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If It Wasn't For The 'Ouses in Between

[caption id="attachment_223" align="alignright" width="408"]If It Wasn't For The 'Ouses In Between - Gus Elen If It Wasn't For The 'Ouses In Between - Gus Elen[/caption]Have you ever heard this classic Cockney song, made famous by music hall comedian Gus Elen (pictured)? If not, have£a listen cos it namechecks loads of places in and around London. The song comes from the early part of the twentieth century and it's a real slice of life.Now, we need your help unravelling the meaning of one phrase: "the 'morf", in the seventh verse in the printed version, though Gus doesn't sing that version in this recording. Have a look at the lyrics, have a listen to the song, and think of the old days with fondness. And tell us what 'the 'morf' means before we go crazy-ape-bonkers. are the full lyrics:If you saw my little backyard"Wot a pretty spot", you'd cryIt's a picture on a sunny summer dayWiv the turnip tops and cabbagesWot people doesn't buyI makes it on a Sunday look all gayThe neighbours finks I grow 'em,And you'd fancy you're in KentOr at Epsom if you gaze into the mewsIt's a wonder as the landlordDoesn't want to raise the rentBecause we have such nobby distant viewsOh! it really is a wery pretty gardenAnd Chingford to the Eastward could be seenWiv a ladder and some glassesYou could see to 'Ackney MarshesIf it wasn't for the 'ouses in betweenWe're as countrified as can beWiv a clothes prop for a treeThe tub-stool makes a rustic little stileEv'ry time the blooming clock strikesThere's a cuckoo sings to meAnd I've painted up "To Leather Lane A Mile"Wiv tomatoes and wiv radishesWot 'adn't any saleThe backyard looks a purfick mass o' bloomAnd I've made a little beehiveWiv some beetles in a pailAnd a pitchfork wiv the 'andle of a broomOh! it really is a wery pretty gardenAnd Rye 'Ouse from the cock-loft could be seenWhere the chickweed man undressesTo bathe 'mong the water cressesIf it wasn't for the 'ouses in betweenThere's the bunny shares his egg boxWiv the cross-eyed cock and henThough they 'as got the pip and him the 'morfIn a dog's 'ouse on the line-postThere was pigeons, nine or tenTill someone took a brick and knocked it offThe dust cart though it seldom comesIs just like 'Arvest 'OmeAnd we made to rig a dairy up some'owPut the donkey in the wash'ouseWiv some imitation 'orns,For we're teaching im to moo just like a kahOh! it really is a wery pretty gardenAnd 'Endon to the westward could be seenAnd by clinging to the chimbleyYou could see across to WembleyIf it wasn't for the 'ouses in betweenThough the gasworks is at WoolwichThey improve the rural sceneFor mountains they would very nicely passThere's the mushrooms in the dust-holeWith the cowumbers so greenIt only wants a bit 'o 'ot 'ouse glassI wears this milkman's nightshirtAnd I sits outside all dayLike the ploughboy cove what's mizzled o'er the LeaAnd when I goes indoors at nightThey dunno what I say'Cause my language gets as yokel as can beOh! it really is a wery pretty gardenAnd soapworks from the 'ousetops could be seenIf I got a rope and pulleyI'd enjoy the breeze more fullyIf it wasn't for the 'ouses in between
Date: 21-Nov-2011

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