4 3 Keep Down De Middle

Keep Down De Middle is the third song of the Fourth Volume of Alfred Scott Gatty’s Plantation Songs. According to the records of the Gramophone Company, it was never recorded by the Zono Minstrels.

Lyric

I have often heard it said,
And in print I’ve even read,
You should keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.
You’ll be tempted, I’ve no doubt,
To turn aside, about,
But to all temptations you must cry “Be blowed!”
And, wid a modest air,
You must pick your steps with care,
Keeping well down de middle ob de road!

Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.

If by chance one summer’s day,
You should meet upon your way,
Wid a bull in de middle ob de road.
Dough dar’s easy room for two,
To your motto still be true,
And keep down de middle ob de road.
As past him you would push,
De bull may make a rush,
And wid him horns your tender flesh may goad.
Should de bull survive de act,
He will owe it to de fact,
Dat he kept down de middle ob de road!

Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.

If you go out in your gig,
Wid your wife, who’s fat and big,
Mind you drive down de middle ob de road.
Dough you hear a sudden cry,
Dat de traction engine’s nigh,
Still you keep down de middle ob de road.
A smash, a bang, a scream,
And life becomes a dream,
And you wake up feeling flabby as a toad!
Dough de trap am smashed to bits,
And your wife am seiz’d wid fits,
Yet you’ve kept down de middle ob de road!

Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.

If you heavily have dined,
Wid a friend who’s free and kind,
Mind you walk down de middle ob de road.
For, it being late at night,
It is possible you might,
Fall asleep in de middle ob de road.
And a wagon passing down,
Wid provisions for de town,
May roll across your body wid its load
But you’ll die a martyr brave,
And dey’ll write above your grave,
Dat you died in de middle ob de road!

Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.

I have thought it all well out,
And to me dar is no doubt,
If you keep down de middle ob de road.
Be you careful, wise, or sage,
You will nebber see old age,
If you keep down de middle ob de road!
And I here would add dis note,
Dat de man dese words who wrote,
Much perception as an undertaker show’d,
If you wish to die quite young,
Or escape from being hung,
Mind you keep down de middle ob de road!

Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle,
Keep down de middle ob de road.
Dough de way be smoof an’ wide,
Dar’s a ditch on eiber side,
So keep down de middle ob de road.

Sheet Music

Keep Down De Middle

The sheet music of all 24 Plantation Songs is available as part of the Site Member Downloads. These Site Downloads were previously available through an automated service, but due to a change in policy of the service provider this is no longer possible. If you wish to own the Downloads, please contact me through the Contact Form, and I will reply as soon as I receive your message.

http://www.zonominstrels.co.uk/contact/

The Site Member Downloads include –

* The original WAV audio transfers of the Zono Minstrels recordings which are currently available. These will allow you to hear the songs in a far higher sound quality than the YouTube versions on the public site, and also to add them to your computer file system and portable music player, and even to burn off a compact disc should you desire to do so

* The JPEG images of the record labels for the songs which are available

* The complete sheet music for all 24 Plantation Songs. This is now available in three different formats – colour, greyscale and monochrome. The scores have now been restored to the highest standard possible, which has taken many hours of work.

The scans of the extremely rare Fourth Volume were obtained courtesy of the North East of Scotland Music School in Aberdeen, who accepted a donation of my paper copies of Volumes 1 & 2 in exchange for scans of the rare volume.

The PDF files are not intended to be pixel-perfect reconstructions. They are intended to be as accurate a representation as possible of the originals published by Boosey & Co. between 1900 and 1902, as they would have been in mint condition. The colour has been added after blemish removal and repair have been carried out, to create a perfect uniform background across all scores.