MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada

The Bowery

John M. Curtis NFLD 2 Tape 10 Track 1
Trepassey Audio:
Comic Song

Now on the night that l struck New York
I went out for a quiet walk
Folks who belonged to the city said
Twas better for me if I took Broadway
But l was offered a guilded sight
There was the bowery in a blaze of light
And I had one of the devil's own nights
And I’ll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more

Now l had walked but a block or two
When up came a fella and me he knew
Then a policeman came walking by
Chased him away and l asked him why
Wasn't he pulling your leg said he
Said l, he never laid hands on me
Get up and _____ you _______ said he
And l'll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more

I went into an auction store
l never saw any ________ before
First they handed me a pair of socks
Then said they how much for the box
Someone said two dollars l said three
He emptied the box and he gave it to me
l sold you the box not the socks said ‘e
And I’ll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more

I went into a concert hall l didn’t have a good time at all
Just the minute that l sat down
The girls began singing a _______________
l got up mad and l spoke up brave
Somebody put that man out said she
A chap like a bouncer attended to me
And I’ll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more

Now l went into a barber's shop
The ________ l thought it would never stop
I t'ought he surely misunderstood
They clipped off my hair as close as they could
He shaved me wit’ a razor that scratched like a pin
He took off my waistcoat and most of my chin
And that was the biggest scrape ever I got in
And I’ll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more

I struck a place that they called a dive
I was in luck to get out alive
Then a policeman heard my woes
Saw my black eyes and my broken nose
You been _______ out said the copper ________
No but I been knocked down said I
He laughed at me but I coudn't see why
And I’ll never go there any more

Chours:
On the Bowery, the Bowery
They do funny thngs and they say funny things
On the Bowery, the Bowery
I’ll never go there any more


Notes


Sources : Charles Holt's 1891 musical A Trip to Chinatown.

History : This song was part of a popular 1890s Broadway musical by Charles Holt called A Trip to Chinatown . It ran for two years at Madison Square Theatre in New York (1891-3), with simultaneous travelling versions of the show.   While Holt had no musical training, his partner Percy Gaunt provided the music for Holt's lyrics. For more information please see The Musical Theatre Research Project website (http://www.geocities.com/musictheater/trip/china.html)

Text : Recounts a man's unpleasant experiences during his visit to New York.   He does not wish to return after his treatment at the auction, concert hall, barber ship, on the street and at the bar.

Tune : The form alternates between verse and chorus, the melody is A B A B. The final word is spoken. Speaking, instead of singing a final word or phrase is generally thought to indicate Irish influence on the singer or song. The tune is 6/8 with some pushing and pulling of the tempo and meter in places, particularly in the use of breaths.   The singer starts in B-flat major but slowly slips down a tone to A-flat major. The range is an octave.

Works Cited

Annaheim, Ellwood Joesph. 1999 (Jan) A Trip to Chinatown: Musical Theatre Research Project . Website http://www.geocities.com/musictheater/trip/china.html

Kenrick, John. 1996-2005. Musicals 10.com: The Cyber Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre, TV and Film. Website. http://www.musicals101.com/lybowery.htm

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