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Alan of Australia Penguin: When I Was A Little Boy (5) Penguin: When I Was A Little Boy 02 Jul 00

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of When I Was A Little Boy can be found here.


When I was a little boy to London I did go,
But now I've turned a roguish blade, my courage it will show.
My feet was on the table, sir, my head was hanging down,
And I jumped over Kingston's Hill and never touched the ground,
With my tooral laddy, whack fol laddy, tooral looral ling.

I bought myself a little bull about three inches high;
The people all admired me, it's for to hear him cry.
The people all admired me for he made such an awful sound,
He made the steeple of St Paul's Church come tumbling to the ground
With my, etc.

I bought myself a flock of sheep and most of them were wethers;
Sometimes they brought me fine wool, sometimes they brought me feathers.
They were as fine a flock, sir, as anyone could possess,
For every month or six weeks' time they brought me six lambs apiece,
With my, etc.

I bought myself a little hen, and of her I took great care;
I set her on a mussel shell and she hatched me out a hare.
The hare grew up a milk-white steed about eighteen yards high,
And if anyone tell you a bigger story, I'll tell you it's a bloody lie.
With my, etc.

I bought myself a little box about three acres square;
I stowed it into my breeches pocket, the guineas they were there.
Now the people all admired me, thanked me for what I'd done,
And they gave me a portion of silver and gold about ten thousand ton,
With my, etc.

Sung by John Stickle, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland (P.S.-S. 1947)

Click here for another version (Autumn To May).

Previous song: The Whale-Catchers.
Next song: When I Was Young.


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