Monday, 28 December 2009

Fawlty Towers The Kipper and the Corpse

I am posting some favourite comedy shows. Perhaps some of my American friends may not know these in which case they are in for a real treat.
All twelve episodes are from the highly acclaimed Fawlty Towers series, the first of which we affectionately nicknamed "The Dead Body" but its correct title is The Kipper And The Corpse. I love this series so much I could almost recite all twelve episodes off by heart. I had three bites of the cherry. When the series first appeared we had Basil Fawlty TV parties, when my daughter was young and she loved them and finally when my son was introduced to them with equal enthusiasm.

Play this for the first part

Then play this for the second part

Then play this for the final part

Hope you enjoyed them

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Mr Bean - Getting up late for the dentist

Do we all know Mr Bean?

I saw this hilarious post of Rowan Atkinson playing Mr Bean when he overslept for a dental appointment. He left himself no time at all to get ready and he had to get dressed whilst driving his Mini car.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Rod Stewart is singing about Maggie May again

Rod Stewart Is Fabulous And I Never Realised It

I saw an ITV Concert recently when Rod Stewart did a one night only performance.
It blew me away - never before did I even consider him to listen to his music. He is a born showman and performer and as a rock singer is fabulous. I was rivetted to the TV and I am a classical music man!

Could not record it but I found this famous performance in the Albert Hall 2004 of him singing Maggie May with his mate Ronnie Woods, lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones.

Obviously my sister must have made an impression on him in her distant past.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Janine and Eddie Play "The Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba"

How about this then!!

Aren't they clever?
To return to the Roast post on Clouds and Sivery Linings please press

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

St George and The Dragon

by R.P.Weston and Bert Lee (1935)

Photo - Eddie Bluelights - June 2009

Some folks'll boast of their family trees,
And there's some trees they ought to lop;
But our family tree, believe me, goes right back;
You can see monkeys sitting on top.

To give you some idea of our family tree,
And don't think I'm boastin' or braggin',
My great, great, great, great, great, great, great Uncle George,
Were the Saint George who slaughtered the dragon.

Aye, he were a blacksmith, not one of the sort
Who shoe horses and sing anvil choruses,
He used to shoe 'Dinasauss' - big woolly Elephants,
And thumping great Brontosauruses.

Well, one day while he shod a Brontasaurus,
A 'feller' ran into a forge,
He were shivering with fright and his face pale and white,
And when he got his breath he said, "George

"Eh, I've seen a dragon, a whopping great dragon,"
And uncle said, "Seen what ? - A dragon ?
Thou'd best see a doctor, you've got 'em owld lad,
Eh, I thought you were on water wagon!"

But the fellow said, "Nay, 'twere a big fiery dragon,
‘Twere belchin' out fire as it run!"
And Uncle George said, "I could do with a dragon
With coal now at two quid a ton."

And the 'feller' said, "Eh, but what's more
I've just heard that the old Baron up at the Castle
Says, him as kills Dragon can marry his daughter,
She's lovely and she's worth a parcel."

Then fellow goes off and old Uncle George thinks,
Of the brass and the bride in old satin,
So he brings out his pup and a pair of his ferrets,
And says to 'em, "We're going ratting."

The ferrets they cocked up their noses with joy,
And the old Bull pup's tail kept a-waggin',
Then Uncle George shoves 'em aside rabbit hole,
And says to 'em, "Go on, fetch Dragon."

Then suddenly he smells a 'sulphury' smell,
Then he sees a big gigantic lizzard,
With smoke coming out of its eyes and its ear'oles,
And flames coming out of its gizzard.

And was George afraid ? - Yes he was and he run,
And he hid there in one of the ditches,
While the Dragon, the pig, ate his ferrets and pup,
Aye, best of his prize-winning er - she dogs.

Then George said, "Gad zooks! I'll split thee to the wizzen,
By gum, but he were in a fury,
And he runs to a junk shop, and buys a spear,
And he pinches a Drayhourse from Brew'ry.

