New England's Annoyances

Words by Anonymous; tune "In Peascod Times," 1643

2. From the end of November till three months are gone,
The ground is all frozen and hard as a stone
Our mountains and hills and the vallies below,
Being commonly covered with ice and with snow.

3. And when the north-wester with violence blows,
Then every man pulls his cap over his nose;
But if any's so hardy and will it withstand,
He forfeits a finger, a foot, or a hand.

4. When the ground opens we then take the hoe,
And make the ground ready to plant and to sow;
Our corn being planted our seed being sown,
The worms destroy much before it is grown.

5. While it is growing much spoil there is made,
By birds and by squirrels that pluck up the blade;
Even when it is grown to full corn in the ear,
It's apt to be spoil'd by hog, raccoon, and deer.

6. Our money's soon counted, for we have just none,
All that we brought with us is wasted and gone.
We buy and sell nothing but upon exchange,
Which makes our dealings uncertain and strange.

7. And now our garments begin to grow thin,
And wool is much wanted to card and to spin;
If we get a garment to cover without,
Our innermost garment is clout upon clout.

8. Our clothes we brought with us are apt to be torn,
They need to be clouted before they are worn,
For clouting our garments does injure us nothing;
Clouts double are warmer than single whole clothing.

9. If fresh meat be wanting to fill up our dish,
We have carrots and pumpkins and turnips and fish;
And when we have mind for a delicate dish
We repair to clam banks and there we catch fish.

View an original publication of the song.

10. Instead of pottage and puddings and custard and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon;
If it was not for pumpkins we should be undone.

11. If barley be wanting to make into malt
We must be contented and think it no fault,
For we can make liquor to sweeten our lips,
Of pumpkins and parsnips and walnut tree chips.

12. And of our green stalks we make our best beer,
We put it in barrels and drink it all the year:
Yet I am as healthy, I verily think,
Who make the spring-water my commonest drink.

13. We have a Cov'nant one with another,
Which makes a division 'twixt brother and brother;
For some are rejected, and others made Saints,
Of those that are equal in virtues and wants.

14. For such like annoyances we've many mad fellows
Find fault with our apples before they are mellow;
And they are for England, they will not stay here,
But meet with a lion in shunning a bear.

15. Now while some are going let others be coming,
For while liquor is boiling it must have a scumming;
But we will not blame them, for birds of a feather,
By seeking our fellows are flocking together.

16. But you who the Lord intends hither to bring,
Forsake not the honey for fear of the sting;
But bring both a quiet and contented mind,
And all needful blessings you surely shall find.

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