Newspaper History presents media sourced from a United States newspaper dating back 108 years.

  • Cellar Sobs

    From the Omaha Daily Bee, February 15, 1915.

    Listen, friends, and you shall hear
    Of a story sad and drear,
    And you’ll shed a briny tear,
        That I know;
    For it maketh strong men weep,
    Gives them spooks and loss of sleep,
    Makes the nerves go creepy creep
        With its woe.

    Once there lived a maiden fair,
    Blue of eye and brown of hair,
    Tall she was, a height most rare,
        Monstrous big;
    For the state she went to work,
    Not to dawdle or to shirk,
    Nor to gossip or to smirk,
        But to dig.

    Faithfully she worked and well
    Did this long and lanky belle,
    That is why I hate to tell
        How she fared.
    For they chucked her in the cellar,
    Where she daily grew more yeller.
    Did she weep and wail and beller?
        No one cared!

    So she went from day to day
    Down the smelly hall and gray
    And met spectres on her way
        Black and grim;
    Odors, spider-webs and bats,
    Dust and damp, and weird black cats,
    Lizards, bugs and sewer rats,
        Lean and slim.

    Germs she swallowed by the peck,
    Big, fat, juicy germs, by heck!
    And became a nervous wreck
        Pale with fear.
    She who used to be a winner
    Thinner grew, ye gods, still thinner,
    Till you’d swear she had no dinner
        For a year.

    Well, at last the family’s pride
    Lay her down upon her side
    And one dreary night she died
        All alone.
    Came the state house rats in flocks
    And they chewed her dark brown locks,
    Ate her clothes e’en to her socks,
        Gnawed her bones.

    When the janitors appeared
    In the morn, a thing more weird
    Then they’d ever seen or heered
        Struck their sight;
    For the girl who once was Belle
    Sure enough had gone to hell,
    Bones alone were left to tell,
        Stark and white.

    So they gathered up the mess
    That once sported a blue dress
    And with fitting solemness
        Laid her low.
    They took out a few big stones
    From the floor and put her bones
    There, and with some sighs and moans
        Let her go.

    Now they say that it is true
    That at night time dressed in blue
    Does she walk the long hall through
        And she shrieks;
    And calls curses on the head
    Of the ones that made her dead,
    Gives them nightmares in their bed,
        Weeks and weeks.

    And so every wretched feller
    Who helped send her to the cellar
    Where that gruesome fate befell her
        Pays his due.
    For she’s taking out her spite
    And they’re seein’ things at night
    Long and hairy things that bite
        And that chew.