Then he sallies forth with a teatray on chest,
On his head he'd a big copper kettle,
With a couple of flat irons to throw at the Dragon,
Owd George were a real man of mettle!

At last he meets Dragon beside of the pump,
Dragon sees him and breathes fire and slaughter,
But George he were ready and in Dragon's mouth,
He just throws a big pail of water!

The Dragon's breath sizzled he'd put out the fire,
Our family are all clever fellows!
Then so as that owd Dragon can't blow up more fire,
With his big spear he punctures his bellows.

Then finding he'd killed it he out with his knife,
He had gumption beside other merits -
And he cuts open Dragon, and under its vest,
Safe and sound are the pup and the ferrets.

That night Old Baron gave Uncle his bride,
When he saw her he fainted with horror,
She'd a face like a kite, worse than that the Old Baron
Said, "George, you'll be Saint George tomorrow."

'Course, as St George t'were no drinking nor smoking,
They barred him horse racing as well,
And poor old St George, when he looked at his Bride,
Used to wish that old Dragon to ... Blazes!

And he got so fed up with being a Saint,
And the Princess he'd won always naggin',
That he bunked off one day and he opened a pub,
And he called it the 'George and the Dragon'.

And he did a fine trade, eh, for years and for years.
People all came from near and from far there
Just to see Uncle George and the Dragon which he had had,
Stuffed and hung up in the bar there.

'Twere a thousand feet long and three hundred feet wide,
But one day when a big crowd observed it,
It fell off the nail and squashed Uncle George,
And the blinking old liar deserved it.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Brahn Boots

We have almost completed Stanley Holloway's monologues - Albert and Sam certainly. There remain some miscellaneous works, including something a bit different. I obtained from the net a youtube of Stanley performing a very famous classic called Brahn Boots in which he speaks in a broad Cockney accent. For those who do not know what this is, it is simply those who are born within the sound of Bow Bells in the heart of London. It is there great classic phrases originate like trouble and strife = wife, Play the Joana = play the piano, apples and pears = stairs, Adam and Steve = believe, butcher's hook = look, Ruby Murray = curry. It's almost another language sometimes. There is a popular TV 'soap' running here called East Enders - that's another name for it. Now after that little flavouring here is a very touching little monologue about a funeral, Brahn Boots followed by the text.

by R.P.Weston and Bert Lee (1940)

Our Aunt Hannah's passed away,
We'd her funeral today,
And it was a posh affair -
Had to have two p'licemen there!

The 'earse was luv'ly, all plate glass,
And what a 'corfin' - oak and brass!
We'd 'fah-sands' weepin', flahers galore,
But Jim, our cousin - what d'yer fink
'e wore ?

Why Brahn boots! - I ask yer - brahn boots!
Fancy comin' to a funeral in brahn boots!
I will admit 'e 'ad a nice black tie,
Black finger nails and a nice black eye;

But yer can't see people orf then they die in brahn boots!
And Aunt 'ad been so very good to 'im,
Done all that any muvver could fer 'im,
And Jim, her son, to show his clars

Rolls in to make it all a farce
In brahn boots! - I ask yer - brahn boots!
While all the rest
Wore decent black and mourning suits.

I'll own he didn't seem so gay,
In fact he cried best part the way,
But straight, he reg'lar spoilt our day
Wiv 'is brahn boots.

In the graveyard we left Jim,
None of us said much to him,
Yus, we all give 'im the bird,
Then by accident we 'eard

'E'd given 'is black boots to Jim Small,
A bloke wot 'ad no boots at all,
So p'raps Aunt Hannah doesn't mind;
She did like people who was good and kind.

But brahn boots! - I ask yer - brahn boots!
Fancy coming to a funeral in brahn boots!
And we could 'ear the neighbours all remark,
"Wot, 'im chief mourner ? Wot a bloomin' lark!

