The World Turned Upside Down | American Revolution War Song

About the author

Frank Moore
Frank Moore

Frank Moore was a journalist and Revolutionary historian. He published a number of books on the American Revolution during his career in the mid-19th century, including Songs and Ballads of the American Revolution, Diary of the American Revolution and The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution.

The ballad entitled “The World Turned Upside Down, or, The Old Woman Taught Wisdom,” was published, originally, in the Gentleman’s Magazine, and afterwards on a music-sheet, set to the tune, “Derry Down.” The anonymous author, says, it is “an humble attempt to reconcile the parent and her children, made by a peacemaker to Great Britain and her Colonies.”

The World Turned Upside Down

GOODY BULL and her daughter together fell out,
Both squabbled, and wrangled, and made a – rout,
But the cause of the quarrel remains to be told,
hen lend both your ears, and a tale I’ll unfold.

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 by 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, neighbor! quoth Pitt, what the devil’s the matter?
A man cannot rest in his house for your clatter;
Alas! cries the daughter, here’s dainty fine work,
The old woman grown harder than Jew or than Turk.

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

Adzooks, ope 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 huzzy 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 amends.

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

Related posts