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My Good-looking Man
(Roud 3340)
Nonie Lynch
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded July 2003

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Nonie Lynch

When I was sixteen years of age, a damsel in my prime,
I daily thought on wedded life and how I’d spend my time.
I daily thought on wedded life; its beauties I did scan.
I sighed and sobbed both night and day, to get a nice young man.

The wish I wanted soon I got one Sunday afternoon,
As home from church I gaily walked, I met this fair gorsoon
He looked so neat about his feet; to win him it was my plan,
And that very day I fell in love with my good-looking man.

He pledged to me the words of love, and I said his bride I’d be.
He pressed me fondly to his breast saying, “Oh, you are my dear.”
He pressed me fondly to his breast, as to the church we ran;
And there and then I got wed to my good-looking man.

Scarcely were we wed three months, one Sunday afternoon,
My gentleman, he did step out just on our honeymoon.
I did not go along with him, for to watch him, it was my plan.
And soon a flashing young lass I saw with my good-looking man.

He pledged to her the words of love, just as he had done to me;
He pressed her fondly to his breast saying, “Oh, you are my dear.”
He pressed her fondly to his breast as to my home I ran;
And there I patiently did wait for my good-looking man.

The clock was just on the stroke of ten when my gentleman stepped in.
“Where have you been, oh Johnny dear, where have you so long been?”
“To church, to church, kind love,” he said; but this I could not stand,
By heavens, the tongs I did let fly at my good-looking man.

I blackened his face, I broke his nose, in ribbons I tore his clothes;
I seized the poker from the stove and hit him across the nose.
He looked just like a chimney-sweep as out the door he ran.
Ah, the divil a girl fell in love again with my good-looking man.

“This seems to have met with little approval from several folksong academics, possibly because all the commentators on the song were male! MacEdwards Leach wrote of it : 'This seems not to have been recorded before in the oral tradition, which fact is good evidence that the folk are generally discriminating.' Male sensitivities aside, it is a song that was greeted with the greatest enthusiasm by men and women alike each time Nonie performed it in public – her emphasis on the villain getting his due punishment receiving particular attention. We recorded it first from Tom Lenihan, who sang it at a singer’s concert at the Willie Clancy Summer School in 1977. Martin Reidy, who was sitting next to him, grinned across at us and the next time we visited him, he promptly sang it into the microphone for us. It has been recorded several times from Newfoundland and American singers; the only versions appeared in a Canadian newspaper song column and a couple of American songsters. Its single recorded appearance in the U.K. is to be found in Scots musicologist Francis Collinson’s manuscript collection.”

Reference:
Folk Ballads and Songs from the Lower Labrador Coast, MacEdwards Leach, National Museum of Canada, 1965.
Jim Carroll


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