Wooden Breast Bone
19th century folk song [American Song Sheets, series 1, volume
The Girls about here, they think themselves wise,
They'll wink and they'll blink like a toad in surprise:
They'll gossip and dissemble, and do all they can,
To deceive and ensnare some innocent man.
The crooked-back girls and the wither'd old maids,
They'll brace themselves up, then begin their parades;
With an air of conceit, they'll strut when from home,
But their beauty all lies in a Wooden Breast Bone.
When thus splinter'd up, with their shoulders drawn back,
Not only their shoulders, but their sides do not lack;
Of their figure and beauty they'll presume for to boast,
But they look, for the world, like a goose skewer'd to roast.
Extravagant creatures, they wear up our wood,
And in a new country, I think they'd prove good;
They'd clear off the hickory, the oak they'd not spare,
And they'd use up the poplars, if any grew there.
To see one a walking, it is quite a funny scene,
Something as if they to market had been;
And when you address them, how foolish they feel,
For they can't turn their heads, but their bodies must wheel.
And when the young ladies are badly circumstanc'd,
Which they consider a misfortune, their shapes to enhance,
They'll apply the Board, to keep themselves straight,
But they are easily known by their waddling gait.
Come, all you young men who are seeking for wives,
O don't marry such, no not for your lives:
Although to you they may appear very good,
Yet when you do hug them, you'll find they're but wood.
And now to conclude, and finish my song,
I hope you'll know better before it is long;
And should any of you by this take offence,
You may go to the Devil and seek recompense.