Sunday, November 24, 2013

At the Music Hall: “When Father Papered the Parlour," 1910

Our parlour needed papering and pa said it was waste
To call a paper hanger in, and so, he made some paste.
He bought some rolls of paper; got a ladder and a brush,
And with me mother's nightgown on, at it he made a rush


When father papered the parlour, you couldn't see him for paste.
Slapping it here, slapping it there, paste and paper everywhere.
Mother was stuck to the ceiling, the kids were stuck to the floor.
I've never seen such a bloomin' family so stuck up before!

The pattern was 'blue roses' with its leaves red, white, and brown;
He'd stuck it wrong way up and now, we all walk upside down.
And when he trimm'd the edging off the paper with the shears,
The cat got underneath it, and dad cut off both its ears.


Me pa fell down the stairs and dropp'd his paperhanger's can
On little Henrietta sitting there with her young man,
The paste stuck them together, as we thought t'would be for life,
We had to fetch the parson in to make them man and wife.


We're never going to move away from that house any more
For Father's gone and stuck the chairs and table to the floor,
We can't find our piano, though it's broad and rather tall,
We think that it's behind the paper Pa stuck on the wall.


Now, Father's sticking in the pub, through treading in the paste,
And all the family's so upset, they've all gone pasty faced.
While Pa says, now that Ma has spread the news from north to south,
He wishes he had dropped a blob of paste in Mother's mouth.


“When Father Papered the Parlour” with its theme of daffy dad high-jinks, proved to be a popular song at the music halls around 1910. It was written and composed by R. P. Weston and Fred J. Barnes and famously performed by comedian Billy Williams. In fact, this was considered one of Williams’ most successful hits.

No comments: