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Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...

GUEST,Fred 16 Jan 01 - 11:10 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 11:25 PM
Stewart 16 Jan 01 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,Fred 16 Jan 01 - 11:31 PM
Sorcha 16 Jan 01 - 11:31 PM
catspaw49 16 Jan 01 - 11:50 PM
Les from Hull 17 Jan 01 - 07:21 AM
Snuffy 17 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM
catspaw49 17 Jan 01 - 09:16 AM
Hotspur 17 Jan 01 - 10:33 PM
Barbara 18 Jan 01 - 01:56 AM
GUEST,Fred 18 Jan 01 - 11:44 PM
Lin in Kansas 19 Jan 01 - 02:09 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Jan 01 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,D_hand 19 Jan 01 - 06:26 AM
GUEST 19 Jan 01 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 19 Jan 01 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Allan S. 19 Jan 01 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 19 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM
GUEST,Ferrara 19 Jan 01 - 01:57 PM
catspaw49 19 Jan 01 - 02:07 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 01 - 05:31 PM
catspaw49 19 Jan 01 - 05:42 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM
catspaw49 19 Jan 01 - 06:41 PM
Bill D 19 Jan 01 - 08:37 PM
Dr. Sunshine 19 Jan 01 - 09:54 PM
Snuffy 19 Jan 01 - 10:13 PM
GUEST,Fred 19 Jan 01 - 10:39 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Jul 02 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Arne Langsetmo 17 Jul 02 - 04:39 PM
kytrad 17 Jul 02 - 04:47 PM
Dave Bryant 18 Jul 02 - 10:34 AM
The Fooles Troupe 25 Sep 03 - 11:10 PM
LadyJean 26 Sep 03 - 12:40 AM
The Fooles Troupe 26 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM
Steve Parkes 26 Sep 03 - 04:05 AM
LadyJean 26 Sep 03 - 09:40 PM
The Fooles Troupe 27 Sep 03 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,barbara 27 Sep 03 - 10:56 AM
Bill D 27 Sep 03 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,jimbo 06 Aug 08 - 02:12 AM
dick greenhaus 06 Aug 08 - 05:50 PM
Mark Ross 06 Aug 08 - 07:19 PM
Bill D 06 Aug 08 - 07:57 PM
Joe_F 06 Aug 08 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,chillathome 01 Jul 09 - 02:16 PM
Bill D 01 Jul 09 - 03:39 PM
catspaw49 01 Jul 09 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Jul 09 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Guest.pauley 28 Feb 10 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Judy Cook 28 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM
GUEST 14 May 10 - 09:56 PM
mousethief 15 May 10 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,gpa958 03 Jul 10 - 04:24 PM
Jim Dixon 11 Jul 10 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,wayne: this is all i remember 24 Nov 10 - 06:04 AM
catspaw49 24 Nov 10 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Grishka 24 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Granddaughter Emily 07 Mar 12 - 01:07 AM
GUEST 16 Apr 12 - 09:15 PM
Steve Parkes 19 Apr 12 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 18 Nov 12 - 11:57 PM
GUEST 03 May 13 - 07:51 PM
GUEST,Auntie tree 16 Jul 13 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Summerwind 11 Oct 13 - 07:16 PM
Sandra in Sydney 11 Oct 13 - 08:59 PM
Mo the caller 12 Oct 13 - 11:51 AM
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Subject: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:10 PM

Are there any old choristers around that might have learned, and even better remembered, more of the lyrics to a take-off sung to the tune of "Silver Threads Among the Gold"? The only parts I remember go like this:

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir.

etc.

etc.

ending with:

"...the preacher's head resembles heaven,
There will be no parting there.

If anyone has any other parts to this, please post them.
Much Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:25 PM

Twas midnight on the ocean
Not a streetcar was in sight
The captain climbed the telephone pole
And it rained all day that night.
Twas a summer's day that winter
And the snow was raining fast
And the barefoot boy with his shoes on
Stood there....Sitting in the grass.
While the organ peeled potatoes
Lard was rendered by the choir
And when the sexton wrang the dihrag
Someone set the church on fire.
Holy Smoke," the preacher shouted
In his haste he lost his hair
His bald head resembled heaven
For there was no parting there.

My Dad's favorite........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Stewart
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:30 PM

It was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight;
While the sun was shining brightly, for it had rained all the night.
'Twas a summer's day in Winter and the rain was snowing fast,
As the barefoot girl with shoes on stood there sitting in the grass.

