“Scolding Wife (IV)”


"Come all ye sprightly sporting youths, wherever you may be, You'll never know your misery till married that you'll be." The singer describes all the ways in which his wife makes his life miserable, and hopes she dies before she kills him


The notes in Henry/Huntington/Herrmann observe that this has the same subject and metrical pattern as "The Scolding Wife (I)." But there seem to be no common lyrics at all; I (hesitantly) declare them separate. The chorus of the Henry text is

For she's aye, aye scowlin', an' she's aye scowlin' me,

She's for everlasting scowlin' and she canna let me be.

Roud lumps this with "The Sporting Bachelors," and I cannot deny the close similarity in themes. But the two appear somewhat different in both form and emphasis. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SHenry H145, p. 503, "The Scolding Wife" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Ord, p. 151, "The Bad Wife" (1 text)
  3. Roud #5556
  4. BI, HHH145


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1926 (Sam Henry collection)
Found in: Ireland