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Lyrics composed by John Henderson on the 3rd of March, 2012,
to the music for Ken Dodd's 1960s' Hit Song, 'Promises'.

A true story about John's mother and father, Nancy and Jim, in the 1930s.


parritch=porridge (always talked of in the plural!)
mither=mother; steep'd=left in water; fere=healthy; neist=next;
saut=salt; eneugh=enough; tung=tongue; kite=stomach; fyle=while;
garrin=bringing on; drooth=thirst; steer'd=stirred; hotter=simmer;
alloo'd=allowed; plyped=poured; smeeth=smooth; stamin=steaming;
waarm=warm; cweel=cool; coo=cow; mulk=milk; moo=mouth;
aince=once; skelf=shelf; neist=next; syp'd=soaked; cowp=spill;
flair=floor; sair=sore/angry; speens=spoons; sleether=slither; wul=wild;
clarty=filthy; shoon=shoes; screeves=scrapes; ava=at all; sairin=filling;
grump=complain; biled=boiled; ilka=ev'ry; mump=grumble

Parritch Oats! Ma Mither's Parritch Oats!
Wur aye weel steep'd at nicht oontil the morn;
Syne thase fere parritch oats wur neist gien saut eneugh
Tae pleese Pa's tung an kite, fyle garrin drooth ..... .... .... ....
Steer'd an steer'd, they wud slaaly hotter oan, an thicken up;
Lumps nae alloo'd, fyle tea wis brewin. ....
Plyped in bowls, sae smeeth an stamin waarm,
Cweel coo's mulk seen kept Pa's moo weel oot o' harm.

Parritch Oats! Pa's bothy Parritch Oats!
He aince sae weel steep'd them ae nicht upon a skelf;
Neist morn his oat-syp'd bowl he lufts it doon frae there
Bit he cowps them oan the flair, losh, he feels sair! .... .... .....
He speens an speens as he sleethers wul-like roon, in clarty shoon .... .....
Jist wee screeves wur gat, nae ava nar sairin .....
Bit syne Pa wi'oot a grump, he biled up ilka lump,
Fur he wis ne'er a man tae ivver mump.

Return to John's Poetry Page


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