It was evening and the sunrise was just setting in the west;
And the fishes in the treetops were all cuddled in their nests.
As the wind was blowing bubbles, lightning shot from left to right;
Everything that you could see had been hidden out of sight.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:31 PM

Thanks, Spaw. I think we only sang the 2nd half. Much appreciated!! Learned it in junior high from the choir director.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:31 PM

Good Heavens, that's funny!! We always get asked for Silver Threads at the Nursing Home......I'm gonna print these and give them to the vocalist, LMAO!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Jan 01 - 11:50 PM

My Dad was not too musical and he had little interest in poetry, but this thing was so dumb, he just loved it. Anytime the word poetry came up, he'd recite this one as though it were some great classic. He knew two poems, this one, and for reasons known only to him, "The Face on the Barroom Floor."

As a kid, this type of thing was one helluva an embarassment when you're an A student and your friends are staring at your Dad. Now, I embarass my own kids with the same silliness and wish the Ol' Man was here to enjoy what his son finally learned.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Les from Hull
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 07:21 AM

At the boarding house I stayed in
Everything was growing old
Silver threads among the butter
And the cheese was green with mould
When the dog died we had sausages
When the cat died catnip tea
When the landlord died I left there
Rissoles were too much for me

I used to know another verse, I'll try to dig it out.

Les


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 08:52 AM

The Digital Tradition Database has two songs containing the line "Lard was rendered by the choir":

AT THE BOARDING HOUSE

AIN'T WE CRAZY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 09:16 AM

Its interesting that the one particular verse pops up in all of the ones mentioned so far. The other parts are very different, but that verse really seems to stick!

Spaw


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Subject: Lyr Add: BAREFOOT BOY WITH BOOTS ON
From: Hotspur
Date: 17 Jan 01 - 10:33 PM

I learned this as the BAREFOOT BOY WITH BOOTS ON--one of my grandfather's favorite songs.

The night was dark and cloudy. The moon was shining bright.
The sun was snowing madly as it rained all day that night.
Lightning struck the cowshed and the cows all chewed their cud.
The moonlight set the prairie on fire in the middle of the woods.

The barefoot boy with boots on came shuffling down the street.
His pants were full of pockets and his shoes were full of feet.
He was born when he was a baby, his grandma's pride and joy.
His only brother was a girl and his sister was a boy.

I know there's more but that's all I can remember right now.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 17-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 01:56 AM

My mother always sang the line this way:
"Lost his head, and then his hair
Now his head resembles.... etc."
this is still one of her favorites, along with the parody of "After the Ball"
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 18 Jan 01 - 11:44 PM

The persistence of that verse makes me wonder about it's history. It seems also to have fewer variations than one might expect. I wounder if it was published somewhere early on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Lin in Kansas
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 02:09 AM

(Another bootleg from John in Kansas - on LiK's connection). The lyric from Stewart is very close to what someone wrote in my mother's high school autograph book - Haven KS class of 1934, so it has apparently been around for a while. The similarity to other inscriptions there suggest that it may have been commonly recited or sung. Some of the other similar ones appeared on old Edison (cylinder) recordings that my grandpa still had when I was a gradeschool kid. The recordings appeared to come mostly from about the T Roosevelt era.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 03:46 AM

My Mom used to (and still does) recite:

It was springtime in the Rockies,
and the snow was raining fast,
When a barefoot man with clogs on
Came slowly whizzing past.
He turned a straight crooked corner,
And saw a dead donkey die;
He pulled out his pistol to stab it,
And the donkey spat in his eye!

It may have come from the two Leslies (Lesie Sarony and ?? --Help, Roger!) in the thirties, who also did a nonsense alphabet: "A is for 'orses, b for mutton, c for yourself, ..." (say it out loud!)

She'd usually follow it up with something I think must have come from Robb Wilton:

A man said to me "can you dance?"
I said "dance?"
He said "yes"
I said "who?"
He said "you!"
I said "me?"
He said "yes!"
I said "no";
he said "oh".

Say it rapidly for the best effect. I'd love to know the rest of it, if anyone knows it.

Steve

P.S. Yes, "the day war broke out" -- that Robb Wilton!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,D_hand
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 06:26 AM

Steve - the version I heard was:

A man said to me "can you swim?" I said "swim?" He said "yes" I said "who?" He said "you!" I said "me?" He said "yes!" I said "no"; he said "oh" and he pushed me in !


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 08:41 AM

And yet another bit of poetry (St. Louis, Mo, 1970's was when I heard it first.)

