RhymesLyrics
Dance to Your Daddy

Dance to Your Daddy

“Dance to Your Daddy“or “When the Boat Comes In” is a traditional English folk song from North-East England. This rhyme first published in 1849 in “Songs of the bards of the Tyne” by Joseph Robson, and these lyrics were written by William Watson around 1826.

It became popular when it was used as the theme tune of a TV series in 1970 on BBC, also called “When the Boat Comes In”. It has also featured in a TV advertisement for fish products.

The lyrics from traditional version of the song, used by the TV series, differ significantly from those of the TV advertisement. There are really too many variations of the lyrics, so we have collected for you the most common verses.

 

“Dance to Your Daddy” Lyrics

Dance to your Daddy, my little laddie
Dance to your Daddy my little man
Dance to your Daddy sing to your mommy
Dance to your Daddy my little man

You shall have a fishy on a little dishy
You shall have a fishy when the boat comes in
You shall have a herring on a little dishy
You shall have a herring when the boat comes in

Come here me little Jacky
Now aw’ve smoked mi backy
Have a bit o’ cracky
Till the boat comes in

Dance to your Daddy sing to your mammy
Dance to your Daddy my little man
You shall have a fishy on a little dishy
You shall have a fishy when the boat comes in
You shall have a mackerel on a little dishy
You shall have a mackerel when the boat comes in

Dance to your Daddy my little laddie
Dance to your Daddy my little man
Dance to your Daddy sing to your mommy
Dance to your Daddy my little man

You shall have a fishy on a little dishy
You shall have a fishy when the boat comes in
You shall have a herring on a little dishy
You shall have a herring when the boat comes in

 

“Dance to Your Daddy” Traditional Lyrics

Come here, my little Jacky
Now I’ve smoked my backey
Let’s have a bit crackey
Till the boat comes in

Chorus:
Dance to thy daddy, sing to thy mammy,
Dance to thy daddy, to thy mammy sing;
Thou shalt have a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shalt have a fishy when the boat comes in.

Here’s thy mother humming,
Like a canny woman;
Yonder comes thy father,
Drunk – he cannot stand.
Chorus

Our Tommy’s always fuddling,
He’s so fond of ale,
But he’s kind to me,
I hope he’ll never fail.
Chorus

I like a drop mysel’,
When I can get it sly,
And thou, my bonny bairn,
Will lik’t as well as I.
Chorus

May we get a drop,
Oft as we stand in need;
And weel may the keel row
That brings the bairns their bread.
Chorus

 

Here’s another version:

Dance to your daddy
My bonny laddy,
Dance to your ninny,
My sweet lamb;
You shall have a fishy
In a little dishy,
And a whirligiggy,
And some nice jam.

Dance to your daddy
My bonny laddy,
Dance to your ninny,
My sweet lamb;
You shall have a fishy
In a little dishy,
And a whirligiggy,
And some nice jam.

Bonny = beautiful, pleasant-looking, smiling
Laddie = young boy
Ninny = child
Whirligiggy = whirligig = a twirling or whirling toy (like a top).