How Do the Numbers Go?

There was a time not long ado,
When work was not too brisk;
The burning question of the hour was,
Have you got a disc!
But now there is another gag
The greatest pest I know–
The man who meets you in the street
And says, "How do the numbers go?"

You''l find him round in Sussex-street
Ans also on the Quay:
You'll meet him out at Coogee
While surfing in the sea:
And even on the Manly boat
Or in a picture show,
Both night and day you'll hear him say,
"How do the numbers go?"

You'll meet him in a railway train,
You'll find him in the park
He seems to think of nothing else,
As wand'ring to and fro,
You'll hear him mumbling to himself,
"How do the numbers go?"

I've seen him up at Goulburn.
I've heard of him at Yass
I've met him in the morning
On his way to early Mass,
And if he's working on a ship,
On deck or down below,
You'll hear him ask at 5 o'clock,
"How do the numbers go?"


This song came by email in 2001 to Margaret Walters with this description:
"A woman sent me the words of a song she had found in her father in law's papers (he died in 1938) Do you know anything about it?"

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