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Sister Josephine

[Jake Thackray]

Sister Josephine is a song from the late Jake Thackray's 1972 album, Bantam Cock. He also sings it in this video of unknown date and venue:

Jon Boden sang Sister Josephine as the April 18, 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. He reminisced in his blog:

Jake Thackray was a revered personage at the Colpitts hotel sessions in Durham. This was sung regularly by a gentleman called Winston (I think) who also had a great self-penned number about taking up jogging at the age of 75 (his age) in order to meet girls. Quite a character.

Lyrics

Oh, Sister Josephine,
What do all these policemen mean
By coming to the convent in a grim limousine
After Sister Josephine?
While you, Sister Josephine,
You sit with your boots up on the altar screen.
You smoke one last cigar.
What a funny nun you are!

The policemen say that Josephine's a burglar in disguise,
Big bad Norman - fifteen years on the run.
The sisters disbelieve it: No, that can't be Josephine;
Just think about her tenderness towards the younger nuns.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
They're searching the chapel where you've been seen,
The nooks and the crannies of the nun's canteen
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
You sip one farewell Benedictine
Before your au revoir.
A right funny nun you are!

Admittedly her hands are big and hairy
And embellished with a curious tattoo.
Admittedly her voice is on the deep side,
And she seems to shave more often than the other sisters do.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
Founder of the convent pontoon team,
They're looking through your bundles of rare magazines
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
You give a goodbye sniff of benzedrine
To the convent budgerigar.
A bloody funny nun you are!

No longer will her snores ring through the chapel during prayers,
Nor her lustful moanings fill the stilly night.
No more empty bottles of altar wine come clunking from her cell.
No longer will the cloister toilet seat stand upright.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
Slipping through their fingers like Vaseline,
Leaving them to clutch your empty crinoline
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
Sprinting through the suburbs when last seen
Dressed only in your wimple and your rosary.
A right funny nun you seem to be!