WHEN FATHER LAID THE CARPET ON THE STAIRS
 
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We all stood round attentive, father's orders for to take
And not a word was whispered, such a fuss did father make
Although with smothered chuckles our little ribs did ache
When father laid the carpet on the stairs
First one of us he sent away to purchase carpet tacks
Another one for carpet thread, and one to bring bees-wax
And one to find the hammer, and the gimlet, and the axe
When father laid the carpet on the stairs.

Chorus: When father laid the carpet on the stairs
At first he put on quite a lot of airs
But soon his bones were aching,
I thought his back was breaking
When father laid the carpet on the stairs.


Then father grabbed the carpet and he took it to the top
The roll was rather heavy and so father let it drop
But the carpet slithered down, it didn't seem to want to stop
And father slithered with it down the stairs
Then father rubbed his funny-bone, and father rubbed his knee
And if anyone was laughiong father glared around to see
And though we were nearly throttled still we bottle up our glee
When father laid the carpet on the stairs.

Chorus:

Then father tried unrolling it, and climbing bit by bit
He got it right up to the top and stooped to make it fit
Then p'r'aps it was an accident or p'r'aps to show his grit
He tobogganed on his waist-coat down the stairs
We all of us enjoyed it, it was bliss without alloy
Although to show our mirth we all were naturally coy
And mother went behind the pantry door to hide her joy
When the carpet laid poor father on the stairs.

Chorus:

After super human struggles, father got the carpet spread
He tried to drive a tack in, but he hit his thumb instead
He dropped the hammer with a grunt, and oh the things he said
When father laid the carpet on the stairs
Then father used some language that is not in common use
And the hammer and the tacks and things he covered with abuse
And father, he consigned the stairs and carpet to the deuce
So mother laid the carpet on the stairs.

Chorus:
 
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Written and performed by Nelson Jackson (b. 1879)
 
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