eXplorations>The Revolution> Music and the American Revolution>The World Turned Upside Down

The World Turned Upside Down, or The Old Woman Taught Wisdom (1767)
Tune: Derry Down

The song played after the battle of Yorktown.

Goody Bull and her daughter together fell out,
Both squabbled and wrangled and made a great rout!
But the cause of the quarrel remains to be told
Then lend both your ears and a tale I'll unfold.
Derry down, down. Hey derry down

The old lady, it seems, took a freak in her head
That her daughter, grown woman, might earn her own bread;
Self-applauding her scheme, she was ready to dance
But we're often too sanguine in what we advance.

For mark the event---thus for fortune we're crossed
Nor should people reckon without their good host.
The daughter was sulky and wouldn't come to
And pray what in this case could the old woman do?

In vain did the matron hold forth in the cause,
That the young one was able; her duty, the laws;
Ingratitude vile, disobedience far worse;
But she might e'en as well sung psalms to a horse.

Young, froward, and sullen, and vain of her beauty,
She tartly replied, that she knew well her duty,
That other folks' children were kept by their friends,
And that some folks loved people but for their own ends.

"Zounds! Neighbour," quoth Pitt. What the devil's the matter?
A man cannot rest in your home for your chatter."
"Alas!" cries the daughter, "here's dainty fine work
The old woman grows harder than Jew or than Turk!"

"She be damned!" says the farmer, and to her he goes,
First roars in her ears, then tweaks her old nose;
"Hello Goody, what ails you? Wake, woman I say,
I am come to make peace in this desperate fray."

Adzooks, open thine eyes, what a pother is here!
You've no right to compel her, you have not, I swear;
Be ruled by your friends, kneel down and ask pardon,
You'd be sorry, I'm sure, should she walk Covent Garden.

"Alas!" cries the old woman, "And must I comply?
But I'd rather submit than the hussy should die!"
"Pooh, prithee, be quiet, be friends and agree
You must surely be right if you're guided by me."

Unwillingly, awkward, the mother knelt down,
While the absolute farmer went on with a frown,
Come, kiss the poor child, there come, kiss and be friends!
There, kiss your poor daughter, and make her ammends.

No thanks to you, mother; the daughter replied:
But thanks to my friend here, I've humbled your pride.

Copyright Digital History 2018