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The Family Ointment
(Roud 5326)
John Lyons
Newmarket-on-Fergus
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

John Lyons

In a neat little house not far from the town
There a lived a man called Marcus Brown.
He was well-to-do with a neat little wife,
But the want of a family brought him great strife.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

Now every day his plight grew worse
He consulted his mother’s old family nurse.
‘Kind sir, don’t fret,’ was her reply
‘Why don’t you the family ointment try?’
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

So being pleased with the news away he went
And he bought a box of this ointment.
Home he came without delay,
Sure his wife took some the very same day.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

Next morning to Mr Brown’s surprise
His wife was ill and she could not rise.
She lay on the bed and the mid-wife came in,
And she threw away two the dead image of him.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

‘Oh Lord,’ says he, ‘will she have another?’
When a drop of the ointment fell on his mother.
‘Oh Lord,’ says he, ‘will she have more?’
Sure in less than an hour she had twenty four.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

And where he kept his cows in grass
Someone gave a daub to the big jackass.
He lay on the ditch and they thought he was stole,
And he bursting his sides an’ he strivin’ to foal.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

So all young men with no families
Come listen and take advice from me:
Leave your pills and ointments alone,
Sure they’ll only cause the auld wife to moan.
With me randleum fandleum, hi-diddle daddle-dum
Randleum fandleum, hi-diddle day.

“Piper Willie Clancy of Miltown Malbay seems to be the sole source for this. The song appears to have been adapted from an ‘epic’ poem from the book ‘The Harp of a Thousand Strings, or, Laughter for a Lifetime ... the whole engraved by Samuel Putnam Avery’, New York, 1858.
Jim Carroll

See also
The Family Ointment sung by Vincie Boyle


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