The Edmondson Blog

'Arry Went To 'Ampstead

Everybody in the Edmo family know about 'Arry:
'Arry went to 'Ampstead,
'Arry lost 'is 'at.
'Arry's mother said to 'Arry
"'Arry, where's your 'at?
If it ain't 'angin' on the 'anger in the 'all
I'll 'it you on the 'ead with an 'ard 'eavy 'ammer
And your 'owls will be 'orrible to 'ear."
We learnt it from Aunty Win (age 94 and still going strong) who learnt it from her future sister-in-law in the 1930s. She (the sister-in-law) was a Cockney, coming from the East End of London and would recite the doggerel with all the dropped letters in her normal voice, her joke being that she would pretend she couldn’t see anything funny in the way she spoke it.

The doggerel appears on the Pop Club web site and, amazingly, a few years ago, a Canadian Professor who was undertaking some research contacted us to learn about the history. His family version goes:
'Arry came from 'Ickman's Arbour*;
'Arry 'ad an 'at.
'Arry said to 'Arry's mother,
"Mudder! Where's me 'at?"
'Arry's mother said to 'Arry,
"Arry eef you look,
Yer 'at's out in de 'all,
'Angin' on an 'ook!"
*Hickmans Harbour is a tiny village on Random Island, Newfoundland, Canada.

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