What are lyrics to "There was a little old skinny man, who lived in old Hoboken"

hungrybill
Asked Jun 17, 2010
(earliest known printed version, dated 1881, credited to Frank Dumont - found by Joe Hickerson)

Oh, the thinnest man I ever saw lived over in Hoboken
If I ever told you how thin he was you'd say that I was jokin'
He was as thin as a postage stamp, or the skin of a new potater
For exercise he's take a ride through the holes of a nutmeg grater
Oh me, oh my, he was the thinnest man.
Thin as soup in a boarding house, or the skin of a soft-shelled clam.

Through a keyhole he'd go slipping, through a mousehole he'd go sliding
And when the landlord came for rent, in the gas pipe he'd be hiding
He was as thin, as thin as grass, as thin as porous plaster
He was as thin as thin can be, he couldn't grow thin any faster
Oh me, oh my, he was the thinnest man.
Thin as soup in a boarding house, or the skin of a soft-shelled clam.

He'd never go out on a stormy night, he'd never go out alone
For fear that some poor hungry dog would take him for a bone.
While sitting by the fire one night, the lamp was burning dimly
A bedbug grabbed him by the hair and yanked him up the chimney
Oh me, oh my, he almost lost his breath
Fell through a hole in the seat of his pants, and choked himself to death.
Velialeta
Answered Aug 29, 2010
Thanks Velialeta!! My family has been looking for these lyrics for years. We have a slightly different tune, but most of the funny phrases are the same.
bill
Shorter version, somewhat differing words from my granny(born in 1883)but the same general story. Still remember it after all these years. I'm 76.

Examples of differences......

* Oh my, what a goodbye....not another oh my............
* The slimmest man, not thinnest
* lived down in Hoboken, not over
* bedbug grabbed him by the pants, not hair

That kind of small differences. Same idea.
bobbobwhite
Answered Mar 21, 2017

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