THE HOUSE THAT JERRY BUILT
 
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My wife is a woman and like all the rest
Bound to be scheming something for the best
She had a desire a few months ago
To live in the suburbs of London you know
She went out in search and very soon found
An Agent who showed her the houses all around
They settled on one, after a good hunt
In the Gothic style - and a garden in front.

SPOKEN - And also a pond in front, I should have said, for the road was nothing better, when the men brought the furniture, they were up to here in mud and it took them a day and a half to dig the Van out of the road, and the mould in the garden is mould, I put in some seeds a few months ago, all that came up were half bricks and clay.

Chorus: And there's the cat that ate the rat
And the servant girl's not fat
And there's children with the cramp
Because the place is always damp
And there's workmen always nigh
And the plumber always dry
And through the roof, you see the sky
In the house that Jerry built.


Red brick and church windows look very nice
And the place some might think is a paradise
Other sweet things in the Gothic style but
The doors like the windows will never quite shut
If the wind's the wrong way, it's really no joke
We're smothered to death with volumes of smoke
But there we all sit and shiver with cold
Or up in some shawls or blankets we're rolled.

SPOKEN - Don't have a fire in the place because the chimney smokes, oh it's a nice place to live in, the nearest pub's a mile off, when the girl goes for the supper beer we bid her good-bye, just the same as if she was off to America, and perhaps I'm dying of thirst, or the Missus or children got the wind or spasm bad, and want a drop of short to keep us warm you know.

Chorus:

It's nice don't you know, at night when in bed
For the rain to come through and drop on your head
And the wife of your bosom to sit up and jaw
While you rush about, and mop up the floor
Another nice thing that worries your brains
Is the whistle that's from a few passing trains
An old cock that crows will give you delight
And also a dog that howls half the night.

SPOKEN -They say that when you hear a dog howl it's a sign of death, the next morning to the dog, oh it is a nice place to live in, we can never get a girl to stay longer than a month, because the place is so dull, and no soldiers about, Policemen you see once a week, and Burglars every night, it's a good place for Doctors and Dentists, someone's always got the toothache, whooping cough or measles

Chorus:

Through the walls you can hear what your neighbours say
And when they commence the piano to play
The five finger exercise and other sweet things
A cornet sometimes a friend of theirs brings
You feel just as if, you could tear out your hair
Or at your dear wife you could say a sweet prayer
For she, yes, the woman's the cause of it all
When the water taps froze and the children squall

SPOKEN - The wife says, oh yes it's all my fault, you blame me for everything, I'm the cause of it all, you strike me, now do, or say I'm mad, and have me put away, because I took this beastly house and think a Donkey's got a soul, one husband's done it to his wife, but he's been well done since.

Chorus:
 
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Written and composed by T.S. Lonsdale & William G. Eaton - 1887
Performed by James Fawn (1850-1923)
 
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