Was this a real song?
June 5, 2021 8:17 PM   Subscribe

There’s a song my mother used to sing around the house, going back to my earliest childhood memories.

Neither she, my sister, nor I can remember more than the first two lines, and Mom can’t remember where she learned it. None of my internet searches have yielded any fruit, so I thought I would toss it to the hive mind and see if anyone had any ideas. Maybe it was just something someone in my weirdo family made up? The two lines we can remember are:

“First you treat me mediocre,
Then you beat me with a poker.”

( rogerroger’s Ask about “mediocre cherries” was what brought it to mind.)
posted by The Underpants Monster to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is it to a recognizable tune? The first line jumped into the "I've been working on the railroad" melody in my head, but the second line doesn't make a ton of sense for that song. Still, a lot of songs like that fit nursery rhyme or other folk tunes and I wonder if this might as well.
posted by papayaninja at 8:20 PM on June 5


"Jailhouse Rock" is the first search result for those lyrics, even though it doesn't seem to contain them. Is it to the tune of Jailhouse Rock?
posted by aniola at 8:43 PM on June 5


It scans like a verse of “ain’t nobody’s business if I do” - there seem to be lots of variations on the lyrics out there.
posted by zepheria at 9:03 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Best answer: In the comments section of this blog post, there's this particular comment:

On the subjects of lyrics, Paddy Roberts is a name no longer on many lips. His oeuvre may be very much of its time, but there are lyrics like “Got an idea you don’t love me any more, got an idea you don’t love me any more, You keep treating me mediocre, hitting me with the poker, got an idea you don’t love me any more”.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:03 PM on June 5 [12 favorites]


Best answer: Ah. It's "Got 'N' Idea" (1962) by Paddy Roberts.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:10 PM on June 5 [17 favorites]


Per the comments in that YouTube link above, there's a version by Alma Cogan as well. Geez. That's a fucked up song!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:21 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Here are the (kinda disturbing) lyrics.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 3:10 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Ha! I love this ... very Dr. Demento.
posted by girlbowler at 6:29 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


I didn't realize there was such a long-running antecedent for Weird Al's "You Don't Love Me Anymore." (YouTube)
posted by pykrete jungle at 6:37 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


Response by poster: Thank you!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:19 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Response by poster: Listening to the recordings, I realize that what I thought was the melody is actually an upper harmony.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:50 AM on June 6 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else bothered by the extra apostrophe after N (which is fixed in the Alma Cogan title card)?

No? Well, never mind then.
posted by Quasirandom at 12:12 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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