Canton Historical Society


A Canton Gossip Hymn From 1897

One of the most interesting features of a very interesting meeting of the Young People's Union at Parish Hall last Friday night, was the singing of "gossip hymns," by the "Lunkard Quartette," composed of Messrs. Charles N. Draper, Joseph P. Draper, Charles H. Whittlesey and I. Chester Horton. These hymns were the literary work of the whole quartette in mutual collaboration and besides bringing down the house preserve local history in a felicitous form.

Some of the more pungently local are appended.

Sung to the tune "Susan Brown" at Chas. N. Draper's Union, Dec. 3, 1897.


There's a man in Town, you all have seen,
What, all have seen? Yes, all have seen,
Perhaps his name is Smith or Green,
What, Smith or Green? Yes, Smith or Green.
He always has a friend that's ill.
What, friend that's ill? Yes, friend that's ill.
He's tried us all but Herman Gill, and calls for whiskey straight.
Oh, Temperate Man, oh kind good man, where have you been of late?
Oh, Thirsty Man, Sa-mar-I-tan, we think you up-to-date.
You say of all the samples you collected here and there,
The one the parson gave you-just wizzled up your hair.


We have a farmer on Spring Lane.
What, on Spring Lane? Yes, on Spring Lane.
The stuff he's raised gives me a pain.
    Gives you a pain? Gives me a pain.
His taters still are in the ground.
    What, late as this? Yes, frozen in.
Till Spring he'll leave them I'll be bound. Oh Packard, why is this?
Potatoes late! Why did he wait till snow was two feet deep?
And now they're froze, they are late Rose, 'Twould make a dead man weep;
A dandy farmer he must be, to let the garden rip
While he goes off on pleasure, for a three weeks fishing trip.


Some people ride a bike for fun,
    What ride for fun? Yes, ride for fun.
Spring Lane Sumner, he has one.
    What, he has one? Yes, Ted has one.
A milk can in his hand he'll take.
    What, in his hand? Yes, on his bike.
And then you'll se a fine milk shake, of milk and Ted and bike.
Oh gutter, milk and Ted and bike, I thought we would expire.
Oh gutter, milk and Ted and bike, it beat the Boston fire.
Oh gutter, milk and Ted and bike, it really took the cake.
If you'd been there, you would have seen him mix a fine milk shake.


I know a man named Danforth D.
    What, Danforth D.? Yes, Danforth D.
He draws molasses very free.
    What, very free? Yes, lets her run.
He puts a pitcher at the bung.
    What, at the bung? Yes, at the bung.
Then goes to bed and lets her run, Oh Danforth, Danforth D.
Oh Danforth D., Oh Danforth D., the pitcher is now full.
Oh Danforth D., Oh Danforth D., I think you've made a bull.
Molasses here, molasses there, molasses everywhere,
Next time you draw molasses Dan, I wish you'd use more care.


A burglar bold was at Green Lodge.
    What, at Green Lodge? Yes, at Green Lodge.
The officers he tried to dodge.
    What, tried to dodge? Yes, tried to dodge.
But Oscar started on his trail.
    What, on his trail? Yes, on his trail.
And landed him in Dedham jail, to nurse his broken face.
Both ulsters fine, and good old wine, the burglar stole that night,
But Oscar says when he got through, he was a sorry sight.
Although with bottles he was cut, he plunked him just the same,
He got the nippers on him, and spoiled his little game.


Our Unions now bring out the folks.
    What, bring them out? Yes, all the folks.
They think they'll hear some funny jokes.
    What, funny jokes? Yes, funny jokes.
The boys all come and make a noise.
    What, make a noise? Yes, lots of noise.
The President ought to warn those boys he'll throw them out.
Oh noisy boys, oh wicked boys, why don't you quiet keep?
Oh noisy boys, confounded boys, you make B. Hewett weep.
You turn on lights without regard for those who pay the bill.
You cut some caper ev'ry night, you boys are never still.


Perhaps you think we'll sing all night.
    What, sing all night? Yes, sing all night.
It takes more breath than Oscar's fight.
    What, Oscar's fight? Yes, Oscar's fight.
We cannot find more jokes that fit.
    What, jokes that fit? Yes, jokes that fit.
And therefore we will now say "nit" for we've run out of wind.
We now will stop or we will drop, we're most obliging gents,
We'd like to know how long a show you want for fifteen cents,
We've sung six verses, that's enough, you've got your money's worth,
It's just like Canton people to always want the earth.

            Canton Journal December 10, 1897


Created With Microsoft
FrontPage 98