American Madrigals: Madrigal Cycle on American Folks Songs

Song Cycle by Kirke Mechem (b. 1925)

Word count: 653

?. Kansas boys [sung text checked 1 time]

Hello girls, listen to my voice
Don't you fall in love with no Kansas boys,
For if you do, your fortune it will be
Hoecake, hominy, and sassafras tea.
They'll take you out on a jet-black hill, 
Take you there so much against your will, 
Leave you there to perish on the plain,
That's the way with the Kansas range.
Give me a home where the buffalo roam
Home is a cabin with a big log wall
Nary a window in it at all
Where the deer and the antelope play
Smoky chimney and a shaky floor,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
Clapboard roof and a broken-down door,
Where the cyclones are blowin' all day
That's the way with the Kansas boys.
Swing that pretty girl, 'round we go,
Sashay right and docedo,
Hey ho, diddledum day,
When they go dancing the clothes that they wear, 
Is an old brown coat all picked and bare,
And an old white hat more rim than crown, 
A pair of cotton socks that they wore the week around.
If Kansas boys ever fall in love
First it's "honey," then it's "turtle dove,"
After they're married, it's no such thing,
"Get up and get my breakfast, you no good thing!"

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

1. Kind miss [sung text checked 1 time]

Kind miss, kind miss, go ask your mother,
If you my bride shall ever be.
If she says "Yes," come back and tell me.
If she says "No," we'll run away.
Kind miss, I have much gold and silver;
Kind miss, I have a house and land.
Kind miss, I have a world of pleasure,
And all of these at thy command.
What do I care for your gold and silver?
What do I care for your house and land?
Kind sir, what do I care for your world of leisure, 
When all I want is a handsome man?

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. He's gone away [sung text checked 1 time]

He's gone away for to stay a little while 
  Farewell, fair thee well
But [he's coming back if he goes]1 ten thousand miles
But who will tie my shoes? 
  Your father will tie your shoes
And who will glove my hand?
  Your mother will glove your hand
And who will kiss these ruby lips when he is gone?
And I will kiss those ruby lips when I come back
  Look away, look away over Yandro2.

Authorship

View original text (without footnotes)
1 also "I'm coming back if I go"
2 a mountain in North Carolina

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Adam's Bride (A marriage lesson) [sung text checked 1 time]

When Adam was created, he dwelt in Eden's shade,
As Moses has related, before a bride was made,
Ten thousand time ten thousand of creatures swarmed around,
Before a bride was forméd, or any mate was found.
He had no consolation, but seemed as one alone,
Till, to his admiration, he found he'd lost a bone,
This woman was not taken from Adam's head, we know;
And she must not rule over him, 'tis evidently so.
This woman was not taken from Adam's feet, we see;
And she must not be abused, the meaning seems to be.
This woman she was taken from under Adam's arm;
And she must be protected from injury and harm.
This woman she was taken from near to Adam's heart,
By which we are directed that they should never part.
To you, most loving bridegroom, to you most loving bride,
Be sure you live a Christian and for your house provide.
Avoiding all discontent, don't sow the seed of strife,
As is the solemn duty of every man and wife.

Authorship

Note: Abraham Lincoln recited or sang this poem at his sister's wedding in 1826 under the title "Adam and Eve's Wedding Song". The poem appears to have existed before the American Revolution.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

5. New York girls  [sung text checked 1 time]

As I came down the Bow'ry one ev'ning in July
I met a maid who asked my trade, and a sailor John said I
REFRAIN
 Then away you Santy, my dear Annie,
 Then away you New York girls, can't you dance the polka?
 Fa la la, etc.

To Tiffany's I took her, I did not mind expense
I bought her golden earrings, they cost me fifty cents
(REFRAIN)

She said, "You lime-juice sailor, now see me home you may."
But when we reached her cottage door, she unto me did say,
  "Fa la la," etc.
(REFRAIN)

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]