One bright day, in the middle of the night
Two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came and shot the two dead boys.
If you don't believe this tale is true,
Ask the blind man: he saw it too.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 08:51 AM

"I see",said the blind man, "I see the wall"
"No you don't," said the dummy, "you can't see at all".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 09:14 AM

THese are wonderfull Haven't heard them in years. Does anyone know the rest of the following

"Curses on you little man, with your saddle shoes of tan
With your upturned pantaloons and your boogie woogie tunes"

I remember hearing it in the late 40's. The words saddle shoes and boogie woogie would put it the late 30's early 40's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM

Steve,The other Leslie wasn't Leslie Henson (?father of Nicky, husband of Gladys, uncle of Basil- I may have got the relationships mixed up but all the same thespian clan) was it?
My grandfather used to do the "A for th'oss" alphabet as well!
Robb Wilton (LOVE his work) used to do a lot of those "I said who" monologues with piano background.
RtS (dim-bulb still flickers in to life at times)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Ferrara
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 01:57 PM

These are great. My father used to collect that sort of nonsense. For that matter, so did Bill's father.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 02:07 PM

Actually Rita, it seems that you collect a lot of nonsense too.......I mean after all, you collected Bill.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 05:31 PM

But, I'm cute...she says so....

(my Dad had a lot of 'lines' that would pop out on occasion...the Organ-potoato poem being one...he also said "sick a-bed on two chairs",

"where you bean, Lima",

"Can I hold your palm, Olive".."Not on your life, boy"

and "Is May here?".."May who".."Mayonaisse".." No, Mayonaisse is dressing"

also, "Ya'll come back when ya' can't stay so long"...and "Here's your hat...what's your hurry"

and more......(I am rationed as to how many "my daddy used to say" I can use per year...and how often for each one)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 05:42 PM

So you had one of those too huh Bill? Some of those are pretty familiar and went along with:

Do you think the rain will hurt the rhubarb? Not if its in cans.

Its colder in the country than it is in the winter.

Now I use all that stuff myself of course and my kids stare at me like I stared at him. He'd have been 82 today.....gone almost 30 years now. Wish he was around to see what his son finally learned.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM

yep...mine would have been 93 last year....lost him in '76. He had that obtuse sense of humor, and never SANG anything that I remember...just sayings & recitations.

He told us once about himself and friends disassembling a farmer's buggy one Halloween, and re-assembling it on top of the man's shed roof....then coming by next day to watch the old fellow stare...and getting hired to get it DOWN again!...said he always suspected the farmer knew who did it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 06:41 PM

Yep....that'd be my Dad too. He'd lock in on a lot of things and never let go to the point you wanted to kill him. (Yeah, I know....) Also a big practical joke type, but they'd often be long term jokes. I mentioned it before, but he was a railroad engineman (proper term for engineer) and he and his fireman passed out pocket calendars one year to all the crews they ran into for about a week, both in Pittsburgh and Columbus. A pocket calendar was essential for doing your timetables and pay sheets......Of course these calendars were several years old and an awful lot of guys screwed their pay up and wanted to kill Dad and John. Of course they lied and said they had not been paid either..................

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 08:37 PM

'spaw...my uncle was a fireman, and my dad was a Western Union lineman who rode those funny little motorized units which had to get OUT of the WAY of trains...my dad was a foreman on the gang which ran the telegraph line on the D&RG-W to the Moffat tunnel ("Dotsero cutoff") in Colorado...

One of his favorite tales was of the dustbowl, when there was a grasshopper plague so bad the motor-cars couldn't get traction to run!...

(He also related the scare of losing track of the train schedule and being alone when a train was coming...and wasn't near a siding! It usually took at least 2 men to shift the car (extendable handles)..and they preferred 4...but this time he heaved it into a ditch by himself! Took a winch to get it back on, and later he couldn't move it to explain whay he did...adreneline is wonderful stuff!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Dr. Sunshine
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 09:54 PM

Same tune as Boarding House

The train was standing in the station when a young man full of care,
Rushing up to get aboard it, tripped, fell headlong down the stair.
An old lady rushed up to him saying, "Did you miss a step, my son?"
He turned to her and said, "No, lady, I hit every bloody one."

Now, girls can never change their nature. That is quite beyond their reach.
If a girl is born a lemon, she can never be a peach.
But the law of compensation is the one I always preach:
You can always squeeze a lemon. Did ya ever try to squeeze a peach?

Dave

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 17-Jul-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 10:13 PM

(Silver Threads tune)

"Tell me, Mr tram conductor,"
Said a lady old and frail,
"Will I be electrocuted
If I step upon the rail?"
"Oh no, madam, I assure you,"
The cheeky tram conductor said,
"Unless of course you put the other
On that cable overhead."

