THE HOBNAILED BOOTS THAT FATHER WORE
 
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Poor Farver’s feet took up half the street
So his boots were in proportion
And the kids he’d squash in a day, by gosh
It really was a caution.

Chorus: Now me and my brother, from the age of four
Up to eleven, used to sleep and snore
Nice and cosy in a box of straw
In the hobnailed boots that my farver wore.


On Lord Mayor’s day, just to shout hooray
Farver went and how he sauced ‘em
But he blocked the street with his big feet
And the Lord Mayor drove across ‘em.

Chorus: And as he went a riding through the Guild hall door
Farver fell wallop on his back, oh lor'
And the crowd stopped hooraying then, for all they saw
Were the hobnailed boots that my Farver wore.


I’ve got good teeth, and it’s my belief
I must thank Farver for it
For if we’ve got coke and we want it broke
I pick it up and gnaw it.

Chorus: You’ve all got to eat a peck of dirt or more
Before you snuff it, it’s a wise old saw
Well I’ve had my whack, I cut me teeth - oh lor'
On the hobnailed boots that my Farver wore.


When young Kate and Flo went to Southend, so
As money they’d be saving
Farver’s boot was seen as a bathing machine
In it, they undressed for bathing.

Chorus: While they were undressing, they forgot, I’m sure
The Farver’d cut for his corn - oh lor'
Now the boys are a giggling at what they saw
In the hobnailed boots that my Farver wore.


We had a goat with a cast iron throat
Though he never used to bite us
Farver’s boots he chewed, and the goat they slewed
For he died of appendicitis

Chorus: Now that goat had whiskers, and they touched the floor
And when they were plaited by the kids next door
Made the finest laces that you ever saw
For the hobnailed boots that my farver wore.


We took a trip on a great big ship
But my farver, so misguided
Wouldn’t walk about with his legs stretched out
So the ship it went lopsided.

Chorus: Down went the vessel through a hole in the floor
And all ‘cept the captain’s mother-in-law
Were saved that night, for they rode ashore
In the hobnailed boots that farver wore.


Farver worked one day, building ships they say
For the Navy down at Chatham
And some German spies opened wide their eyes
When his big boots they looked at ‘em.

Chorus: When those spies from Germany his big boots saw
They wired to the Kaiser “Build two ships more”
What they thought were Britannia ships-of war
Were the hobnailed boots that farver wore.


When I went to school Oh I looked a fool
For one day when we were drilling
My teacher said, “Toe the line, fathead.”
And I did, though most unwilling.

Chorus: Said she, “Don’t keep backing through the school house door
But just toe the line, as I’ve told you before
“Oh he has towed the line” said the kids with a roar
In the hobnailed boots that farver wore.

The afternoon that we shot the moon
All the tallymen we took in
For we paid ‘em nix and we moved our sticks
While the landlord stood there lookin’.

Chorus: But my farver he walked as if his feet were sore
As he limped up the ally to the Old Brown Boar
For we’d tucked the piano in the toes, oh lor'
Of the hobnailed boots that farver wore.
 
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Performed by Billy Williams (1877-1915)
 
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