I Was the Boy for Bewitching Them
DESCRIPTION: Mothers warn their daughters to beware of the singer, irresistable Teddy. He had few rivals and, when Pat Mooney just met his Shelah, Teddy "twigged" him. "Beauties no matter how cruel ... Melted like mud in a frost"
EARLIEST DATE: c.1809 (Croker-PopularSongs); c.1815 (broadside, Bodleian Firth b.26(452))
KEYWORDS: bragging rake
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Croker-PopularSongs, p. 122, "I Was the Boy for Bewitching Them" (1 fragment)
Bodleian, Firth b.26(452), "I Was the Boy for Bewitching Them" ("I was the boy for bewitching 'em"), Todd and Son (Easingwold), c.1815; also Harding B 25(931), "I Was the Boy for Bewitching 'em "; Harding B 17(143a), "I Was the Boy, &c"; Harding B 28(128), "I Am the Boy for Bewitching Them"
NOTES: Croker-PopularSongs has a fragment not in the broadsides but which "was a favourite some thirty years ago [c.1809]." The tone fits the broadsides but the words parallel "My God, How the Money Rolls In":
My father he married a Quaker,
My aunt she made hay with a fork;
And my uncle's a great grand brogue-maker
In the beautiful city called Cork
Croker-PopularSongs is a fragment; broadside Bodleian Firth b.26(452) is the basis for the description. The Croker fragment is quoted again in Croker-PopularSongs by a Mr Windle "borrowing the words of an old song." (p. 162).
Croker's fragment is not in either Bodleian broadside. Maybe it does not belong here at all. Except for substituting father, aunt, and uncle for grandfather, uncle, and mither, it matches the first four lines of GreigDuncan4 820, "My Grandfather Married a Quaker."
A note, Preliminary Finding List for Early Irish Tunes, at The Wrapper Band site says "I was the boy for bewitching 'em [Said to be from play, Matrimony, c 1804. Music by P. M. King. Song attributed to Kenny in US1 [The Universal Songster or Museum of Mirth, Vol. I,1825], p. 180]; CIR 49 [1808. Crosby's Irish Musical Repository]: The Boy for bewitching them; HIA 7 [One Hundred Irish Airs. New York: Pub. by P. M. Haverty]" Matrimony opened Nov 20, 1804, at Drury Lane "by James Kenny (librettist) and M.P. King (composer)," according to William J Burling [Version 1.2 copyright 3/7/2003] at Missouri State University site. - BS
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