MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
A Woman's Tongue
Mrs. Rice NFLD 1 Tape 7A Track 10
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / marital complaint

I often hear men ask how the women talk so fast,
And how they come by every bit of news,
From morning until night all day until midnight
And the way they works their tongue […]

You'd be fairly talked to death before they would lose their breath,
Isn't it a wonder why their tongues is never sore,
Sewing or a spinning you will always find them chinning,
Either at the window or the door.

There's no use in you beginning for to stop a woman's chinning,
For whatever you do she's equal to the test,
Take my advice and drop it for I know you cannot stop it,
For a woman's tongue will never take a rest.

Here am I a married man trying to do the best I can,
To keep my family the way I think it's right,
I lead a sorrowful life because I have a talking wife,
And her tongue runs from morning until night.

Do you wonder how I feel when I'm sitting at my meal,
My wife at her chinning does commence,
When I am working hard I will find her in the yard,
And she talking to her neighbours o'er the fence.

She's bound to be heard before I can get in one word,
And when she's done she tries to tell me more,
Young men are found of running after all those pretty women,
It's now better than you know before.

It's very well to go a-courting who likes that kind of sporting,
But the old saying is do it while you're young,
Don't give yourself away to a girl who talks all day,
So just marry a woman who cannot use her tongue.

There's no use in you beginning for to stop a woman's chinning,
For whatever you do she's equal to the test,
Take my advice and drop it for I know you and I'll never stop it,
For a woman's tongue will never take a rest.


Notes

Sources: Roud 6585. Compare "Scolding Wife"

History:

Text notes: This is one of several misogynist songs in which the singer laments that his wife talks too much.   (Note the slant on this in light of the fact that the singer is a woman.)

Tune notes: An "abab" form.

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