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I recently re-read E.J. Brady's Down in Honolulu, but this line has stuck out to me:

I kissed her for her mother,
  I gev' her one, two, three;
I squoze her for her brother—
  'T was all the same to me.

I understand this is not standard English, but how I should read the phrases "for her mother" and "for her brother" in this context? It could be "in honor of her cultural heritage", but the other lines seem to contradict this; or am I missing something obvious?

The author was Australian and this poem was written at the end of the 19th century, so perhaps this is a regionalism particular to his dialect.

  • It's a song probably with a story where you are supposed to read between the lines. – Mitch Jun 30 '13 at 22:11
4

The singer told Lulu that he was kissing her on her mother's behalf, and embracing her on her brother's behalf.

It is unlikely that either party found these representations either plausible or necessary.

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