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Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be? (another anonymous) prodded a childhood memory of a “naughty” song, to the same tune, that I loved to sing. It goes like this:


Oh dear, what can the matter be?

Three old ladies stuck in the lavatory.

They’ve been there from Monday to Saturday (pronounced Mondee and Saturdee)

Oh what can the matter be?


According to the Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be? poem/song by Anonymous, the fuss is because Johnny is so long at the fair.


He’s Gone Away is listed in The Random House Treasury of Best-Loved Poems as a Traditional Folk Song. This one isn’t familiar to me, so I’ll have to check with Kelly for the tune.


He’s gone away for to stay a little while

But he’s comin’ back if he goes ten thousand miles.

Oh, who will tie my shoes? Oh who will glove my hand?

And who will kiss my ruby lips when he is gone?

Look away over yondro.


He’s gone away for to stay a while

But he’s comin’ back if he goes ten thousand miles.

Oh it’s pappy’ll tie my shoes

And mammy’ll glove my hands.

And you will kiss my ruby lips when you come back!

Look away over yondro.


Robert Burns also wrote about ten thousand miles in his poem My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose, which coincidentally was the next one in the book. I had a lot of fun reading this out loud in my Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men accent. Why don’t you give it a try?


O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June:

O my Luve’s like the melodie

That’s sweetly played in tune!


As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in luve am I;

And I will luve thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry.


Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;

I will love thee still my dear,

While the sands o’ life shall run.


And fare thee weel, my only Luve,

And fare thee weel a while!

And I will come again, my Luve,

Though it were ten thousand mile.


Today’s poem is She Walks in Beauty by George Gordon, Lord Byron. It made a tedious workday more bearable.


Consider yourself all caught up on my poetry front. 12 down, 18 to go.





( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
New Hampshire or Bust!
Oct. 26th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
YES! Live free or die!
Oct. 26th, 2008 11:09 pm (UTC)
Whatever you do, don't mention sales tax.
Oct. 26th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC)
I don't know the tune to He's Gone Away off-hand, but having seen the words "ten thousand miles" in there, you won't be surprised that I'm trying to sing it to 1000 Miles by The Proclaimers.
Oct. 26th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
I proclaim they sound a little like the Wee Free Men. I think I'll listen to the 1000 mile song now.
Oct. 27th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)
Oh, waily waily. Not 1000 miles.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
He's Gone Away
This comment is a little late, but I've seen "He's Gone Away" sung on episodes of "Maverick" and "The Munsters," so apparently 40 or 50 years ago, a lot of people recognized this song.
Jan. 23rd, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: He's Gone Away
I used to love watching Maverick, it was one of the many Westerns that were popular on tv in South Africa when I was a kid. The Munsters, I'm less familiar with.
Thanks for the info about the song.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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