> The Watersons > Songs > Mike Waterson: Doing a Bit

Doing a Bit

[trad. arr. Mike Waterson]

This was sung by the Watersons with Mike singing lead in 1982 live at the Knaresborough Folk Club and released in 2004 on the Watersons' 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.

Lyrics

We've four fat-ended sons at home
And me father he's out of work.
And so to start a little business
It was me mother's latest lark.
Why, she's asked us if we'd help her,
Oh help her that we will,
For every time her back is turned
Our hands they're never still.

For we'd all been doing a bit, a bit,
We'd all been doing a bit.
Why, me mother she sold her bonnets and caps,
And it's father made love to the saucy cats.
And I, oh lord, why I've made a splendid hit,
For I measure the gals for their fol-de-ro-rols
And we've all been doing a bit.

Why, we've got a dog next door to us,
He's a proper bit of stuff.
Why, he's spotted like a leopard
Or a lump of currant duff.
And our dog, why he looks so sad,
Alongside of him and so,
Why, we started decorating Pooch
A day or two ago.

And we've all been doing a bit, a bit,
We'd all been doing a bit.
Why, everyone got a painting pot
And we painted the doggy with beauty spots.
And I, oh lord, why I've made a splendid hit,
For I painted a view on his how-do-you-do
And we've all been doing a bit.

Why, me father swore he'd wear the kilt,
So mother made him one.
But when he tried it on he found
That it were a little long.
So me mother said she would alter it
To please him; but in vain.
Why, you ought to have heard him murmuring
When he tried it on again.

For we'd all been doing a bit, a bit,
We'd all been doing a bit.
Why, me mother she cut off a yard or two
So did I, and me sisters too.
And Father roared, “Well I don't call this a fit!”
Why a little bit more and dear, oh lord,
You'd have all been viewing a bit.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Paul Tracy for the transcription.