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Three Hardy Conversations

Word count: 304

Song Cycle by Betty Roe (b. 1930)

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1. A Wife Waits [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English


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 Will's at the dance in the Club-room below,
    Where the tall liquor-cups foam;
 I on the pavement up here by the Bow,
    Wait, wait, to steady him home.

 Will and his partner are treading a tune,
    Loving companions they be;
 Willy, before we were married in June,
    Said he loved no one but me;

 Said he would let his old pleasures all go
    Ever to live with his Dear.
 Will's at the dance in the Club-room below,
    Shivering I wait for him here.

Note: A "bow" is a curved corner by a cross-street.

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Farmer Dunman's Funeral [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English


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"Bury me on a Sunday"
He said, "so as to see
Poor folk there; 'tis their one day
To spare for burying me."

With forethought of that Sunday
He wrote while he was well,
"On ten rum bottles one day
Drink for my funeral."

They buried him on a Sunday
So folk might not be balked
His wish, as 'twas their one day,
And forty couples walked.

They said to have it Sunday
Was always his concern,
His meaning being that one day
He'd do us a good turn.

We must, had it been Monday,
Have got it over soon.
But now we gain, being Sunday,
A jolly afternoon.

Submitted by Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

3. The Orphaned Old Maid [ sung text checked 1 time]

Language: English


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I wanted to marry, but father said, "No -
'Tis weakness in women to give themselves so;
If you care for your freedom you'll listen to me,
Make a spouse in your pocket, and let the men be."

I spake on't again and again: father cried,
"Why -- if you go husbanding, where shall I bide?
For never a home's for me elsewhere than here!"
And I yielded; for father had ever been dear.

But now father's gone, and I feel growing old,
And I'm lonely and poor in this house on the wold,
And my sweetheart that was found a partner elsewhere,
And nobody flings me a thought or a care.

Submitted by Iain Sneddon [Guest Editor]

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