Click-ma-Doodle        Brian Hooper, March 2006
Buckyeye says, now look here mush,
Up along Pear Tree, hidin' in a bush,
There's the devil himself, it's true my boys;
I've heard him myself, makes the devil of a noise.
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.
Ole Chap says, I've heard him talk,
Out with the dog for 'is evening walk,
I swear I heard him a'clickin' his tongue
Don't know what he said, 'cos the dog did run.
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.        
    We're the boys who make no noise,
    we fear no fish nor poodle;
    So we set out some darksome night,
    and killed that click-ma-doodle.
Well that's no good, old Shiner said,
A-wringin' his cap and a-rubbin' his head,
He'll wake all the dead in the graveyard there,
We'll have to go and tell him we don't much care
For Old Nick in the bush up Pear Tree.    
So all of the lads agreed to go,
One dark night when the moon was low,
To tell the devil, without any fear,
We didn't want him clickin' round here,
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.
    We're the boys........
We carried sticks, we carried stones,
If the spooks rose up we'd break their bones,
But it made us all jump, and young Puffy was sick,
When we heard the devil go click, click, click,
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.        
Then up from the bush jumped the devil himself
And he said "Take this for your mantelshelf,
It's only you mortals need a clock
And it's driving me mad with its tick tick tock"
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.
    We're the boys........
Now I don't know but I've heard a rumour,
Old Jack Savage had a sense of humour,
Nobody saw old Jack that night
But somebody gave us the devil of a fright,
Old Nick's in the bush up Pear Tree.
    We're the boys........
Following the release of “Southampton In Song”, I got to hear quite a lot about old Southampton from people who’d heard the album or came along to live performances of the songs.  The story of the Click ma Doodlers of old Itchen Ferry village was one of the gems, and it came with a fragment of song (the rather strange “we’re the boys ....” chorus).  Cheryl Butler, of the Diaper Heritage Association, told me the story and also gave me some of the nicknames in use in Itchen Ferry, such as Buckyeye.  There were just a few families there, and they used a limited range of Christian names, so pretty much everyone had a nickname so that people knew who they were talking about.
I heard a second version of the story, in which the clock had apparently been washed ashore.  The story was already somewhat far-fetched and I thought a waterproof clock was a step too far!
Itchen Ferry village was destroyed one night in 1940 by wartime bombing, being very close to the Spitfire factory, and the area is now just part of Woolston.
back to “A Year In Providence”