Damsel of Nineteen Years Old

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  • Teideal (Title): Damsel of Nineteen Years Old.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 781505.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 4792.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Esther Warkov.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 07/03/1978.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): interview.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

As I was walking one day by the strand
A charming young damsel I chanced for to spy
With finery and jewellery and ringlets galore
She looked like a damsel of nineteen years old.

And I hugged her and I kissed her and she gave her consent
And off to get married the pair of us went
And after our marriage it’s home I did go
With my charming young damsel of nineteen years old.

And after the wedding we retired for the night
With me charming young damsel who now was my wife
I went into the bedroom and took off my clothes
Expecting my damsel of nineteen years old.

She took off her eyebrows, so false and so bright
She took off her false teeth, she looked fifty-nine
She took off her false wig, her bald head it showed
Oh holy be to goodness, she was ninety years old.

She screwed off her left leg right down from her knees
She took off her fingers, she left only three
She took out her false eye, on the carpet it rolled
Oh glory be to goodness, she was ninety years old.

So all you young fellows, take a warning by me
Examine your damsel from her head to her toes
For if you don’t do that you’ll surely be sold
To a dirty old woman of ninety years old.


This song was recorded while Joe was Artist in Residence at University of Washington.