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Our Boarding House, song lyrics

Song: Our Boarding House
Lyrics: Nat M. Wills(1)

Music: to the tune "John Brown's Body" except the outro which is to tune of "Auld Lang Syne"
Year: 1908(2)
Genre: Comedy
Country: USA

I stopped up at a boarding house that's kept by Mrs. Nash,
I only stopped a week there two, ^^ would be rash,
The cook lost all our hairpins and I found them in the hash,
So I went marching on.

Old Mrs. Nash is full of tricks, and foxy as could be,
She can carve a chicken so to do for thirty-three.
If you've ever had a meal up there, I know that you'd agree,
You would all go marching on.

If you had breakfast ^^^^,
You'd have to eat a prune to get a lick in,
Each egg we opened up contained a chicken.
And they all went scratching on.
This song was originally posted on
The mush that's served upon the table,
If ordered in a nearby livery stable,
One boarder thought he'd eat it, he was able.
Now his soul is marching on.

The sugar it was very sandy.
Slipp'ry days it came in very handy.
We threw it on the stoop and it was dandy,
To keep us from slipping on.

Up before the day was dawning,
The ^^ bed ^^ while you were yawning,
She used our sheets for tablecloths each morning,
That we'd all been sleeping on.

Everyone that drank it started knocking.
The cook she strained the coffee through her stocking.
That she'd been marching on.
This song was originally posted on
Fourteen boarders there were sleeping on the slats,
Twelve slept in the icebox and eleven on the mats.
They put me in the bathtub with the kittens and the cats,
And they turned the water on.

Saved a drowning flea and threw him on dog you see.
The flea he soon got married and he had a family.
He couldn't talk, but just to show his gratitude to me,
They all came marching home.

Glory, glory how they bit me.
I was nearly starved the day they hit me.
At suppertime ^^^^ cook quit me,
While the soup was boiling on.

Soup with water from the bath, it,
But it was flavored with carbolic acid.
One boarder didn't know enough to pass it.
Now in Heaven he's marching on.
This song was originally posted on
The fish were fearce. You couldn't eat it.
When they brought on, the boarders all ^^^,
Please open up the windows or we'll beat it.
'Til the fish goes marching on.

The ^^ was a great big rabbit,
We missed the ^^^^^^
One boarder who was hungry tried to grab it,
But the rabbit said, "meow"!

Desert was extraordinary, A finger bowl or two ^^ to ^^,(this whole line is in question)
It made the boarders tune so very merry,
That they sang while marching on.

(switch in tunes)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
This boarding house is shine(?).
Goodbye to prunes and furnished rooms,
I'll grab free lunch for mine.


1 - Nat M. Wills, born as Louis McGrath Wills, biography from IMDb.

2 - Sung by Nat. M. Wills, October 16, 1908, Victor-5616 , and the 1909 Edison Amberol 212, Seteam cylinder #1716.

3 - Transcribed, April 24, 2012, using both recordings. And still there are unclear words and phrases.

4 - ^ is a missing syllable. If you know what the missing parts are, please go to the "About" page, email us and let us know. Thank you.