Wassail! V


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Fred
Date: 19 Jan 01 - 10:39 PM

I don't remember whether it was my mother or father who recited the One bright morning, etc. I had forgotten all about it till now. Mother also used to say, "I see, said the blind man as he waved his wooden leg in a deep bass voice." She left us all 3 1/2 years ago and my Dad is still kicking at 85 last weekend. Both of them, and his mother also, loved these old nonsense verses. Maybe we should start a thread on the Little Willie jokes.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BAREFOOT BOY WITH SHOES ON
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 03:57 PM

Copied from http://www.locksley.com/sass/songs/037.htm

THE BAREFOOT BOY WITH SHOES ON
(Asa Martin)

Oh, the night was dark and cloudy. The moon was shining bright.
The stars were casting burning rays on the storm that raged that night.
Lightning struck the cowshed and the cows all chewed their cud.
Moonlight set the prairie on fire in the middle of the woods.

Oh, the barefoot boy with shoes on come a-shuffling down the street.
His pants were full of pockets and his boots were full of feet.
He was born when he was a baby, his grandma's pride and joy.
His only sister was a girl and his brother was a boy.

He never was a triplet but he always was a twin.
His legs were fastened to his knees just below his chin,
And his feet were fastened to his ankles several inches from his shoulder,
And when he grew up, he became a man and every day got older.

He married him a woman who quickly became his wife,
For you see he could not marry her and maintain a single life.
Her head was full of notions and her mouth was full of tongue.
They raised a dozen children, all born when they was young.

Six boys, five girls and then another child--
They never tried to raise them right, just let them grow up wild,
And late in the evening they'd send them off to bed,
Not sure if they was living and they wished they all was dead.

The youngest was a baby but the oldest was one first.
The good one was the bad one, but the bad one was the worst.
They never knew their ages; no, they never seemed to care,
'Cause they knew they had a birthday and it came 'round once a year.

They never knew their father's age, but they always had a hunch
That he was born before their time, was the oldest of the bunch,
And when they died, they could not speak; their names they could not tell.
The girls all went to heaven and the boys all went out west.

Variants:
[Here I have copied only the verses that are different from the ones already posted or in DigiTrad. -JD]

"My husband's dead," the lady said. Her eyes were dry with tears.
She put her head between her feet and stood that way for years.

As the wind was blowing bubbles, lightning shot from left to right.
Everything that you could see had been hidden out of sight.

As I gazed through the oaken door, a whale went drifting by,
Its six legs hanging in the air, so I kissed her goodbye.

This story has a moral, as you can plainly see:
Don't mix your gin with whiskey on the deep and dark blue sea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:39 PM

John McCutcheon has a version very similar to the last one there (but including the "lard" and "preacher" verses) on his album entitled ... "Barefoot Boy With Boots On". . . .

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: kytrad
Date: 17 Jul 02 - 04:47 PM

Jim, my brother Wilmer sang (still sings), "The Barefoot Boy With Boots On") quite near to the Asa Martin version but different in spots, and he sang it before we ever heard of Asa (grand man). Alan S., I think your poem was in our schoolbooks when I was very little (an age ago). Here's the original:
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy with cheeks of tan
With thy turned-up pantaloons
And thy merry whistled tunes;
And thy red lips, redder still,
Kissed by strawberries on the hill.
In my heart I give thee joy-
I was once a barefoot boy!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 Jul 02 - 10:34 AM

The train was standing at the station, when a young man full of care,
Running down to reach his carriage, tripped, fell headlong down the stair.
An old lady standing by said, "Did you miss a stair my son ?"
He replying said "No Madam, I hit every bleedin' one."

Girls can never change their nature - it's impossible to beat.
If a girl is born a lemon, then they're never be a peach.
But the law of compensation is the moral that I teach.
You can always squeeze a lemon, have you tried to sqeeze a peach ?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 11:10 PM

I first heard the two dead men got up to fight (with slight variations) in the 1950's - I heard it from my grandparents, but it was also popular in Primary School.

Obsolete links from above updated (for the moment!)

AT THE BOARDING HOUSE
AIN'T WE CRAZY

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: LadyJean
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 12:40 AM

While the organ peeled potatoes
Lard was rendered by the choir
While the sexton wrang the dishrag
Someone set the church on fire.
Holy smoke the preacher shouted
In the rush he lost his hair.
Now his head resembles heaven!
For there is no parting there.

