“A Warning to Girls”


"I once loves a young man So dear to my life, He told me so often He would make me my wife." "He fulfilled his promise, He made me his wife... I have ruined my whole life." In floating verses, she laments her sick baby and drunken husband and warns others


This song, or at least the version collected by Cox, is almost all floating verses (the only significant exception is the second stanza in which the man marries the singer). But that verse changes the tone of the whole piece (what would otherwise be a lost love song becomes a bad marriage song), causing me to file it separately.

Roud, curiously, files it with "The Cuckoo." If I had to file it with one well-known song, it would be "On Top of Old Smokey." - RBW

Cross references


  1. JHCoxIIB, #14, pp. 153-154, "A Warning to Girls" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #413
  3. BI, CoxII14


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1928 (Cox)
Found in: US(Ap)