#02271
The One Thing Or The Other (Kenneth Peacock)
See also: The One Thing Or The Other (Kennedy)

Twenty-one me last birthday,
just entered into life,
Me mother said, "I think it's
time for you to get a wife."
But where to go I did not know
anything about such bother,
For just then I had no idea
of the one thing or the other.
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

There was a young girl that left a boy,
I thought she'd suit me best,
I went down to her house
and quite spicy I was dressed;
I whistled three-times-three
when in comes her mother.
"Oh what do you want?" says she.
Says I, "The one thing and the other."
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

She took me in the parlor,
I sot [sic] by her daughter's side,
Says I, "You're just the girl for me,
for I do want a bride."
She began to whimper, and then to simper,
her bashfulness she could not smother,
And 'twas there we sot [sic] and looked
at the one thing and the other.
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

We married in three weeks
and everything went right,
Though we was rather awkward
when left alone at night.
She winked her eye and then did say,
"Oh dogs, what a bother!"
For we didn't know what to do
with the one thing and the other.
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

We married in three weeks
as time flew swiftly on;
Some of my old acquaintances says,
"Oh you'll have a son."
Some more says, "No, it won't be so."
"'Twill be a daughter," says me mother.
"Oh never mind," says I,
"If it's the one thing or the other."
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

Some people they do murmur
and perhaps they have a cause;
Me wife soon brought me twins
and then it was too late to pause.
I'm obliged to run for doctor Dunn
when in come me mother.
"Oh what have she got?" says she.
Said I, "The one thing and the other."
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

Some people they do murmur
and grumble at their state,
But if she brought me ten-times-two
I couldn't help my fate.
So now defy, and now supply,
and help one another,
And hope I pleased you all with
the one thing and the other.
To dee whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the laddie laddie;
Whack for all the rowdy-dow,
Fall all the day.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional song found in Ireland, South England and Canada ....####

This variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock in 1958 from James Decker [1909-1993] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.312-313, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was collected by Peter Douglas Kennedy [1922-2006] of London and Leckhampton, Gloucestershire, UK, and published as #209, The One Thing Or The Other in Folksongs Of Britain And Ireland (Oak Publications, New York, 1975).

GEST notes that the word 'sot' appears several times in the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English, usually within quotations which serve as examples of usage for defined words. The word itself is obscurely defined on page two of the Introduction To The Dictionary. It is used in this song as the past tense of the verb 'sit' spoken with a Newfoundland dialect.


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