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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleNever cut your toe nails on a Sunday
Roud No.21207
Collected FromWest, James
LocationQuenington
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 136
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 1st July, 1916, p 3, Part 35, No. 5
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

A spruce linen draper was Mr John Low,
Walked the Custom House Quay on a Sunday,
He was dressed in the pink of the fashion and go,
When he met with the charming Miss Condy;
Her beautiful eyes took him all by surprise,
So queer was the state that he felt in,
He tried all in vain for to tell her his pain,
For his heart was really a-meltin'.

Chorus

But alas! Who could look into fate's book of laws?
Mr Low would have married Miss Condy:
He lost her, he lost her; and only because,
He cut his toe nails on a Sunday.

Verse 2

The next time he met her, his love he made known,
Her person he thought all perfection,
He pressed her with speed to be bone of his bone,
She blushed and had no objection;
So he gaily did sing, went and purchased the ring,
And the next Sunday was the bespeak day,
For that day would rhyme and agree with his time,
Much better than having a week day.

Chorus

Verse 3

On the blest Sunday morning he got up with glee,
Little thinking that mischief was hatching,
Took out his penknife, his great toe to make free,
At night to prevent them from scratching;
But the knife slipped and gave his great toe such a wound,
Sweet wedlock there surely a fate in;
He could not put his foot at all to the ground,
Though he knew sweet Miss Condy was waiting.

Chorus

Verse 4

Oh, words can't describe all his trouble and woe,
Only think if his sad situation,
A surgeon was sent for, who dressed his big toe,
And talked about amputation;
Laid up for a month, while Miss Condy so smart,
Disappointed at having this short knight,
Without delay got her another sweetheart,
And was married in less than a fortnight.

Chorus

So young men, if love has got into your head,
Recollect Mr Low and Miss Condy,
And whatever you do, before you get wed,
Never cut your toenails on a Sunday.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'This quaint and amusing song is to be met with very rarely, however - in Gloucestershire - I have not heard it south of the Thames. It used to be sung at least every year at the parish gathering at Quenington, by a woman of the village, usually in response to the request of the old vicar, who was especially delighted with it. I have also quite recently heard the song mentioned at Ewen, near Cirencester. The copy was very kindly supplied me by James West, Quenington.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'This quaint and amusing song is to be met with very rarely, however - in Gloucestershire. I have not heard it south of the Thames. It used to be sung at least every year at the parish gathering at Quenington, by a woman of the village, usually in response to the request of the old vicar, who was especially delighted with it. I have also quite recently heard the song mentioned at Ewen, near Cirencester. The copy was very kindly supplied me by James West, Quenington.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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