cut her up for kindling in the sweet bye and bye.

[tape stops and starts]

. you'll meet them every day,
And they'll never have a quarter in their pocket is what they'll say,
But I am not a man like that for I'm a man of bliss,
I always haves a quarter in my pocket here it is.

But to change it I can't no matter how I try,
But I'll bring you back your bean crock in the sweet bye and bye.

Version II

Down in Boston in a restaurant a hobo chanced to stray,
He asked the waiter for a feed he had no money to pay,
We have cakes and pastries and baked beans by galore,
The hobo snatched a jar of beans and started for the door.

Saying you can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see, 'twill do you no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I'll bring you back your bean crock in the sweet by and by.

A cop stood on the corner and eyed the hobo with the jar,
Says he "I'll catch that hobo and put him behind a bar."
The cop then clinched the hobo but the hobo wasn't green,
He hit the cop down on the mop with a half a crock of beans.

Saying you can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see, 'twill do you no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I hope your mop I'll get better in the sweet by and by.

Down in Mrs Jones's backyard the hobo chanced to roam,
He stepped into the barroom saying, "There ain't no place like home,"
Mrs. Jones she grabbed a bottle of ale and threw it at the bum,
The bum snatched the bottle and he started off to run.

Saying you can't catch me you can't,
For I'm a runner and don't you see, 'twill do you no good to try for me,
You can't catch me no matter how you try,
But I'll bring you back your empty in the sweet by and by.

It's then that I got married like lots of foolish men.
I met a girl I bought a ring I married her there and then,
I was just nine months married when my wife she took a pain,
Her teeth is false her hair was false she had a wooden leg.

But to change I can't no matter how I try
I asked the nurse and she said no, I asked the doctor he ought to know,
But to change her I can't no matter how I try,
But I hope she'll have a dozen boys in the sweet by and by.

You'll meet a certain class of men you'll meet them very day.

(speaks) No . gone that now.

[tape stops and starts]

". home the other night she met me at the door,
She says, "We have another one Jack which makes a half a score,
It's the cutest little baby girl I hope you'll wish her joy,
I'll wish her to the devil what I wanted was a boy."

But to change her I can' t no matter how I try
But I hope she'll have a dozen boys in the sweet by and by

You'll meet a certain class of men you'll meet them every day,
They never haves a quarter in their pocket is what they'll say,
But I am not a man like that for I am a man of bliss
I always has a quarter in my pocket here it is.

But to change it I can't no matter how I try
For it was one I made myself you see,
So to change it I can't no matter how I try,
But I hope to fool a blind man in the sweet by and by.


Notes

Sources:

History:

Text notes: A comic song about a hobo who steals a crock of beans. The theme seems to switch dramatically to the subject of married life.

Tune notes:   The basic 6/8 metre is sometimes stretched to 9/8. A stanza-refrain structure with each stanza's phrases repeating in an abab' pattern, in a major key.

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