“My God, How the Money Rolls In”


A quatrain ballad, "My God" describes the various illegal or dubious occupations of family members, e.g. "My sister she works in a (cathouse/laundry), My father makes synthetic gin, My mother she takes in washing, My God, how the money rolls in"


This is one of the most commonly found of bawdy songs, virtually ubiquitous in the English-speaking world. - EC

On the off chance you didn't know, the tune is "My Bonnie." And I've even heard clean versions.

It's possible that "Me Father's a Lawyer in England" is a separate song, or at least a separate subtext -- but the versions I've seen are mixed enough that splitting them based on a single key line seemed rather extreme. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Cray, pp. 107-109 (related songs to p. 114), "My God, How the Money Rolls In" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Sandburg, p. 381, "My Sister She Works in a Laundry" (1 short text, 1 tune)
  3. Lomax-FSNA 68, "Me Father's a Lawyer in England" (1 text, 1 tune -- seemingly a composite text with a different chorus and some floating verses, e.g. from "The Cobbler")
  4. Gardner/Chickering 181, "Me Father Is a Lawyer in England" (2 short texts, 2 tunes, both very mixed; "A" has the first verse of "Me Father Is a Lawyer in England,"; the second is "Me father is a hedger and ditcher, and the third and the chorus are from "The Cobbler"; the "B" text is also clearly mixed though the elements are less clear)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 31, "My God, How the Money Rolls In" (1 text)
  7. Roud #10143
  8. BI, EM107


Alternate titles: “The Poor Tailor's High Relations”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1927 (Sandburg)
Keywords: bawdy humorous family
Found in: Australia Canada Britain(England,Scotland) Ireland US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,Ro,SE,So,SW) New Zealand