My church has a service on the street every summer. One year it was to be followed by a picnic. There was a chafing dish sitting on a table with a paper covering, and, you guessed it, it caught fire during the service. Of course I said, "Holy smoke!" Wouldn't you?
The fire was out in a few seconds. No damage done. I don't think out pastor even noticed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 01:15 AM

One thing that was a joke in the local church youth group was that at a barbeque, someone would be sure to make a comment about

"burnt offerings, and whole burnt offerings"

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 04:05 AM

Tut-tut, Robin: "barbecue", with a "C"!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: LadyJean
Date: 26 Sep 03 - 09:40 PM

Bar B Cue comes from the French barbe et cue, beard and tail, meaning they were going to cook the animal from it's beard to it's tail. Barbeque is close to the original.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 10:12 AM

Thanks Lady Jean... goddam American spellers...
spell centre as center... etc
I dunno...
:-)

Robin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,barbara
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 10:56 AM

We always sing these verses to the tune of "Oh Susanna!"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 03 - 12:43 PM

"spell centre as center"
...and pronounce it as 'cen-ter' rather than 'cen-tree'....;>)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,jimbo
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 02:12 AM

I'll sing you a little ditty, it's as crazy as can be,
The guy who wrote it said he'd keep it as he handed it to me;
I found I couldn't use it, 'cause it was so very blue,
And that's the very reason why I'm handing it to you.

It's the song the alligators sing, when comin' thro' the rye,
As they serenade the elephants up in the trees so high;
It's the song the iceman sings, as he shovels in the coal,
And the monkeys join the chorus up around the northern pole.

It was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight;
I stepped into the drugstore to buy myself a light;
The man behind the counter was a woman old and gray,
Who used to peddle shoestrings on the road to Mandaly.

"Good morning, Sir," the maiden cried; her eyes were dry with tears;
She stuck her head beneath her feet and stood that way for years;
Her children six were orphans, except one tiny tot;
Who lived in the house across the street above the vacant lot.

While the organ peeled potatoes, lard was rendered by the choir;
And the sexton rung the dishrag someone set the church on fire;
"Holy Smoke!" the preacher shouted and his wig flew in the air;
Now his head resembles heaven, as there is no parting there.

As the cows were making cowslips, the bells were ringing wet;
The bumblebees were making bumbles, smoking cigarettes;
'Twas a summer's day in winter and the rain was snowing fast,
And the barefoot boy with shoes on stood sitting in the grass.

That's the way my old man used to do it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 05:50 PM

There's a verse I'm trying to track down:
Baby swallowed an alarm clock
**********************************
We feed castor oil to baby
Just to pass the time of day.

Anyone recall it? I can write a second line, but I might be missing a really good one if I do,


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Mark Ross
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:19 PM

AIN'T WE CRAZY was recorded by none other than Haywire Mac, Harry Kirby McClintock and his Haywire Orchestra in the late '20's. A great bit of nonsense.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 07:57 PM

Dick...I know the line as included in part of Mary had a little lamb.

"Mary had a little watch, she swallowed it one day,
And so she took some Castor Oil to pass the time away...
But the time it would not pass....
So if you need to know the time, look up Mary's.....


Uncle, who has a nice Grandfather's clock.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Joe_F
Date: 06 Aug 08 - 09:56 PM

The good old reliable New Song Fest has

The Dying Fisherman's Song

It was midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight;
While the sun was shining brightly, for it had rained all the night.
'Twas a summer's day in winter, and the rain was snowing fast,
As the barefoot girl with shoes on stood there sitting in the grass.

It was evening and the sunrise was just setting in the west;
And the fishes in the treetops were all cuddled in their nests.
As the wind was blowing bubbles, lightning shot from left to right;
Everything that you could see had been hidden out of sight.

While the organ peeled potatoes, lard was rendered by the choir;
When the sexton rang the dishrag, someone set the church on fire.
"Holy Smokes!" the preacher shouted, as he madly tore his hair,
Now his head resembles heaven, for there is no parting there.

*

You dencink?
You eskink?
I'm eskink if you're dencink.
I'm dencink if you're eskink.
So I'm eskink.
So I'm dencink.

*

Spring is coming.
He is?
Not "He is", "It is".
It is what?
It is coming.
What is coming?
Spring is coming.
He is?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,chillathome
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 02:16 PM

I remember my dad saying "Curses on you little man, you barefoot boy with cheeks of tan...................

The rest of it is gone some twenty years as is my father. Not sure how much more of it there is????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 03:39 PM

Mr. Chan, the wood seller, was highly sought after for his stocks of excellent Teak, but, after hiring a new boy to help move things in his shed, he was suddenly plagued by thefts from his best stock. The only clues were smallish footprints,and the persistence of the thief. Chan had enough of this. One night, he decided to sit out by his woodshed, waiting for the thief.

