If Your Wife Is Run Down Give Her Cod Liver Oil
(Johnny Burke)

I'm a young married man who is tired of my life,
Ten years I'm glued on to a pale sickly wife;
She does nothing all day, only sit down and cry,
And I hope to the Lord she'll get better, or die.

A friend of my own came to see me one day,
He said my dear wife she was pining away;
He afterwards told me that she would get strong,
If I bought her a bottle from dear Doctor John.

Oh Doctor! Oh Doctor! Oh dear Doctor John,
You have cod liver oil it's so pure and so strong;
I'm afraid of my life, she'll go down to the soil,
If my wife keeps on thinking of cod liver oil.

I bought her a bottle and just for to try,
The way that she drank it I thought she would die;
I bought her another, it vanished the same,
And now she got cod liver oil on the brain.

Since she took taking cod oil
she's gaining in weight,
Five brace of rabbits and a quarter of meat,
She'll devour at each meal, it's a sight for to see,
And a box-cart of tarts and a puncheon of tea.

If she keeps taking oil at the way she does now,
At a sale of prime cattle she won't leave a cow;
She's a great master hand
for to make the grub fly,
She can eat more spare ribs
than ten men and a boy.

Now young men getting married,
your judgement use keen,
Don't ever get spliced to a sausage machine;
For to keep her in grub
night and day you must toil,
When once she gets lowering down cod liver oil.

####.... Johnny Burke [1851-1930] of St John's, NL ....####
Published in Burke's Popular Songs, page 13, 1929, Long Brothers, printers, St John's, NL.

Also published in Burke's Ballads, p.18, c.1960, compiled by John White and archived at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Libraries, Centre For Newfoundland Studies - Digitized Books collection.

See more songs by Johnny Burke

Parody of a British broadside ballad, Dr. De Jongh's Cod Liver Oil, with no known publisher or date, archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth b.34(89).


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