"Why 'e looks more like a Bookmaker's Clerk - in brahn boots!"
That's why we 'ad to be so rude to 'im,
That's why we never said, "Ow do!" to 'im,
We didn't know - he didn't say.

He'd give 'is other boots away.
But brahn boots! - I ask yer - brahn boots!
While all the rest
Wore decent black and mourning suits!

But some day up at Heaven's gate
Poor Jim, all nerves, will stand and wait
'Til an angel whispers, "Come in, Mate,
Where's yer brahn boots ?"

Quite touching isn't it?

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Beefeater

I am very pleased some of you are finding these super Stanley Holloway Monologues interesting. I am reaching the end of these soon and when finished I will add a title page with appropriate links. I note also I have a few new followers on this site and I shall be visiting you in due course - please note, though my main blog is Clouds and Silvery Linings and there is always a hot cup of soup or coffee there.

by R.P.Weston and Bert Lee (1934)

Introductory Narrative

Oh dear, starting another day I suppose,
Showing these 'ere gumps round the Tower.
Still it's got to be done,
Someone's got to do it.

Good Morning! What's that ?
Will I show you round t'Tower, Sir ?
You're from Yorkshire, Sir ?
Ba goom! The world's small.

I'm from Yorkshire 'meself'- aye;
These 'ere Cockneys don't know
There's a Tower 'ere at all.
First of all, Sir, we come the the canteen

Where you wash the cobwebs off your chest.
That's our motto there -
" Honi soit, qui mall y pense.
And in Yorkshire that means, 'Beer is best.'

Eh ? I'll 'ave a pint, Sir, and thank yer,
You'll find it good ale 'ere to sup.
Well, as Guy Fawlkes said when 'e got bunged in dungeon,
And tumbled 'ead first, "Bottoms Up!"

That big 'ole outside is the moat, Sir,
And they do say if ever John Bull
Sells the Tower for a road house with cracks puttied up -
It'll make a damn fine swimming pool.

And now, Sir, we come to the armoury;
Here's the tin pants of Dick Coeur de Lion.
Just imagine the job that his old woman 'ad
Putting patches on with soldering iron.

Here's the shirt of chainmail Black Prince wore -
To starch and iron that were real tricky:
It took three boilermakers to put on his shirt,
And a blacksmith to put on his dicky.

And the 'ere's the real headsman's block, Sir,
From this many 'eads fell with a thud -
Ee! To keep these 'ere stains fresh all these three hundred years
We've used buckets and buckets of blood.

'Ere's the axe - that's the genuine axe, Sir,
That's given Royal necks some 'ard whacks.
True it's 'ad new 'andle and perhaps a new 'ead,
But it's a real old original axe.

And down here's where Princes were murdered,
Aye, strangled poor kids in cold blood.
And what's worse, down here I tossed Scotsman for shilling -
I won, but the shilling was dud.

And here's where they tortured the prisoners -
On that rack when they wouldn't confess.
They were crushed 'til their life's blood ran drip, drip, drip.
Feeling faint, Sir ? Well, here's t'Sergeant's Mess.

Eh ? Oh, thank you. I will have a pint, Sir,
For talking's dry work. Bet your life!
But when I show you ducking stool they had for women,
By Goom, you'll wish you'd brought the wife.

And why do they call us Beefeaters ?
Is it 'cos we eat beef, Sir ? Nay, nay.
The Sergeant eats pork and the Corporal eats bacon,
But I eat tripe three times a day.

And so you shall know we're Beefeaters:
There's me who has fought in the wars
'As to walk round with frills on me neck like a hambone,
A daft hat and purple plus fours.

But here's why they call us Beefeaters,
King Alfred, one night so they say
Fell over the feet of the Sentry
And shouted, "Oi! Keep your B-feet out of the way!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Jonah And The Grampus

Last night was the last Sam story, regrettably.
However there are some miscellaneous ones left including this favorite.
by Marriott Edgar (1937)

I'll tell you the story of Jonah,
A really remarkable tale;
A peaceful and 'umdrum existence 'e 'ad,
Until one day 'e went for a sail.

