Anon
(c.1787)

The Water doctor
(T.T.T.)
Full score (PDF), €0.00 for unlimited copies   Download this item
Printable cover page (PDF), €0.00 for unlimited copies   Download this item

Please click here to report any problem obtaining a PDF
Page 1 of 3
Published without attribution in Warren's twenty-sixth collection of glees and catches.

This is one of those catches that is more lubricious in performance than the anodyne lyrics might suggest. It illustrates a brief but interesting period in social history: when purveyors of folk remedies (water doctors and cunning men) were accorded respect; when inoculation was still a folk remedy, yet to be established as an efficacious technique by Jenner; when the introduction of an item of armour was widely (but erroneously) credited to a specific personage; and when that innovator's name would, amongst the ton, be pronounced as "the Duke of Cundum".

This edition comprises a modern realisation, and a statement of the piece in its original specialised format.
Lyrics: Anon, probably the composer

"O great and learned doctor, to you from far I'm come,
To bring my daughter's water; Alas, poor girl, she's dumb."

"Oh ho, is she so? I'll soon prescribe a charm;
The girl must have a prick, sir, in the arm."

"I humbly thank your honour, she'll not dislike the plan.
Oh, what should we have done without a cunning man?"