The Milkman’s Wife

Old hag death
Came trundling down.

Sing to me a lightsome song,

We love her not
Though she does no wrong,

Sing to me a love song.

She took the milkman’s
Wife away,

0 sing to us a keening,

Tears in the chink
Of the bottles that day.

0 sing to me a sad song.

Why old bitch
Did you take her hand,

0 tell us what’s your meaning,

She’d done no harm
And she hadn’t lived long,

0 sing a song with feeling.

There is no reason,
There is no rhyme

And I’m bloody well coming
In my own good time,

That’s what I do be singing.

That’s what the old bag’s singing,
That’s what the old hag’s bringing.

© Anne Le Marquand Hartigan 1982

From Long Tongue published by Beaver Row Press 1982

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