Mary’s Daughter

Written by J. Beavis

Appears on “Post-Apocalyptic Love Songs” LP, 2016. Personnel: Jimi Beavis – vocals; Chris Bancroft – tenor banjo; Cam Milne – sousaphone; Lachlan McKenzie – trumpet, trombone; Andrew Garton – horn arrangements, clarinet; Steve Robin – drums and engineered/produced/mixed.

He’d had a local woman who’d nursed her pa to death

She sewed for petty cash and prayed every day for sweet rest

She had a daughter with a drifter who never the held child at all

There  were calluses on her knees and a loaded rifle in the hall


They never proved he did it,  but I don’t need a smoking gun

You could tell just by looking at him that there was something quite wrong

Some say he ate meat from the horses that died on his farm

That he had two kinds of grapes growing in his vineyard


We were mistrustful of his beard for he had no moustache

And greeted every person  with a smile and a laugh

Be it whores, winos, or darkies…  preachers or the boy with lemonade cart

Din’t make no discrimination, seemed he couldn’t tell them apart


The girl was the prettiest thing west of McDonnell’s Crossing

Whenever they came into town,  she’d  skip ahead, dancing ’round

Her mother’s dresses,  light as feathers

That shimmered amd floated when she ran


Her ma was  quiet and kind. . .  I used to drink with her pa

With a kid like that she must have had the goodness in her

He was just past 40 when he wed Mary, the girl was around 13

But he’d never been married before,  if you know what I mean.


Jane the Thread found that poor girl up by Dinkler’s Field

Skirt up round the head amd her panties round her knees

He claimed innocence, they never could find anything,  but we knew what it was

You can’t trust a man like that,  accusing the preacher’s boys


A bastard like that changes a town, when the devil takes away his mask

Well Mary, she hanged herself in her daughter’s room

Nobody would buy his growing, Then he couldn’t farm for all the drinking

Sold it to an outer towner,  been living on the streets ever since.


He lurks the streets at night begging money for wine

Keeping good folks awake with his wailing and his crying

Don’t pity him,  I  tell ya,  won’t do any good  round here

All you need to know is on his face right there in front of ya


He’s guilty where he stands.

I’m sure of that.  I’m sure  of that. As i am sure of anything.