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Cod Liver Oil
(Roud 4221)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Tom Lenihan

I'm a young married man who is tired of my life,
Ten years I’ve been wed to a sickly wife.
She does nothing all day only sit down and cry,
Wishing to God that she would die.

A friend of my own came to see her one day,
And told me my wife she was pining away.
He also told me that she would get strong,
If she got a bottle from Dr Dear John.

Oh doctor, oh doctor, oh dear doctor Dr John,
Your cod liver oil is so pure and so strong.
I'm afraid of my life, I'll go down in the byre,
If my wife don't stop drinking your cod liver oil.

She liked it so well, and there is no doubt,
I own that my wife she got terrible stout.
And when she got stout, of course she got strong,
And now I am jealous of Dr Dear John.

Doctor, dear doctor, oh dear doctor Dr John,
Your cod liver oil is so pure and so strong.
I'm afraid of my life, I'll go down in the byre,
If my wife don't stop drinking your cod liver oil.

My house it resembles a big doctor’s shop,
Tis covered with bottles from bottom to top.
And early in the morning when the kettle does boil,
You’d swear it was singing out ‘Cod liver oil’.

Oh doctor, dear doctor, oh dear doctor Dr John,
Your cod liver oil is so pure and so strong.
I'm afraid of my life, I'll go down in the byre,
If my wife don't stop drinking your cod liver oil.


“Colm O Lochlainn writes of this extremely popular song:

‘Learnt in childhood from my father's cousin Alice Deady of Waterford (Mrs. Sam Allingham). I well remember the advertisements in old magazines for Dr. De Jongh's Cod Liver Oil. Who wrote the song I do not know. The tune is really Irish and I have heard it put to Davis's song ‘The Grave of Wolfe Tone’.”

Reference:
More Irish Street Ballads, Colm O Lochlainn, Three Candles Press, 1968.
Jim Carroll

See also
Cod Liver Oil sung by Mikey Kelliher


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