Mrs. Molly Jenkins
Sells her wares in town,
No, no, no, she wants a better home,
And a better kind of life.
But how is she going to get the things she wants, the things she needs,
As some poor wretch of a farmer’s wife?
He trades the milk for booze,
And Molly wants new shoes,
And as she snuggles down with a stranger
In some back of the bar-room bed,
It’s much to dark to see the stranger,
So she thinks of shoes instead.
Old man Horace Jenkins
Stays at home to tend his schemes,
Sends for pictures of black stockings
On paper legs with paper seams,
And he drinks 'til he drowns in his dreams.
Ah, but is he happy?
No, no, no, he wants to be reborn,
To lead the pious life.
But how is he going to shed his boozy dreams,
When he has to bear the cross of a wicked wife?
She claims to visit shows,
And he pretends that’s where she goes.
And as he snuggles down to his reading
In a half-filled marriage bed,
He’s so ashamed of what he’s reading
That he gets blind drunk instead.
Sunday breakfast with the Jenkins:
They break the bread and cannot speak.
She reads the rustling of his paper;
He reads the way her new shoes squeak,
And prays God to survive one more week.
Ah but are they happy?
You’d be surprised:
Between the bed and the booze and the shoes
They suffer least who suffer what they choose.
Intro and A minor pattern