The weather were fine when 'e started,
But later at turn of the tide,
The wind started blowing, the water got rough,
And Jonah felt funny inside.

When t'ship started pitching and tossing,
Jo' tried hard 'is feelings to smother,
At last 'e just 'ung 'is 'ead over the side.
And one thing seemed to bring up another.

When sailors saw what 'e were doing,
It gave them a bit of a jar;
They liked to see trippers enjoying theirselves,
But thought this 'ere were going too far.

Said one, "Is there nowt we can think on,
To stop you from feelin' so bad ?"
And Jonah said, "Aye, lift me over the side
And chuck me in, there's a good lad."

The sailor 'e weren't one to argue,
'E said, "Happen you know what's best."
So 'e picked Jo' up by the seat of 'is pants,
And chucked 'im in, as per request.

A Grampus came up at that moment,
And seeing as Jo' were 'ard set,
It swam alongside 'im and open'd its mouth,
And said, "Come in, lad, out of the wet."

Its manner were kindly and pleading,
As if to say R.S.V.P."
Said Jonah, "I've eaten a kipper or two,
But I never thought one would eat me."

The inside of Grampus surprised 'im,
'Twere the first time 'e'd been behind scenes;
'E found 'commodation quite ample for one
Though it smelled like a tin of sardines.

They went cruising over the water,
And Jonah were filled with delight;
With 'is eye to the blow-'ole in t'Grampus's 'ead,
‘E watched ships that passed in the night.

"I'm weary of watching," said Jonah,
"I'll rest for a minute or so."
"I'm afraid as you won't find your bed very soft,"
Said the Grampus - "I've got a hard roe."

A whale-boat came up at that moment,
Said Jonah, "What's this 'ere we've
struck ?"
"They're after my blubber," the Grampus replied,
"You'd best 'old tight while I duck."

The water came in through the blow-'ole
And caught Jonah's face a real slosher.
'E said, "Shut your blow-'ole!" and Grampus replied,
"I can't, lad - it wants a new washer."

Jo' tried 'ard to bale out the water,
But found that 'is take were in vain,
For as fast as 'e emptied slops out through the gills
They came in through the blow-'ole again.

When at last they came to the surface,
Jo' was reading 'is accident policy;
'E put down 'is reading and took a look out
And found they was grounded off Wallassey.

Said Grampus, "We're in shallow water,
I've brought you as far as I may;
If you sit on the blow-'ole on the top of my 'ead
I'll spout you the rest of the way."

So Jonah obeyed these instructions,
And the Grampus 'is lungs did expand,
Then blew out fountain which lifted Jo' up
And carried 'im safely to land.

There were tears in their eyes when they parted,
And each blew a kiss, a real big 'un.
Then t'Grampus went off with the swish of 'is tail,
And Jonah walked back home to Wigan.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Sam Goes To It

Old Sam is very annoyed in WW2 when his allotment gets bombed by the Germans and so he promptly enlists to join his old regiment - or he trys to - such is the spirit of a Lancastrian.

by Marriott Edgar (1941)

Sam Small had retired from the Army
In the old Duke of Wellington's time,
So when present unpleasantness started
He were what you might call past his prime.

He'd lived for some years in retirement
And knew nowt of the war, if you please,
'Til they blasted and bombed his allotment,
And shelled the best part of his peas.

'Twere as if bugles called Sam to duty
For his musket he started to search;
He found it at last in the hen house
Buff Orpingtons had it for t'perch.

Straight off to the 'Fusilier's' depot
He went to rejoin his old troop -
Where he found as they couldn't recruit him
Until all his age group was called up.

Now Sam wasn't getting no younger,
Past the three score and ten mark was he,
And they reckoned by t'time they reached his group
He'd be very near ten score and three.

So he took up the matter with Churchill
Who said, I don't know what to do,
Never was there a time when so many
Came asking so much of so few."

"I don't want no favours," Sam answered,
"Don't think as I'm one of that mob.
All I'm asking is give me the tools, lad,
And let me 'elp finish the job."

"I'll fit you in somewhere," said Winnie,
"Old Soldiers we must not discard."
Then seeing he'd got his own musket
He sent him to join the Home Guard.

They gave Sam a coat with no stripes on,
In spite of the service he'd seen
Which considering he'd been a King's Sergeant
Kind of rankled - you see what I mean ?

He said, "I come back to the Army
Expecting my country's thanks,
And the first thing I find when I get here
Is that I've been reduced to the ranks."

He found all the lads sympathetic,
They agreed that it were a disgrace,
Except one old chap in the corner
With a nutcracker kind of a face.

Said the old 'feller', "Who do you you think you are ?
The last to appear on the scene,
And you start off by wanting promotion;
Last come, last served - see what I mean ?"

Said Sam, "Wasn't I at Corunna,
And when Company Commander got shot,
Didn't I lead battalion to victory ?"
Said the old fella, "No, you did not."

"I didn't ? said Sam quite idignent,
"Why, in every fight Wellington fought
Wasn't I at his right hand to guard him ?"
Said old chap, "You were nowt of the sort."

"What do you know of Duke and his
battles ?"
Said Sam with a withering look.
Said the old man, "I ought to know something,
Between you and me, I'm the Duke."

And if you should look in any evening,
You'll find them both in the canteen,
Ex Commander-in-Chief and ex Sergeant
Both just Home Guards - you see what I mean ?"

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Sam's Christmas Pudding

by Marriott Edgar (1939)

It was Christmas Day in the trenches
In Spain in Penninsular War,
And Sam Small were cleaning his musket
A thing as he ne'er done before.

They'd had 'em inspected that morning,
And Sam had got into disgrace,
For when Sergeant had looked down the barrel
A sparrow flew out in his face.

The Sergeant reported the matter
To Leiutenant Bird then and there.
Said Leiutenant, "How jolly disgusting,
The Duke must be told of this 'ere."

The Duke were upset when he heard it,
He said, "I'm astonished, I am.
I must make a most drastic example;
There'll be no Christmas pudding for Sam."

When Sam were informed of his sentence,
Surprise rooted him on the spot -
'Twere much worse than he expected,
'E thought as 'e'd only be shot.

And so 'e sat cleaning his musket,
And polishing barrel and butt,
Whilst the pudding 'is mother had sent 'im
Lay there in the mud, at 'is foot.

Now the centre of Sam's lot were holding
Ran around a place called Badajoz
Where the Spaniards had put up a bastion
And ooh what a bastion it was!

They pounded away all the morning
With canister, grape shot and ball,
But the face of the bastion defied them
They made no impression at all.

They started again after dinner
Bombarding as hard as they could;
And the Duke brought his own private cannon
But that weren't a ha'pence o' good.

The Duke said, "Sam, put down thy musket
And help me to lay this gun true."
Sam answered, "You'd best ask your favours
From them as you give pudding to."

The Duke looked at Sam so reproachful,
"And don't take it that way," said he,
"Us Generals have got to be ruthless,
It hurts me more than it did thee."

Sam sniffed at these words kind of sceptic,
Then looked down at the Duke's private gun
And said, "We'd best put in two charges,
We'll never bust bastion with one."

He tipped cannon ball out of muzzle,
He took out the wadding and all,
He filled barrel chock full of powder.
Then picked up and replaced the ball.

He took a good aim at the bastion
Then said, "Right-o, Duke, let her fly."
The cannon nigh jumped off her trunnions
And up went the bastion, sky high.

The Duke he weren't 'alf elated,
He danced round the trench full of glee
And said, "Sam, for this gallant action
You can hot up your pudding for tea."

Sam looked round to pick up his pudding,
But it wasn't there, nowhere about.
In the place where he thought he had left it
Lay the cannon ball he'd just tipped out.

Sam saw in a flash what 'ad happened:
By an unprecedented mishap
The pudding his mother had sent him
Had blown Badajoz off the map.

That's why 'Fusilliers' wear to this moment
A badge which they think's a grenade,
But they're wrong - its a brass reproduction
Of the pudding Sam's mother once made.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sam Drummed Out

by R.P. Weston and Bert Lee (1935)

When a lad's been drummed out of the Army,
He's an outcast despised by all men;
I'd rather be shot at dawn any old time
'Cause I never get up before ten.

Once I was drummed out, tho' today I'm a hero
With all that a soldier could wish.
Ay, once poor old Sam stood before a Court Martial
With head bowed in shame and anguish.

And the old Colonel said, when he 'eard the charge read,
"It's a terrible crime, Sam," said he,
And the whisper went round, "Has old Sam
Been a traitor to 'is King and 'is 'count-ar-ar-y' ?"

“Nay, nay, I was charged with a crime worse than that,
Far more dastardly wicked and mean.
I were charged with maliciously putting cold water
In beer, in the Sergeant's canteen.

And the Colonel's voice shook and he swallowed a lump
And he said, "Nay, nay, come, come, ee dear, dear,
Good beer is the life-blood of our glorious Army,
Our battles was all won on beer.

"What have you got to say to this terrible charge ?"
I said, "Nowt."
He said, "Nowt ?"
I said, "Nowt."

He said, "Can't you say owt but nowt ?"
I said, "No, nowt."
"Well," he said, "Sam,
Then you'll be drummed out."

Next morning the Company lined on Parade
I stood to attention, quite stiff;
Then the Sergeant stepped forward and knocked off my pillbox
And worse - he untidied me quiff.

Then he pulled out his sword and cut off me coat buttons
Them buttons fell 'clink' on the floor;
But when he began on my trousers I said,
"Don't lower me prestige any more."

The he pulled off me medals, me twenty-five medals
I'd won out in different parts.
But I said to him, "Oi, give me two of them back,
'Cause I won them there two playing darts."

Then the drums and the pipes played the Rogues March
And the Colonel he sobbed and said, "Sam,
You're no longer a Soldier, I'm sorry to say
Sam, Sam, you're a dirty old man."

And soon I was outside the old barrack gates
With the tears rolling down me face;
Then up rode the Colonel's young daughter, God bless her,
The pride of the Regiment, our Grace.

She said, "What's to do, Sam ?"
I said, "What's to do ? I'm drummed out lass for watering beer."
Then she fell off her 'orse, threw her arms round me kneck
And said, "Sam, you poor innocent dear."

Then she rushed to her father, the Colonel, and said,
"Say, Papa, I'll hand you the dope.
Poor Sam here is innocent, I did the deed;
I was told to by my Band of Hope."

Then the Colonel said, "Corporal Sam, please come back."
I said , "Nay, nay, I've just been drummed out."
Then the Colonel said, "Sergeant Sam, Sergeant Sam, please."
I just shrugged and said, "Nowt doing, nowt."

He said, "Lieutenant Sam, come forgive and forget."
But I stamped and I said, "Nay, nay, begone."
Then he said, "Captain Sam." I said, "Captain, tut tut;
Make it Major and then I'll clock on."

And that's how I won me Commission, me lads,
A commission I think I well earned -
10 per cent on the beer, 10 per cent on the stout,
And the pennies on bottles returned.

And the Regiment gave me a tankard, inscribed
With these words which I'm proud of, I am,
'Presented by First Lancashire 'Fusilliers'
To their champion liar, Old Sam.'

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Several friends have asked if I have a book of Stanley Holloway Monologues - the answer is 'yes' and a couple of years ago I keyed them all into my word processor - I knew most of them anyway. I would be pleased to provide details of the book if requested. Oh! and Bernie please note the accent is Northern England, Lancashire, and not Cockney, for all the Sam Small and Albert stories, although Stanley does some in Cockney, namely 'Braun Boots' which I will cover in due course.

by M. Hogan and Mabel Constanduros (1933)

Sam Small, though approaching his sixtieth year
Were feeling all brisk-like and hearty,
So he sent out an invite when Christmas drew near
And asked all his friends to a party.

