The Funny Thing About Scolds

Drawing from Tales of Pioneer Pittsburgh

Drawing from Tales of Pioneer Pittsburgh

Here is a humorous poem about scolds:

From the Philadelphia True American.
Messrs Printers — One poet has immortalized himself by singing the delights of drinking: half a dozen by pourtraying the joys of love: but it was not until yesterday I knew that the  pleasures of scolding had ever been the subject of song. It is strange, very strange, that the muses, being ladies, could ever condescend to inspire the poet with so ungracious a them. During the storm yesterday I took shelter in Woodward’s bookstore, where to amuse myself, I picked up an old song book, from which I transcribe the following. The concluding line, in which the good woman consoles herself for the lost time in which she sleeps, by saying she will ‘pay them off to-morrow,‘ is excellent and admirably in character.
June 26. ‘PETRUCHIO.’


Some women take delight in dress,
And some in cards take pleasure,
While others place their happiness
In heaping hoards of treasure.
In private some delight to kiss,
Their hidden charms unfolding,
But they mistake their sovereign bliss,
There’s no such joy as scolding.

Each morning as I ope my eyes,
I soon disperse all silence,
Before my neighbours can arise,
They hear my clack a mile hence.
When at the board I take my seat,
There’s one continued riot;
I eat, I scold, I scold, I eat,
My clack is never quiet.

Each night whene’er I go to bed,
I always fall a weeping,
For silence is the thing I dread,
I cannot scold when sleeping.
But then my pains to mitigate,
And drive away all sorrow,
Although to-night may be too late,

Ohio Repository, The (Canton, Ohio) Aug 15, 1816



Observe, fair Celia, all in all,
Mild, beautiful and young;
‘Tis true; but then her mouth’s so small,
It cannot hold her tongue!

Ohio Repository, The (Canton, Ohio) Jan 23, 1817



“Yes, my son.”
“In olden times a woman who was a common scold was punished, wasn’t she?”
“Yes, my son. So was the man she married.” — Yonkers Statesman.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Nov 11, 1912


Another poem, which I found in the Tales of pioneer Pittsburgh, published by the William Penn Association, c1937.

Kesouse! the stool went down again,
Into the slush-ice splashing;
But still the bag, with never a gag,
Kept up her vile tongue-lashing!

Kesouse! a third time for the charm,
Down to the very bottom;
But worse and worse the drab to curse
Begain with a “Dod rot ’em!”

Kesouse! Now let the stool stay down,
And save us futher trouble!
But still her tongue assailed the throng
In every rising bubble!

Until the ice of Februer,
Closed firm and fast above her;
And her corse, cut out perforce,
None can but death discover!

When, hark! upon the cooling-board,
The corse begain to cough;
And then her jaw, the first to thaw,
Went on where she’d left off!

The ducking-stool at once condemned,
Was into kindling cut;
And the mouth of the scold of the days of old,
Has never since been shut.

Except beneath the ice of death,
To be opened sometime later;
When the corse on the board again is heard
In her begotten daughter!

But who was the scold? Ah, helpless wight,
No longer worry and bother;
But go to your home and meet your doom —
She was your dear wife’s mother!

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