by George H. Jessop (1852 - 1915)

The Calico Dress
Language: English 
Och, mother, dear mother, look pleasant and smile;
Sure I’ve axed ye for nothin’ this terrible while.
In the taypot beyant there’s a thrifle put by,
An’ all the world says pigs was never so high.
Myself knows we’re poor, an’ I’m wishful to spare,
But I can’t wear a calico dress to the fair.

The agent? What matther? He’s aisy content,
It won’t be his first time to wait for the rent.
But Nora – I’ve seen her – she’s got a new plaid,
An’ Kate has the grandest silk iver she had.
If it wasn’t for them I dunno that I’d care,
But I won’t wear my calico dress to the fair.

Och, Mother, look up; ye were young wanst yerself –
There’s the little crack’d taypot beyant on the shelf.
A thrifle will do me – an’ whisper – I’ll tell –
Tom Burke has a lock of prime heifers to sell.
Sure ye wouldn’t axe me, when himself will be there,
Go sthreel an ould calico dress through the fair.

Alas for poor mary! The agent came round,
And took up the rent to the uttermost pound;
And Kate look’d so pretty, and Nora so proud
As they shone like two stars in the holiday crowd;
But the calico dress was the luckiest wear,
For Tom bought a gold wedding ring at the fair.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Christopher Howell

This text was added to the website: 2020-10-11
Line count: 24
Word count: 228