“I Wish They'd Do It Now”


The singer recalls how, when he was a child, the girls would run to kiss him, cuddle him, bathe him, etc. Unfortunately, he is grown and their attentions have ceased; he remarks, "I've got itches in my britches and I wish they'd do it now."


[The original of this is] from "C.P. Hyland's I Wish They'd Do It Now Songster" published in [New York City] in 1869. It was an American song. Not very good either, in the original, but the [folk] processed version was/is a gem. - MC

Those wishing to see something like the original version (as I understand it), with only minimal folk processing, are referred to the Meredith/Covell/Brown text. It is indeed rather less than inspired. - RBW

You think those words are insipid? You should see the ones from "Why Don't They Do It Now?" (1865) from which this song is clearly derived. Without seeing the words from the 1869 "I Wish They'd Do It Now Songster", I can't tell whether those were a folk-processing of "Why Don't They Do It Now?" or a parody, if the

distinction can even be drawn. - PJS


  • Arthur Collins, "I Wish They'd Do It Now" (CYL: Edison 5412, c. 1898)
  • Steve Porter, "I Wish They'd Do It Now" (American Record Co. 031354, c. 1906)
  • Teddy Simmons, "I Wish They'd Do It Now" (CYL: Columbia 32895, c. 1906)


  1. Dean, p. 81, "I Was Born in Killarney" (1 text)
  2. Gilbert, pp. 111-112, ""Why Don't They Do So Now?" (1 text)
  3. Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 186-189, "They were very very Good to Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #1401
  6. BI, Gil111


Author: E. Freeman Dixey? (author cited in the sheet music)
Earliest date: 1865 (sheet music for "Why Don't They Do It Now?" published)
Found in: Australia US(MW)