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Mother Carey

Language: English

     (as told me by the bo'sun)

Mother Carey? She's the mother o' the witches
  'N' all them sort o' rips;
She's a fine gell to look at, but the hitch is,
  She's a sight too fond of ships;
She lives upon an iceberg to the norred,
  'N' her man he's Davy Jones,
'N' she combs the weeds upon her forred
  With pore drowned sailors' bones.

She's the mother o' the wrecks, 'n' the mother
  Of all big winds as blows;
She's up to some deviltry or other
  When it storms, or sleets, or snows;
The noise of the wind's her screamin',
  'I'm arter a plump, young, fine,
Brass-buttoned, beefy-ribbed young seam'n
  So as me 'n' my mate kin dine.'

She's a hungry old rip 'n' a cruel
  For sailor-men like we,
She's give a many mariners the gruel
  'N' a long sleep under sea;
She's the blood o' many a crew upon her
  'N' the bones of many a wreck,
'N' she's barnacles a-growin' on her
  'N' shark's teeth round her neck.

I ain't never had no schoolin'
  Nor read no books like you,
But I knows 't ain't healthy to be foolin'
  With that there gristly two;
You're young, you thinks, 'n' you're lairy,
  But if you're to make old bones,
Steer clear, I says, o' Mother Carey,
  'N' that there Davy Jones.



First published in Speaker, 1902

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2008-12-30.

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