Dat Leetle Box

Original Text: 
Wilson MacDonald, Paul Marchand and other Poems (Toronto: Pine Tree, 1933): 17-23.
2    Dat ees a lonely life--
3A bachelor, dat's wat dey call
4    De man who has no wife.
5He has no cheeldren; eef he has
6    He don't talk much of dat.
7He keep eet, as de Yankees say
8    Right onderneat' hees hat.
9I'm seeck, of all dees leev' alone,
10    An' so I'm look around
11To find som' nice Canadian girl
12    Who weigh two hondred pound.
13De girl who go straight up and down
14    Don't set my heart een whirl.
15I'd radder stay me single man
16    Dan marry skeeny girl.
18    And dere, wat do I see?--
19A girl who weigh two hondred pound,
20    An' she was nam' Marie.
21I ask "You marry me!" She say:
22    "Oui, oui", as queek as dat.
23She was ver' glad she meet a man
24    Who lak' hees women fat.
25And so I marry my Marie;
26    She swear she will be true.
27She own two-hondred-acre farm,
29We marry on cole winter day:
30    De Horse's nose she steam.
31We have nice hickory nuts and cake
32    And Montreal ice cream.
34    As hanywhere be found.
35I love Marie wit' all my heart--
36    Her whole two hondred pound.
37I tink I never love a femme
38    So much as dees again,
39Unless I meet anodder girl
40    Who weigh two hondred ten.
41We leev' a very happy time;
42    She darn me all my socks.
43And den one day she buy som' pills
45Eef I had known wat's een dat box
46    I'd mak' me hell turn loose;
48    Dey mak' de fat reduce.
49Een seex months dat Marie she weigh
50    Exac' one hondred five,
51And wen I found dose pills, eet's luck
52    Marie ess still alive.
53I called me den on Fadder Burke;
54    "Wat mak' me do", I cried,
55"I marry me two hondred pounds,
56    An' half of eet has died.
57"I tink I get anodder wife;
58    My heart she am de wreck".
59Se fadder say: "Dat ain't de law:
60    You're leeving in Quebec."
61I say to heem: "Eef I go buy
62    A shirt or sock I tink
63Dey geev wat you call guarantee
64    Dat he wont mak' heem shrink.
65"Why doan' dey geev' dat guarantee
66    When you take wife dat's fat
67And den go shrink lak' my Marie;
68    I tink dey should do dat."
69Den Fadder Burker he smile: "Ma frien',
70    You tell Marie," he say,
71"Beeg joke dat mak' her laugh, and she
73An' so each day I tell her joke:
74    She laugh unteel she cried.
75An' I laugh too, for I could see
76    Marie was growing wide.
77Dat Fadder Burke ees very wise:
78    Marie ess fat again.
79She doesn't weigh two hondred pound:
80    She weigh two hondred ten.


1] Leetle: little.
leev': live.
turty: thirty. Back to Line
17] St. Césare: small town just east of Montreal. Back to Line
28] quatre-rous: four-wheel (rough-terrain) vehicle. Back to Line
33] By gar: by God. Back to Line
44] foony: phony. Back to Line
47] pills: DNP, 2,4-Dinitrophenol, employed in diet pills from 1933 to 1938. Back to Line
72] tree: three. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: