My father died, I cannot tell how,
He left me six ‘orses to follow the plough.
With a wim wam waddle-o
Jack sold ‘is saddle-o
Blowsy boys, bubble-o, under the broom.
I sold my six ‘orses and bowt me a cow,
Now wasn’t that a bonny job to follow the plough.
I sold my cow and I bowt me a pig,
Didn’t deea nowt not even dance a jig.
I sold my pig and I bowt me a dog,
Just sat there an’ barked an’ sat upon a log.
I sold my dog an’ I bowt me a cat,
She sat by the fire an’ curled up on the mat.
I sold my cat an’ I bowt me a mouse,
Set fire tiv ‘is tail an’ ‘e bont down me ‘ouse.
This is a traditional song
This widespread incremental catalogue song has been popular in nurseries for at least two centuries. John’s version came from fellow Eskdale singer, Audrey Gibbon, with some augmentation from George Collinson’s East Riding collected version printed in Nigel Hudleston’s ‘Songs of the Ridings’.