If Your Wife Is Run Down, Give Her Cod Liver Oil

1I'm a young married man,
2    Who is tired of my life,
3Ten years I'm glued on
4    To a pale sickly wife,
5She does nothing all day,
6    Only sit down and cry,
7And I hope to the Lord
8    She'll get better or die.
9A friend of my own
10    Came to see me one day,
11He said my dear wife
12    She was pining away,
13He afterwards told me
14    That she would get strong
15If I bought her a bottle
16    From dear Doctor John.
17Oh Doctor! Oh Doctor!
19You have Cod Liver Oil
20    It's so pure and so strong.
21I'm afraid of my life,
22    She'll go down to the soil
23If my wife keeps on thinking
24    Of Cod Liver Oil.
25I bought her a bottle
26    And just for to try,
27The way that she drank it
28    I thought she would die;
29I bought her another,
30    It vanished the same,
31And now she got
32    Cod Liver Oil on the brain.
33Since she took taking Cod Oil
34    She's gaining in weight,
35Five brace of rabbits
36    And a quarter of meat,
37She'll devour at each meal,
38    It's a sight for to see,
39And a Box Cart of Tarts
41If she keeps taking Oil
42    At the way she does now,
43At a sale of prime cattle
44    She won't leave a cow;
45She's a great master hand
46    For to make the grub fly,
47She can eat more Spare Ribs
48    Than ten men and a boy.
49Now young men getting married
50    Your judgement use keen,
51Don't ever get spliced
52    To a sausage machine,
53For to keep her in grub
54    Night and day you must toil,
56    Down Cod Liver Oil.

Notes

18] Doctor John: Ludovicus Josephus de Jongh, whose ."Dr.de Jongh's Light Brown Cod Liver Oil." was sold on both sides of the Atlantic in the second half of the nineteenth century as a medicine for consumption. Back to Line
40] Puncheon: large barrel. Back to Line
55] lowering: finishing bottom's-up. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
John White's Collection of the Songs of Johnny Burke, ed. William J. Kirwin (St. John's, Newfoundland: Harry Cuff, 1982): 97-98.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: