Note: I am obsessed with old songs from the 40s and earlier, and when lyrics for some of the more obscure songs are not available anywhere else I will be providing them on my blog here. Geoff
This song is widely available but not with the verses I’ve included here, as sung by Harry Champion on record.
Just a couple of weeks ago my poor old Uncle Bill,
Went and kicked the bucket and he left me in his will.
The other night I toddled round to see me Auntie Jane,
She said to me “Your Uncle’s left to you his watch and chain.”
I put it on right across my vest,
Thought I looked a dandy as it dangled on my chest.
Just to flash it off I started walking ’round about,
The kids they all run after me and all began to shout:
Any old iron, any old iron, any, any, any, old iron?
You look neat – talk about a treat,
You look a dapper from your knapper to your feet.
Dressed in style, with a brand new tile,
And your father’s old green tie on,
Oh I wouldn’t give you tuppence for your old watch chain,
Old iron, old iron?
I went up the City just to have a little spree.
The Mayor of London, he was there, that’s who I went to see.
He dashed up in a canter with a carriage and a pair,
I shouted “Holler boys” and threw my hat up in the air.
Just then the Mayor he began to smile,
Saw my face and then he shouted “Lumme what a dial!”
Started a-Lord Mayoring and I though that I should die
When he pointed to my watch and chain he hollered to me “Hi!”
(Harry sings ‘told me, Hi’, but it sounds like a mistake to me)
I shan’t forget when I got married to Selina Brown.
The way the people laughed at me, it made me feel a clown.
I began to wonder, when their dials began to crack,
If by mistake I’d got my Sunday trousers front to back.
I put my chain on my darby kell,
The sun was shining on it , well it made me look a swell.
The organ started playing and the bells began to ring,
My chain began to rattle and the choir began to sing.
Extra verse, which Harry does not sing:
Just to have a little bit of fun the other day,
Made up in my watch and chain I went and drew my pay.
Then got out with a lot of other Colonels on the loose,
I got full right up to here in fourp’ny stagger juice.
One of them said “We want a pot of ale
Run him to the rag shop and bung him on the scale.”
I heard the fellow say “What’s in this bundle that you’ve got”
Then whisper to me kindly “Do you want to lose your lot?”