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NINETEEN YEARS OLD (Traditional - 19th Century English) As I was walking down by the Strand I met a young lady all dressed up so grand With features of finery and jewels set in gold Said she was a maiden, just nineteen years old Her fingers were tapered, her neck like a swan Her head tipped a little, her voice not too strong In six weeks we were married, the wedding bells tolled I'd married that maiden, just nineteen years old After the wedding we retired to rest I thought I would die when that female undressed A trunk full of cotton she first did unload I thought it darned funny for a nineteen year old She took off her left leg as high as her knee She took off her fingers, I countered but three While there on the carpet her glass eye did roll I thought it darned funny for a nineteen year old She took off her eyebrows, I thought I would faint Next from her mug came a carload of paint She took off her false wig, her old bald head told I thought it peculiar for a nineteen year old She took out her teeth, I jumped up in terror Her chin and her nose fell right in together Now I'm telling you folks she was a sight to behold That fair little maiden just nineteen years old Now all you young fella's when courting you go Make sure she is perfect from head to her toe You'll pay for your folly, like mine you you'll be sold To a patched up old maid about ninety years old ********** Alternate Version: A VIRGIN, ONLY NINETEEN YEARS OLD As I was out walking one night near the Strand I met a young damsel all hoop'd up so grand She had feathers and finery, jewels and gold And she said she was a virgin, yes a virgin only nineteen years old Her fingers were tapered, her neck like the swan Her nose like a turnip, her voice not too strong In three weeks we were married, and the wedding bells tolled That I married a virgin, yes a virgin, only nineteen years old The wedding party broke up, we retired to rest But my hair stood upright when my bride she undressed For a cart-load of padding my young bride did unfold A thing very peculiar, very peculiar, for nineteen years old First she took off her right foot, about a foot wide Then she unscrew'd her left ear, and laid it aside Then she pulled out her right eye, on the carpet it rolled Thinks I, here's a virgin, what a virgin, only nineteen years old Next she unscrewed her left leg as far as the knee Then pulled off her fingers, I counted just three Then on her left shoulder, a large hump I did behold So I said, there's a virgin only nineteen years old When she wiped off her eyebrows I thought I should faint And scraped from her thin cheeks a cart-load of paint When she pulled off her black wig, then her bald pate soon told That she was an old virgin, an old virgin, more than nineteen years old When she pulled out her false teeth, I jumped up in terror For her nose and her chin very near stuck together >From the chamber I stepped, never more to behold The virgin not nineteen, no not nineteen but ninety nine years old Now young man take a warning, ere to church you go Be sure your bride perfect, from top to the toe Or you'll pay for your folly, and like me be sold By some patch'd up bit of stuff, cruel old virgin About ninety-nine years old ********** A later version: EIGHTEEN OR NINETEEN YEARS OLD As I was out walking down by the seashore I met a fair maiden she sure did look grand Her lace and her diamonds and her hair shone like gold She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old Her fingers they jingled like bells on a door Her nose was turned up but not very much more When we were married the wedding bells tolled I have married a young lady just nineteen years old When we were married and retired for our rest My love changed for her, why you can guess For a box full of powders my love did unfold She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old She raked from her pale cheeks a box full of paint When she took out her false teeth I thought I would faint Out upon the carpet her glass eye did roll She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old She unsnapped her fingers, I counted just three Then she unscrewed both cork legs up to her knees When she took off her false wig her old bald head told I had married an old lady about ninety years old ********** A shortened version: NINETY YEARS OLD As I was out walking down by the seashore I spied a young lady, she sure did look grand Ribbons and laces, her hair shone like gold She appeared to be eighteen or nineteen years old Now when we were married I thought I would faint She raked from her pale cheeks a full box of paint When out on the carpet her glass eye did roll She appeared to be eighty or ninety years old I counted her fingers, I could only count three She unscrewed her cork legs both at the knee Took off her false wig, her bald knob it shone I found I'd married an old lady 'bout ninety years old ********** Another version that was part of the repertoire of Nova Scotian folk singer, Fred Reddon, in the 1980's. HANDIER NINETY THAN NINETEEN YEARS OLD Oh, as I was a-walking way down by the strand I espied a fair damsel so handsome and grand She had buckles and brooches of silver and gold Says I, "Now what a dandy, and only nineteen years old" Well, I courted her truly, in two weeks we were wed (*Line missing here*) In two weeks we were married and the wedding bells tolled I'd married me a dandy only nineteen years old Well, the wedding being over we retired to rest You can bet I was astounded when my wife did undress Such an armload of paddings as my wife did unfold Says I, "Now what a dandy, and only nineteen years old" Well, she took off her cork leg right off to her knee She unbuttoned her fingers until I counted three Then she plucked out her glass eye on the floor it did roll Says I, "Now what a dandy, and only nineteen years old" Well, she took off her eyebrows, I thought I would faint She took from her face a good bucket of paint Then she took off her wig and her bald head soon told She was handier ninety than to nineteen years old Now, come all you young fellows when courting you go Examine your true love from her head to her toe For if you don't do it, you're bound to be sold To a patched up old geyser about ninety years old ********** A very different version, but with the same theme, that originated in Ireland: BY THE BRIGHT SILVERY LIGHT OF THE MOON It was one evening in Roscrae, in the merry month of May When the roses and the heather were in bloom A young lady passed me by and she gave me the glad eye By the bright silvery light of the moon Well, I got an awful fright; it was true-love at first sight And I thought I couldn't marry her too soon We got married right away in the Abbey near Roscrae By the bright silvery light of the moon Well, it started getting late and she asked me for to wait And when I got up to the door of her bedroom Well, there upon a chair was her teeth and golden hair By the bright silvery light of the moon Well, there was more for me in store when she began to snore Oh, she nearly blew the blankets cross the room And there upon a peg was a great big wooden leg By the bright silvery light of the moon Well, I grabbed her by the head and I dragged her out of bed And like a broken doll she lay there in the gloom It would break a million hearts to see all of her spare parts By the bright silvery light of the moon So young men take my advice, always look at the ladies twice For they're always out to catch us poor gossoons Pull her teeth and pull her hair, just to see if she's all there By the bright silvery light of the moon (Contributed by Mel - September 2010)

    


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