Sure enough, the boy arrived. From a bag, he removed a bear skin, and covered himself with it...assuming perhaps that anyone looking would see only the silhouette of a bear sniffing about.

Chan snorted when he saw this, frightening the lad, who jumped up and ran. The wood seller gave chase, shouting, as one would expect, "Stop, boy-foot bear with teak of Chan!"
"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 04:09 PM

...............awferchrissakes........................


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Jul 09 - 08:41 AM

A complex, if venerable, pun Bill D.

=========
It has taken me all this time to figure out 'the organ peeled potatoes.' i.e., it's supposed to be a pun.

If I sang this, I would sing 'the church bells pealed...potatoes"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Guest.pauley
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 12:35 PM

When I was a child, my mother would often sing this when we were driving a long distance on vacation. Below is how I remember it.

As the organ peeled potatoes,
Song was rendered by the choir,
As the sexton rang the church bell,
Someone set the church on fire,
Holy Smokes!! the preacher shouted,
In the rush, he lost his hair,
Now his head resembles heaven,
For there is no parting there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Judy Cook
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 02:51 PM

Why is it always our dads? My dad's first verse (before the organ peeled potatoes one.)

'Twas midnight on the ocean, not a streetcar was in sight
I went into a drugstore to get myself a light
The man behind the counter was a woman old and gray
Who used to peddle donuts on the road to Mandalay.
"Good morning." she said. Her eyes were bright with tears
She put her head between her feet and stood that way for years.
All her children are orphans, except a tiny tot
Who lives in a house across the street above a vacant lot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 May 10 - 09:56 PM

Here's how I remember it

While the organ peeled potatos
Lard was furnished by the choir
While the sexton rang the dinner bell
Someone set the church on fire
Holy somke the preacher shouted
As his wig flew in ;the air
Now his head resembles heaven
For there is no parting there!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: mousethief
Date: 15 May 10 - 12:31 AM

The version of "Late one day in the middle of the night" given on the first page is identical, word-for-word, with the way I learned it in school.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,gpa958
Date: 03 Jul 10 - 04:24 PM

the version I remember is available by googling "song the bare foot boy with boots on".I can remember my uncle singing it during the 30's and 40'swhen I was as child.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 12:43 AM

From Virginia Reel, Volume 1 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia, May 15, 1920), page 21:


HOW COULD IT DID?

It was midnight on the ocean,
Not a street car was in sight,
The sun was shinging [sic] brightly,
And it rained all day that night.

It was a summer's day in winter,
And the rain was snowing fast,
As a barefoot girl with shoes on
Stood sitting in the grass.

It was evening and the rising sun
Was setting in the west,
The little fishes in the trees
Were cuddled in their nests.

The rain was pouring down,
The sun was shinging [sic] bright,
And everything that could be seen
Was hidden out of sight.

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir,
As the sexton rang the dish-rag
Some one set the church on fire.

"Holy smoke," the preacher shouted,
In the rain he lost his hair,
Now his head resembles heaven—
For there is no parting there.

Phi Delta Phi Show and others.


Ax-I-Dent-Ax, Volume 6 (Midvale, Utah: United States Smelting, Refining, and Mining Company, June 22, 1920), No. 12, page 12:


A MIX-UP

'Twas a wintry day in summer,
The rain was snowing fast,
When a barefoot boy with shoes on
Sat standing on the grass.

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir,
While the sexton rang the dish rag,
Someone set the church afire.

"Holy Smoke" the preacher shouted,
And in the rush he lost his hair.
Now his head resembles heaven
For there is no parting there.

His death, which happened in his berth,
At forty-odd befell,
They went and told the sexton,
And the sexton tolled the bell.


From The Independent, Volume 103 (New York: Independent Corporation, Sept. 18, 1920), page 325:


It was midnight on the ocean.
Not a street car was in sight;
The sun was shining brightly,
For it rained all day that night.

We walked along a country road
In a city dry and dusty.
And piling thru the awful mud
Sure made our axles rusty.

We came upon a farmer's house,
No dwelling could we see;
The busy farmer plowed his field,
An idle man was he.

'Twas a zero day in summer,
The rain felt just like glass,
A barefoot boy with shoes on
Stood sitting in the grass.

We asked him for some water,
He brought us wine instead:
"Miracles will never cease,"
The deaf and dumb boy said.

Sun Dial.


The same poem, with the same attribution "Sun Dial" appeared in Labor Digest, Volume 12 (Minneapolis: E. E. Stevens, Oct., 1920), page 45.


