MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Lather and Shave
Angus "The Ridge" MacDonald NFLD 1 Tape 18A Track 3
The Ridge Audio:
Comic song

It was down in the city not far from this spot
Where a barber he opened his snug little shop
With a smile on his face he looked so trim and so neat
That he pulled every body right out of the street

Chorus: With his lather and shave 'em
With his lather and shave 'em
With his lather and shave 'em
[Frizzle 'em bum]

One horrid bad custom he tried for to stop
Was to keep people from coming for trust to his shop
So he made him a razor full of notches and rust
To shave the poor devil who came there for trust


One day a poor Irishman passed by the way
Whose whiskers were growing for many a day
Ah he looked at the barber and he laid down his hod
"Will ye give me a shave for the pure love of God?"

"Step in," says the barber, "sit down on that chair,
And I'll soon mow your whiskers right down to a hair."
So the whitewash he chucked over Patrick's big chin
And with his trust razor to shave him began

"Och, murder," says Patrick, "now what are you doin'?
Leave off with your tricks or my jaws you will ruin
What kind of a razor is that you have got?
Sure it wouldn't cut butter if it wasn't made hot."

"Stop, stop," says the barber, "and don't make a din,
For by moving your jaws I'll be cutting your chin."
He got up and he struck the barber and he fell on the floor
And Patrick he bursted right out of the door.

"You can lather and shave till you're tired and sick,
But be-jeepers I'd rather be shaved with a brick."
Not long after that Pat was passing the door
When a jackass he set up one helluva roar.

"Oh, it's murder," says Patrick, "listening to that knave
He's giving some devil a love-of-God shave."


Sources: A variant is in the Fudge collection from Ramea, Newfoundland. Also called "The Love of God Shave," Laws Q15; Cazden 120; Roud 571.

History: This was a song sheet published by H. de Marsan of New York. (The "frizzle 'em bum" phrase is difficult to distinguish on the recording, and is thus taken from the de Marsan text.)

Text notes: A comic song. Paddy requests a shave on credit. The barber says he has just the rasor for him and uses a rusty one. Paddy runs out in agony. Later he hears a jackass braying near the barbershop and thinks another has requested a "love of God" shave.

Tune notes: Stanza and refrain, with a triadic tune, in triple metre.

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