A SOUND CURE.

Daily Chronicle, March 28, 1903
 

(Certain doctors maintain that the best way to prevent indigestion is to whistle without a pause for a quarter of an hour after dinner.)

In days gone by, when meals were o’er,
 To guard ourselves from ill,
The black, unpleasant draught we’d pour,
 Or bolt the azure pill.
But now we’ve found, it seems to me,
 A trick that’s better far.
We are a happy family,
 We are, we are, we are!

A whistled tune, M.D.s. have found,
 All tonics will eclipse.
So volumes of the richest sound
 Stream from our pursed-up lips.
Each chooses his own melody,
 There’s not the slightest jar.
We are a happy family,
 We are, we are, we are!

My father renders “Nancy Lee,”
 My mother “Dolly Grey.”
My sister, in a different key,
 Works hard at “Sail away!”
My brother tries “Abide with me,”
 (Six faults to every bar).
We are a happy family,
 We are, we are, we are!

And as the cheery notes arise,
 And soar towards the roof,
Fell indigestion quails and flies,
 Dyspepsia holds aloof.
Our health, as far as I can see,
 Continues up to par.
We are a happy family,
 We are, we are, we are!

P. G. W. 

 


 

Note:
This poem is a parody of the song “We Are a Merry Family, We Are, We Are, We Are!” written by Frederick Bowyer and Gilbert Harrow about 1881 and popularized by music hall actor/singer Arthur Roberts. The first verse in the sheet music substitutes “happy” for “merry”; this is the form Wodehouse always quotes. See By the Way: 200 Verses, edited by Tony Ring, for other examples of Wodehouse’s parodies on the lyric.