“Kafoozalem (I)”


Kafoozalem is the daughter of a Turk "who did the Prophet's holy work." A westerner, Sam, loves her and tries to steal her away. The father discovers the plot and has them strangled

Supplemental text

Kafoozalem (I)
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Sigmund Spaeth, Read 'Em and Weep (revised edition), pp. 131-132.

In ancient days there liv'd a Turk,
  A horrid beast, E'en in the East,
Who did the Prophet's holy work,
  As barber of Jerusalem.
He had a daughter fair and smirk,
  Complexion fair, And light brown hair,
With naught about her like a Turk,
  Except her name, Kafoozalem!

My own Kafoozalem, Kafoozalem,
My own Kafoozalem, The daughter of the Barber!

A youth resided near to she --
  His name was Sam -- A perfect lamb
Who was of ancient pedigree,
  And came from old Methusalem;
He drove a trade (and prospered well)
  In skins of cats, And worn-out hats;
And ringing at the airy bell,
  He saw, and loved, Kafoozalem. [Refrain]

If Sam had been a Mussulman,
  He might have sold That barber old,
And with a verse of Al Koran
  Have managed to bamboozle 'em;
But no, ah no! Sam tried to scheme --
  Stole up one day -- The airy way --
And crept into the Turk's hareem
  To carry off Kafoozalem. [Refrain]

The Old Man had begun to smoke,
  When slaves rushed in With horrid din --
"Marshallah! The dogs your house have broke!
  Oh, do come down, and toozle 'em!"
The Old Man wreathed his face in smiles,
  Said twenty prayers, Then rushed downstairs
To find a man with three old tiles
  A-kissin' of Kafoozalem. [Refrain]

The Barber went to his boudoir,
  And, smiling still With great sang-froid,
He took a bowstring from a drawer,
  And greased it well with goozalum.
The youth and maid he seized on,
  And nothing loth, He choked them both,
And threw them in the brook Kedron
  (Which flows hard by Jerusalem). [Refrain]

In ancient days -- the story goes --
  When day was done In Babylon,
And when the silver moon arose
  And shone down on Jerusalem,
Amid the crying of the cats --
  A sound that falls From ruin'd walls --
A ghost was seen, with three old hats,
  A-kissin' of Kafoozalem! [Refrain]

Cross references

  • cf. "Kathusalem (Kafoozelum) (I)"
  • cf. "Laidy Maisry' [Child 65] (plot)


  1. Spaeth-ReadWeep, pp. 131-132, "Kafoozalem" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST SRW131 (Full)
  3. Roud #10135
  4. BI, SRW131


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1945
Found in: US