You Can’t Chop Your Poppa Up in Massachusetts was a hit for the popular 1960’s folk group, and second only to “Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” as Borden -related tune most people know.  Made popular in a Broadway production, Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1952 as the Fall River Hoedown, the single was released by the Chad Mitchell Trio in 1961. The trio will be visiting the Lizzie Borden house this week- should be great fun for everyone. Hopefully they will sing a chorus in the parlor where a copy of the sheet music has been on the piano since the house opened as a museum in 1996.

http://www.chadmitchelltrio.com/

Lyrics by Michael Brown

Yesterday in old Fall River, Mr. Andrew Borden died
And they got his daughter Lizzie on a charge of homicide
Some folks say she didn’t do it, and others say of course she did
But they all agree Miss Lizzie B. was a problem kind of kid

   ‘Cause you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
   Not even if it’s planned as a surprise
   No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
   You know how neighbors love to criticize

She got him on the sofa where he’d gone to take a snooze
And I hope he went to heaven ’cause he wasn’t wearing shoes
Lizzie kinda rearranged him with a hatchet so they say
Then she got her mother in that same old-fashioned way!

   But you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
   Not even if you’re tired of her cuisine
   No, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
   You know it’s almost sure to cause a scene

Well, they really kept her hoppin’ on that busy afternoon
With both down- and up-stairs chopping while she hummed a ragtime tune
They really made her hustle and when all was said and done
She’d removed her mother’s bustle when she wasn’t wearing one

   Oh, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
   And then blame all the damage on the mice
   No, you can’t chop your mama up in Massachusetts
   That kind of thing just isn’t very nice

Now, it wasn’t done for pleasure and it wasn’t done for spite
And it wasn’t done because the lady wasn’t very bright
She’d always done the slightest thing that mom and papa bid
They said, “Lizzie, cut it out,” so that’s exactly what she did

   But you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
   And then get dressed and go out for a walk
   No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
   Massachusetts is a far cry from New York

   No, you can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
      Shut the door, and lock and latch it, here comes Lizzie with a brand new hatchet
   Can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
      Such a snob, I’ve heard it said, she met her pa and cut him dead
   You can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
      Jump like a fish, jump like a porpoise, all join hands and habeas corpus
   Can’t chop your papa up in Massachusetts
   Massachusetts is a far cry from New York