New York Girls

There are a couple of versions of this song tossed about, each quite legitimate.  This set of lyrics is how the song is sung by Cliff and by Paul, which are based on the lyrics published by B. Whall, harmonized by R. H. Whall and Ernest Reeves. 1910, “Sea Songs and Shanties,” Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd., Glasgow.  A few tweaks here and there, for instance in the 1910 version the chorus ends with the line “Can’t you dance the polka”, but here we sing it “you love us for our money”.  Joseph sings a slightly longer, slightly different rendition of this version – it is, for those who are paying attention, a sociological illustration of a girl giving signals of attention and interest to a man in order to gain some company and gifts without actually promising anything in return, even piquing his hopes in having him walk her home, only to dash him with disdaining regards as she “dismisses” him while telling of her “flashman” (a boyfriend in the style of an often absent sugar daddy) coming home soon – to strike the point home that she no longer has need of her mark.  Which man among us has not encountered a girl or more like this?!

OK, iconic image not at all relevant to this article… But it speaks to the verse “I kissed her hard and proper”…

As I walked down on Broadway
One evening in July
I met a maid who asked me trade
And a sailor Jack says I

Chorus:
And away, you santee,
My dear Annie.
Oh, you New York Girls,
You love us for our money!

To Tiffany’s I took her
I did not mind expense
I bought her two gold earrings
And they cost me fifteen cents

Says she, ‘You Limejuice sailor
To see me home you may’
But when we reached her cottage door
She this to me did say

My flash man he’s a Yankee
With his hair cut short behind
He wears a tarry jumper
And he sails in the Blackball Line

He’s homeward bound this evening
And with me he will stay
So get a move on, sailor-boy
Get cracking on your way

So I kissed her hard and proper
Afore her flash man came
And fare ye well, me Bowery gal
I know your little game

I wrapped me glad rags round me
And to the docks did steer
I’ll never court another maid
I’ll stick to rum and beer

I joined a Yankee packet
And sailed away next morn
Don’t ever fool with pretty gals
You’re safer off Cape Horn