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Rest of the Days Your Own

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The Rest of the Day's Your Own

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The Rest of the Day's Your Own
(Jack Lane)

One day when I was out of work, a job I went to seek
     To be a Farmer's Boy
At last I found an easy job at a half-a-crown a week -
     To be a Farmer's Boy.
The farmer says 'I think I've got the very job for you,
Your duties will be light for this is all you've got to do;
Rise at three every morn, milk the cow with the crumpled horn,
Feed the pigs, clean the sty, teach the pigeons the way to fly,
Plough the fields, mow the hay, help the cocks and the hens to lay,
Sow the seed, tend the crops, chase the fly from the turnip tops,
Clean the knives, black the shoes, scrub the kitchen and sweep the flues,
Help the wife, empty the pots, grow the cabbages and shallots.
Make the bed, dust the coal, tune the gramophone,
Then if there's no more work to do - The rest of the day's your own.'

So I scratched my head, I thought it would be absolutely prime
     To be a Farmer's Boy
The farmer says, 'Of course you'll have to do some overtime
     When you're a Farmer's boy.
Said he, 'The duties that I've given you, you'll be quickly through,
So I've been thinking out a few more things that you can do;
Skim the milk, make the cheese, chop the meat for the sausages,
Bath the kids, mend their clothes, use your dial to scare the crows,
In the milk put the chalk, shave the knobs off the pickled pork,
Shoe the horse, rake the coal, take the cat for a midnight stroll,
Cook the food, scrub the stairs, teach the parrot to say his prayers,
Roast the joint, bake the bread, shake the feathers up in the bed,
When the wife has got the gout, rub her funny-bone,
Then if there's nothing else to do - The rest of the day's your own.

I thought it was a shame to take his money, you can bet
     For being a Farmer's Boy,
And so I wrote my duties down in case I should forget
     That I was a Farmer's Boy.
I took all night to write them down, I didn't go to bed,
Somehow I got them all mixed up for this is how it read;
Scrub the wife every day, teach the nanny-goat how to lay,
Shave the cat, tune the cheese, fit the tights on the sausages,
Bath the pigs, break the pots, beat the kids with a few carrots,
Roast the horse, dust the bread, put the cocks and the hens to bed,
Boots and shoes black with chalk, shave the hair on the pickled pork,
But all the rest I forgot, somehow it has flown,
But I got the sack this morning, so - The rest of my life's my own.

Written in 1915 by English music-hall performer Jack Lane.
This version comes from a 1972 recording by Bob Arnold who used to play
Tom Forrest, the gamekeeper in the BBC radio series The Archers.

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