At The Boarding House

Silver Threads Among the Gold,” was a lovely, sentimental poem written by Eben E. Rexford around 1866. The man made a living by writing verse and flower and garden articles for magazines.  Later, H. P. Danks, composer of the music for “Silver Threads,” wrote to him requesting words for a song. Rexford dug into his scrapbook and revised one of his poems – “Growing Old.”  The song was copyrighted in 1873 and almost immediately seems to have inspired this parody as it appears in print later that very year.

Jos. Morneault


The Vauquer Boarding House Illustration from "Le Pere Goriot" by Honore De Balzac 1900'

The Vauquer Boarding House Illustration from “Le Pere Goriot” by Honore De Balzac 1900′

In the boarding house I lived in
Everything was growing old
Silver hairs amongst the butter
And the cheese was green with mould.
When the dog died we had sausages
When the cat died catnip tea (catnip tea…)
When the landlord died I left there
Spare ribs were too much for me . (Too much for me!)

Someone handed me a partial second verse, he not recalled the first half.  If by chance you should, please do send it along!

Always eat when you are hungry
Always drink when you are dry
Always sleep when you are tired
Don’t stop breathing or you’ll die.

3 thoughts on “At The Boarding House

  1. Lawrence Webb

    I learned some different words:

    At the boarding house where I lived,
    Everything was green with mold.
    Long gray hair was in the butter,
    Silver threads among the gold.
    When the dog died, we had hot dogs,
    When the cat died, catnip tea.
    When the landlord died, I left there:
    Spareribs were too much for me.


    My father-in-law, Orrin Bates, taught me the song “In the Boarding House Where I Lived”. The following are the words to the 2nd second verse he used to sing:

    While the organ peeled potatoes,
    Lard was rendered by the choir.
    While the preacher preached his sermon,
    Someone set the place afire.
    “Holy smokes,” the preacher shouted.
    In the rush he lost his hair.
    Now his head resembles heaven
    For there is no parting there.


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