Tune: Samuel Lover (Rory O'More)
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I'm very unhappy, tho' nothing I've done.
I'll tell you the cause of my sorrow;
To-morrow my darling is leaving the run,
She goes from the station to-morrow.
The missus and she had a bit of a row
About something or other this morning;
The missus she started abusing her so,
My darling at last gave her warning.
Oh, bother the missus, and bother her tongue,
And bother her snapping and snarling;
Through wagging her jaws, without any cause,
To-morrow I'm losing my darling.
She went in the kitchen and kicked up a row,
She said that my darling was lazy;
My poor little darling had nothing to say —
She thought that the missus was crazy.
'Tis jealousy, boys, was the cause of it all,
For my darling had done well her duty;
The missus, confound her, is scraggy and tall,
My darling a plump little beauty.
I went in the office and picked up a book,
And sadly was turning the pages,
When the missus came in, and said she, with a look,
"Pay up this young woman her wages."
"It cannot be done, ma'am," said I with a grin,
"Your husband his cheque-book has taken:"
To tell an untruth was not much of a sin,
Especially when your heart is aching.
The boss is expected home by the next mail,
And the missus, confound her and dang her,
Of course with her husband is sure to prevail;
What woman would not in her anger?
My darling is packing as fast as she can,
She vows she will go in the morning,
Was ever a man tormented as I am?
My heart will seek solace in mourning.
Collected by Paterson in Old Bush Songs.
The origin of the tune is far removed from this tale of a lover's frustration. These notes from The Fiddler's Companion:
Colonel Roger “Rory” O’More (c. 1620-1655) was a minor Irish noble and the titular King of Laois, who rose to fame as the scourge of the English during the reign of Charles I. The jig was composed by Samuel Lover and became the "hit tune" of 1837. Although initially a dance tune (a popular Scottish country dance is called "Rory O'More"), it was absorbed as a common march in the Victorian era British army and can be found in martial manuscript books dating from the 1850's (Winscott). “Rory O’More” also appears in English fiddler’s manuscripts from the same era (see Ellis Knowles and Joshua Gibbons, referenced below). The melody was picked up by morris dancers from the village of Adderbury, Oxfordshire, in England's Cotswolds and used as a rural dance vehicle sometimes called by morris musicians as “Haste to the Wedding” and played in the key of ‘F’.