Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Joseph! you can't Help Yourself!

While perusing an old post-Civil War music book, "The Golden Robin", I discovered a forgotten Women's Suffrage song within its covers. This was 1868, mind you.

"Woman's Rights, a Musical Colloquy". It was written by M. B. C. Slade, with music by Arthur Lloyd. M. B. C. Slade was Mary Bridges Canedy Slade ( Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, 1826 - 1882); she was an editor, a poet, and author of many Protestant hymns, as well as a few patriotic songs

This is a very early Woman's Rights song. I find it interesting that it is presented a
s a 'colloquy', with verses sung alternatively by boys and girls. The girls get the final word. Here it is — and it's certainly a prescient piece of work! :

BOYS : I've been down to Boston, boys, To see the folks and sights. Dear me! I heard such fuss and noise, About the Women's rights ! Now, 'tis just as plain as my old coat, That's plain as plain can be, That when the women want to vote, They'll get no help from me!
"Not from Joe, Not from Joe, If he knows It, Not from Joseph! No, no, no, not from Joe, not from me, I tell you no!

GIRLS : Tell us Joseph, why not I, Should vote as well as you? What Is there. If we girls but try, We can't make out to do? Ah! but we shall surely win the chance; And now I'll let you know, That If we don't our cause advance, We'll vote, but not for Joe!"
GIRLS CHORUS. Not for Joe, Not for Joe, If we know It, not for Joseph; No, no, no, not for Joe, not for you, sir, — oh! dear! no!

BOYS : See. young woman, just look here: Your home Is your true place; You never ought from out your sphere, To show your pretty face. Don't you see, you ought to knit and sew, And meek and humble be ? If from your sphere you wander so, You'll get no help from me." (BOYS CHORUS)

Joseph! you can't help yourself, Our cause is speeding on; And you'll be laid upon the shelf, When woman's rights are won. When our President Is Katy fair, And Mary's eyes of blue, Beam sweetly from the Mayor's chair, They'll see no place for you! (GIRLS CHORUS)

Early Women's Suffrage Song in "The Golden Robin" - for sale

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