Burnt-Out Old Fellow, The [An Seanduine Doighte]

DESCRIPTION: Irish Gaelic: Younger woman complains about her old husband; he sleeps too much, and sports with too many ladies. She sends him to town, then spots him with various women. If she could, she'd lock her old man up and keep company with young men.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1953 (collected by Peter Kennedy)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Irish Gaelic: Younger woman complains about her old husband; he sleeps too much, and sports with too many ladies. She sends him to town, then spots him with three women enticing him and four kissing him. She sends him to the west country, a place known for whores; "his genitals lessened and his jaws became bony/And he came back to me like a newly-born pony." She says that, if she had the chance, she'd lock her old man up and keep company with young men. Chorus: "O my old man O pity I fed you/O my old man O pity I wed you/O my old man O pity I bed you/Sleepin' your sleep for ever and ever"
KEYWORDS: age infidelity jealousy marriage sex bawdy foreignlanguage humorous husband whore wife
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Kennedy 45, "An Seanduine Doighte [The Burnt-Out Old Fellow]" (1 text in Irish Gaelic + translation, 1 tune)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Maids When You're Young Never Wed an Old Man" (theme) and references there
NOTES: The parallel with "Maids When You're Young..." is obvious, although it should be noted that the wife in that song seems to have the opposite problem from the wife in this one. - PJS
Kennedy claims there are "probably more versions of this song than any other in the Irish language," and it's certainly true that his reference list is longer than usual. The problem, as always with Kennedy, is determining if his references are actually to the same song. - RBW
File: K045

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