Ellen Loudon

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if it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

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I am finally getting into a groove with my PhD writing. I have no idea about the quality of what I am writing. I am just so relieved that I am stringing sentences together that the quality issues will have to be dealt with at a future date. I know that the reality is that there is not a lot of future left. But the stress and fear of writing badly was halting all efforts and no writing was happening.

I found myself dreaming about music hall again instead of theology. God was still there – in the music hall – but there were jokes and funny songs and a dog act and some dancers. To be honest I quite like God in the music hall. So, in a series of music hall posts I will start with the lyrics of a song I am working with at the moment.

IF IT WASN’T FOR THE ‘OUSES IN BETWEEN
(Edgar Bateman / George LeBrunn)

Sung by Gus Elen – 1899

If you saw my little backyard
“Wot a pretty spot”, you’d cry
It’s a picture on a sunny summer day
Wiv the turnip tops and cabbages
Wot people doesn’t buy
I makes it on a Sunday look all gay

The neighbours finks I grow ’em,
And you’d fancy you’re in Kent
Or at Epsom if you gaze into the mews
It’s a wonder as the landlord
Doesn’t want to raise the rent
Because we have such nobby distant views

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And Chingford to the Eastward could be seen
Wiv a ladder and some glasses
You could see to ‘Ackney Marshes
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

We’re as countrified as can be
Wiv a clothes prop for a tree
The tub-stool makes a rustic little stile
Ev’ry time the blooming clock strikes
There’s a cuckoo sings to me
And I’ve painted up “To Leather Lane A Mile”

Wiv tomatoes and wiv radishes
Wot ‘adn’t any sale
The backyard looks a purfick mass o’ bloom
And I’ve made a little beehive
Wiv some beetles in a pail
And a pitchfork wiv the ‘andle of a broom

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And Rye ‘Ouse from the cock-loft could be seen
Where the chickweed man undresses
To bathe ‘mong the water cresses
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

There’s the bunny shares his egg box
Wiv the cross-eyed cock and hen
Though they ‘as got the pip and him the ‘morf
In a dog’s ‘ouse on the line-post
There was pigeons, nine or ten
Till someone took a brick and knocked it off

The dust cart though it seldom comes
Is just like ‘Arvest ‘Ome
And we made to rig a dairy up some’ow
Put the donkey in the wash’ouse
Wiv some imitation ‘orns,
For we’re teaching im to moo just like a kah

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And ‘Endon to the westward could be seen
And by clinging to the chimbley
You could see across to Wembley
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

Though the gasworks is at Woolwich
They improve the rural scene
For mountains they would very nicely pass
There’s the mushrooms in the dust-hole
With the cowumbers so green
It only wants a bit ‘o ‘ot ‘ouse glass

I wears this milkman’s nightshirt
And I sits outside all day
Like the ploughboy cove what’s mizzled o’er the Lea
And when I goes indoors at night
They dunno what I say
‘Cause my language gets as yokel as can be

Oh! it really is a wery pretty garden
And soapworks from the ‘ousetops could be seen
If I got a rope and pulley
I’d enjoy the breeze more fully
If it wasn’t for the ‘ouses in between

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Written by ellenloudon

June 19, 2007 at 8:50 am

Posted in PhD

One Response

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  1. Dear Ellen,Just happened upon your blog because I’m studying that Gus Elen song for an upcoming performance in the US. Would you happen to be able to explain to this American singer what the “pip” and “morf” are? Thanks for any light you can shed!Tom Meglioranza(my email address is my last name at gmail dot com)

    Anonymous

    August 12, 2007 at 2:56 am


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