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, seen further down this page; the song 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?!

Jos. Morneault

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

 

Joseph’s Version

As I walked down on South Street
One evening in July
‘Twas there I met a maid who asked me trade
“Well, a sailor,” Jack says I

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

Then come with my, my cheerie lad
And share with me a treat.
Buy me some rum and ale to drink
And tabnabs for to eat.

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

We bore away for the dance floor
It cost a dollar more
To hear some scratchy fiddle play
As we shuffled ’round the floor

She said, ‘My handsome sailor man
To see me home you may’
But when we reached her tenement door
She turned to me to 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

Well I kissed her hard and proper
Afore her flash man came
“Fare ye well, me Bowery whore
I know your little game.”

Then I wrapped me glad rags ’round me
And to the docks did steer’
I’ll never court them Bowrey whores;
I’ll stick to rum and beer

I signed aboard a packet ship
What sailed away next morn’.
Don’t give your heart to New York Girls
It’s safer ’round Cape Horn.

Chorus 2x