MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Crab Song
Ernest Poole NFLD 1 Tape 18 Track 3
Cape Ray Audio:
Comic song

Good morning Mr. Devil, morning sir he said
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
You've got a crab which you'll sell unto me
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

I got a crab fish one two three
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
And the fattest of the three I will sell unto thee
To thee all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

Jack took the fattest by the backbone
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
Like a damn fool came swigging on the rum
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

And when he got home for the want of a dish
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
Put him in the pot where the woman had to … [laughs]
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

The woman got up and she did want
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
Crab fish caught oh by the … [laughs]
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

Old man old man now do you come hither
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
Devil's in the pisspot tearing up your lover
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

The man came peeping as I suppose
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
Crab with his other claw caught him by the nose
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

Run boys run get the looking glass
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
See your daddy's nose stuck up mommy's ass
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee

One got the poker other got the stick
Whack fol the didlle-o the diddle-i-day
More they beat the crab fish tighter held his grip
To me all whack fol-de-diddle-i-dee


Notes

Sources: Also called "The Sea Crab"; cf. "The Cod-Fish Song"; Roud 149.

History: First printed in 1620 (Percy Folio ms). Hence, one of the oldest of English ballads, but not included by Child, probably because of the scatalogical content.

Text notes: A comic song in which a man hides a crab in a chamberpot. His wife uses the pot and the crab grabs her ass. He tries to free her and the crab grabs his nose.

Tune notes:   It is unclear whether the tune is as old as the text. This performance is in a major key, in 4/4 time with higher register for the vocables.

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