She Was Poor But She Was Honest (I)
DESCRIPTION: A mock lament in which the village maid seduced goes to London to become a prostitute. While her customers prosper, she becomes a pox-ridden streetwalker burdened with piles. The moral: the rich takes their pleasures while the poor get the blame.
EARLIEST DATE: 1923
KEYWORDS: bawdy humorous
FOUND IN: Australia Canada Britain(England) US(SW)
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Cray, pp. 128-132, "She Was Poor But She Was Honest I" (3 texts, 1 tune)
PBB 108, "She Was Poor, But She Was Honest" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 200-201, "It's The Syme the Whole World Over" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHJohnson, pp. 15-16, "She Was Poor But She Was Honest" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 27, "It's The Syme The Whole World Over" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Aline Waites & Robin Hunter, _The Illustrated Victorian Songbook_, Michael Joseph Ltd., 1984, pp. 62-63, "She Was Poor But She Was Honest" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "She Was Poor But She Was Honest (II)" (tune & meter)
NOTES: The Sandburg text is described as "fortified in part by H.L Mencken and a contributor to The American Mercury."
Waites & Hunter say, "This is probably one of the most successful anonymous songs in the world. The tune repeats throughout the verses and the chorus, and is therefore exceptionally easy to pick up." - RBW
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