From Boy's Life, (New York: Boy Scouts of America, June, 1921) page 28:


CLEAR AS MUD

'Twas midnight on the ocean,
Not a street car was in sight,
The sun and moon shone brightly,
While it rained all day that night.

For in the summer snowstorm
When the rain flowed just like glass,
A barefoot boy with shoes on
Stood sitting in the grass.


From The Whitin Spindle, Volume 3 (Whitinsville, Mass.: Employees of the Whitin Machine Works, Feb. 1922), No. 7, page 11:


MIDNIGHT ON THE OCEAN

(Note:—The following is from the sub-base ballast of the Coco Colo Canal Zone. If Balboa beer does this to people, we are fortunate to be in Hawaii.)

'Twas midnight on the ocean, not a horse-car was in sight,
When I stepped into the corner store to get myself a light.

The man behind the counter was a woman old and grey,
Who used to sell bananas on the road to Mandalay.

She said, "Hello there, stranger"; her eyes were dry with tears,
And she put her head beneath her feet and stood that way for years.

Her children were all orphans except one tiny tot,
Who lived alone across the street above a vacant lot.

As we gazed out through an open door, a whale went drifting by;
His legs were hanging in the air, he wore a green necktie.

The quietness of the noise was still, the evening star was dawning,
A dead horse galloped up and said, "We won't get home 'til morning."

"Women and children first," he cried, as he passed his plate for more;
He took his hat from off the rack and hung it on the floor:

An axe came walking through the air, the clock struck twenty-six,
I turned my eyes toward the sky and saw a flock of bricks.

And they buried him in the evening when the grass was parched with dew,
And he took his razor with him in case his whiskers grew.


From The Modern Woodman, Volume 39 (Rock Island, Ill.: Modern Woodmen of America, Feb. 1922), Issue 2, page 38:


A LITTLE NONSENSE NOW AND THEN.

At a reception recently tendered to Hon. Joseph A. Langfit, Grand Regent of the Royal Arcanum for Pennsylvania, the meeting was entertained by the reading of the following original poem by Vice Regent W. G. Stevenson, which contains more contradictions to the column inch than any other within the writer's knowledge:

It was midnight on the ocean.
Not a street car was in sight.
The sun was shining brightly,
And it rained all day that night.

'Twas a summer's day in winter,
And the snowflakes fell like glass.
A barefoot boy with shoes on
Stood sitting on the grass.

'Twas evening and the rising sun
Was setting in the west,
And the little fishes in the trees
Were huddling in their nests.

The rain was pouring down
And the moon was shining bright,
And everything that you could see
Was hidden nut of sight.

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir.
As the sexton rang the dish rag,
Someone set the church on fire.

"Holy smokes!" the preacher cried.
In the rain he lost his hair.
Now his head resembles heaven,
For there is no parting there.

W. G. Stevenson.

[I am skeptical of the attribution to Stevenson.--JD]


From The American Flint, Volume 13 (Toledo, Ohio: American Flint Glass Workers' Union of North America, April, 1922), page 38:

"from one of the Port Jervis papers some time ago"

A RAVING RHYME

'Twas a nice day in October,
Last September in July;
The moon lay thick upon the ground,
The mud shown in the sky.

The flowers were singing sweetly,
The birds were full of bloom,
So I went into the cellar
To sweep an upstairs room.

The time was Tuesday morning,
On Wednesday just at night;
I saw a thousand miles away
A house just out of sight.

The walls projected backwards,
The front was round the back;
It stood alone with others,
The fence was whitewashed black.

It was moonlight on the ocean.
Not a street car was in sight;
The sun was shining brightly
And it rained all day that night.

It was summer in the winter,
And the rain was falling fast;
A barefoot boy with shoes on
Stood sitting on the grass.

It was evening and the rising
Stood setting in the night;
And everything that I could see,
Was hidden from my sight.


From Carpenter, Volume 42 (Indianapolis: United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Sept., 1922), No. 9, page 31:

A CRAZY RECITATION.

It was midnight on the ocean,
Not a street car was in sight;
The sun was shining brightly,
And it rained all day that night.
It was evening and the rising sun
was setting in the west;
The fishes in the pine trees
Were cuddled in their nest.

'Twas a summer day in winter,
The snow was raining fast,
A barefoot girl with shoes on
Was sitting on the grass.
The rain was pouring downward,
The moon was shining bright,
And everything that you could see
Was hidden out of sight.

