The Women All Tell Me
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John Renfro Davis


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My source took this tune from Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time; A Collection of Ancient Songs, Ballads and Dance Tunes.. with... Notices... from Writers of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries... which was published in 1859.

The tune was popular in Colonial America.

The Women all tell me I'm false to my lass,
That I quit my poor Chloe and stick to my glass;
But to you men of reason, my reasons I'll own,
And if you don't like them, why let them alone.

Although I have left her, there truth I'll declare;
I believe she was good, and I'm sure she was fair;
but goodness and charms in a bumper I see,
That make it as good and as charming as she.

My Chloe had dimples and smiles I must own;
But, though, she could smile, yet in truth she could frown,
But tell me, ye lovers of liquor divine,
Did you e'er see a frown in a bumper of wine?

Her lilies and roses were just in their prime;
Yet lilies and roses are conquer'd by time;
but in wine, from its age, such a benefit flows,
That we like it the better the older it grows.

They tell me, my love would in time have been cloy'd;
And that beauty's insipid when once 'ts enjoy'd;
But in wine I both time and enjoyment defy;
For the longer I drink the more thirsty I am.

Let murders, and battles, and history prove
The mischiefs that wait upon rivals in love;
But in drinking, that Heaven, no rival contends,
For the more we love liquor, the more we are friends.

She, too, might have poison'd the joy of my life,
With nurses, and babies, and squalling and strife:
But my wine neither nurses nor babies can bring;
And a big-bellied bottle is a mighty good thing.

We shorten our days when with love we engage,
It brings on diseases and hastens old age;
But wine from grim death can its votaries save,
And keep out t'other leg, when there's one in the grave.

Perhaps, like her sex, ever false to their word,
She had left me, to get an estate or a lord;
But my bumper (regarding nor title or pelf)
Will stand by me when I can't stand by myself.

Then let my dear Chloe no longer complain;
she's rid of her lover, and I of my pain:
For in wine, mighty wine, many comforts I spy;
Should you doubt what I say, take a bumper and try.
Related Links
From Songs from a Colonial Tavern
See Bibliography for full information.