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Groshaut, Prince Edward Island
In Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island, Sandy Ives wrote, "This is one of those local songs you have to know something about ahead of time before it makes much sense, and the singing of it will almost always lead to comment on what really happened."
1. Oh, come listen to my song for it won’t delay you long, ‘Bout what happened here a month or two ago; And I’m doubtful if my rhyme will do justice to the time That was held upon the tea grounds at Groshaut.
2. The morning dawned upon us and the rain came down in torrents And the tables set so neatly in a row; And the ladies all prepared to do business on the square And to make the tea a credit to Groshaut.
3. Another day we’ll borrow, let the tea come off tomorrow And it’s merry altogether we will go; And the violin sweetly droned and the cider barrel groaned Just the day before the tea was at Groshaut.
4. About noon it turned fine and the sun began to shine, What was done was for the best you all well know; If it wasn’t a success, ‘twas a frolic none the less And ‘twas time to have a picnic at Groshaut.
5. There was scuffles through the crowd and the noise was rather loud, ‘Twas from jolting one another to and fro; And old men with foreheads bare threw their dusters in the air Wanting someone for to fight them at Groshaut.
6. The boys and girls were dancing and the older ones a-prancing While the cider in their goblets did o’er flow; And they stepped so high and light, like a hen would in the night, ‘Twas a funny time that evening at Groshaut.
7. It may rise the price of shirts but there’s no one badly hurt, And I hope there’s no ill feelings to bestow; There were picnics held before, a little nearer to the shore And they might be called twin brothers to Groshaut.
8. See how Noah was respected, in the ark he was elected And from grapes he caused the richest wine to flow; When he made the wine, you see, he got as drunk as drunk could be, Just as drunk as any man was at Groshaut.
9. Perhaps it was a shame but there’s no one for to blame, ‘Twas nothing but an accident, you know; ‘Twas continued the next day but the spirit died away And the cider changed to water at Groshaut.
10. So now the tea is over and the boys again are sober And they’ll always taste the cider for to know; If it’s hard they’ll take it light, and if it’s soft they’ll leave it quite, But they’ll not forget the tea was at Groshaut.
Art Cahill, Sandy Ives, Groshaut, Prince Edward Island, Lawrence Doyle, tea parties, picnic, hard cider, donnybrook, Roud
Ives, Edward D. Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs From Prince Edward Island.Charlottetown, PEI: Institute of Island Studies, 1999, 177-180.
Ethnomusicology | Folklore | Oral History
Cahill, Art. 1968. “The Picnic at Groshaut.” NA68.2, CD121.11. Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, Raymond H. Fogler Special Collections Department, University of Maine.