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir;
While the sexton rang the dish rag,
Some one set the church on fire.
"Holy smoke!" the parson shouted.
And the poor guy lost his hair;
Now his head is just like Heaven,
For there is no parting there.

The Kablegram.


The same poem is also printed in Mixer and Server, Volume 31 (Cincinnati: Hotel and Restaurant Employes' International Alliance and Bartenders' International League of America, Nov. 15, 1922), Number 11, page 51.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,wayne: this is all i remember
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 06:04 AM

while the organ peeled potatoes
lard was rendered by the choir
as the preacher preached his sermon
some one set the church on fire

"holy smokes" the preacher shouted
as his wig flew in the air
now his head resembles heaven
as there is no parting there


id love to know the rest i remember it was posted in dear abby many years ago. my mother and father used to sing it when i was a child


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 06:28 AM

And you will if you read the rest of the thread!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 10:36 AM

Spaw, like most of us, GUEST wayne doesn't want to read, he'd love to know. Some ketchup with it, please, and wrap it in silver paper.

Yes, I have been caught missing some point upthread in other cases. This thread however has an entertainment factor above average, i.e. very high. Love it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Granddaughter Emily
Date: 07 Mar 12 - 01:07 AM

Oh my gosh!!! My Grandma taught this to me when i was young!!! I recite it to my children now ive always wondered if i had it even close THANK YOU!!!

Twas a sweet day in September,
Last October in July;
The sun lay thick upon the ground,
The mud shown in the sky.

The flowers were singing sweetly,
The birds were full of bloom,
As I went into the cellar
To sweep an upstairs room.

The time was Tuesday morning,
On Wednesday just at night;
I saw a thousand miles away
A house just out of sight.

The walls projected backwards,
The front was round the back;
As I stood alone with others,
The fence was whitewashed black.


She used to also sing:
As the organist peeled bananas
Lard was rendered by the choir
While the sexton rang the dishrag
Some one set the church on fire.
HOLY SMOKES the preacher shouted!
As his wig flew in the air
Now his head resembles heaven
-for there is no parting there.

I miss her everyday. Thank you for the memories!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 09:15 PM

This is how I learned it:

When the organ "pealed" bananas
Lard was rendered by the choir.
When the sexton rang the disrag
someone set the church on fire.
Holy Smoke, the preacher shouted,
In this rush he lost his hair.
Now his head resembles heaven.
For there is no parting there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Apr 12 - 07:52 AM

Back in the 50's my old mate Bob Breedon used to come out with:

I went to the pictures tomorrow,
I took a front seat at he back.
A lady, she gave me some choc'lates;
I ate them and gave them her back.

I dare say there were a great many of these between the wars, on the wireless or on records.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 12 - 11:57 PM

this poem has a few variations, the farthest back i have found it was in an old reader from the 1840's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 13 - 07:51 PM

As the organ peeled bananas
Lard was rendered by the chior
As the sextant wrang his dish towel
Someone set the church on fire
Holy smoke, the preacher shouted
In the rush, he lost his hair
Now his head reseambles heaven
For there is no parting there!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Auntie tree
Date: 16 Jul 13 - 12:35 PM

While the organ peeled potatoes,
Lard was rendered by the choir.
While the sexton tolled the church bell, someone set the church on fire
Holy smoke, the preacher shouted.
In the rush he lost his hair.
Now his head will be like heaven, for there is no parting there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: GUEST,Summerwind
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 07:16 PM

I remember this from an old Cherry Ames book, may not be word for word:

The organ peeled potatoes
Lard was rendered by the choir;
The sexton wrung the dishrag,
Someone set the church on fire!

"Holy Smoke" the preacher shouted,
In the fire he lost his hair.
Now his head resembles heaven,
For there is no parting there.

Cherry Ames was a series for teen-age girls, about a girl going through nursing school, and her adventures after. Each book was about a different sort of nursing. My aunt gave me 7 of the first 8 of the series, and I filled in and added for a while. I'll guess they were originally from the '40s, along with Nancy Drew.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 08:59 PM

I found a Cherry Ames book in a charity shop recently! Mountaineer Nurse

Cherry Ames - Wikipedia The series was published 1943 - 1968


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: While the organ peeled potatoes...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 12 Oct 13 - 11:51 AM

This thread also reminded me of Steve's verse, the version we used to say (London, early 50s)

I went to the pictures tomorrow
I took a front seat at the back (or ... in the row)
I fell from the pit to the gallery
And hurt a front bone in my back.


There was also
The elephant is a pretty bird
It flits from bough to bough
It makes it's nest in a rhubarb tree
And whistles like a cow.


Must try that one out on me 5 yr old grandson.


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