A Working Woman


"A Working Woman" is the fifth and final song of Libby Larsen's song cycle Songs from Letters. The cycle sets letters from Calamity Jane to her daugher Jane.

A Working Woman (1882-1893)
Letter from Calamity Jane to her daughter Jane

Your mother works for a living.
One day I have chickens, and the next day feathers.

These days I'm driving a stagecoach.
For a while, I worked in Russell's saloon
but when I worked there all the virtuous women
planned to run me out of town,
so these days, I'm driving a stagecoach.

I'll be leaving soon to join Bill Cody's Wild West Show.
I'll ride a horse bare-back,
standing up, shoot my old Stetson hat
twice - throwing it into the air -
and landing on my head.

These are hectic days - like hell let out for noon.
I mind my own business, but remember
the one thing the world hates is a woman
who minds her own business.

All the virtuous women
have bastards and shot-gun weddings.
I have nursed them through childbirth and
my only pay is a kick in the pants when my back is turned.
These other women are pot bellied, hairy legged
and look like something the cat dragged in.
I wish I had the power to damn their souls to hell!
Your mother works for a living.

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