There was old ale and sandwiches, beef and cold tongue,
And trifle with gooseberry jam,
And parkin and humbugs, a couple of ducks,
And lovely great platefuls of ham.

Sam's Captain were there from his old Army days,
A man for his strictness renowned,
And Lieutenant Bird and the Sergeant, the same
Who once knocked Sam's musket on t'ground.

They were shy like at first for the Captain was glum,
And Lieutenant Bird a bit coy,
Then two masters arrived from the school at Runcorn,
Where Sam used to go as a boy.

The junior tutor, a classy young man
In a very old mortar board 'at,
Walked up to the ale with 'is eyes bulging out
And said, "I'd like a basin of that."

The language professor he said with a bow,
"Bon Noel" and sat down on a bench,
"Fait il froid par demi," he went on, Sam explained,
"He means weather's fair ruddy," he's French.

Then Lieutenant Bird volunteered for a song,
Accompanied by Sergeant McNally,
"Of all the girls that are so smart
There's non like pretty Sally."

Then t'Captain jumped up, said he'd not be outdone,
He played for himself with one finger.
There were tears in all eyes as he'd finished the song;
He was a magnificent singer.

He'd start a bit husky, but nothing to last,
His voice cleared up fine when he'd coughed:
"Faithful below, Tom did his duty,
But now he's gone aloft, but now he's gone aloft."

As 'is last trembling note died away in a gulp,
Came a clatter of hoofs from outside.
Sam pulled back the blind and flushed up to his ears,
"It's the Duke!" he announced with much pride.

And it were - up 'e rode on 'is lovely white horse.
Sam faltered, "Why, Duke, is it you ?
And thee with lumbago, and snow on the ground.
I take it most kind, that I do."

"Gradely, lad," said the Duke, condescending and kind.
"By Gum, but how well you do look.
This room's a bit stuffy and hot. Do you mind
If I hang up me coat on this hook ?"

Then a thunderous banging was heard on the door,
And t'bell gave furious ring.
They all turned quite pale as a voice from outside
Cried, "Open, in t'name of the King."

Sam op'ned the door. There 'e stood, George the Fourth,
A model of beauty and grace.
His crown on 'is head and sceptre in 'and,
And behind him stood Queen with the mace.

"Thee told us," said King, "when we come up thy way
To call and take pot luck with thee.
And seeing we're up for the cup-tie tha' knows
The Queen and me's popped in to tea."

They hung up their crowns on the stand in the hall.
Sam paid off their cab, eighteen pence.
The Queen parked her mace in Sam's umbrella stand,
"Reet," she said, "Now let party commence."

Well things was a bit rigid-like just at first,
The room was fair 'thrutched up' with folks,
'Til Queen quite nonchalant unbuttoned one boot,
And King made some rather rude jokes.

The up jumped the Duke and said, "Let's 'ave a game,
Now what shall we play ? -Blind man's buff ?"
But Queen said, "I'd rather 'ave musical chairs,
It isn't so common and rough."

In the midst of the game two more people arrived,
It was Mister and Missus Ramsbottom.
When they saw King and Queen playing musical chairs,
They were struck dumb, as if you 'ad shot 'em.

For there sat the Queen and the Duke on one chair,
Fair pushing and shoving each other.
Mister Ramsbottom said, "Nay, we musn't intrude,
We're nobbut plain folk, me and Mother."

"Don't be shy," called the Queen, very friendly and kind,
"Come in now and take off thy hat.
Why you don't say you've left lttle Albert behind ?
A fine little fellow was that."

"What hasn't thou 'eard ?" Missus Ramsbottom searched
For a dry spot of 'hanky' to cry on.
"He went for the day to the Zoo at Blackpool,
And our Albert was 'ate' by a Lion."

"Eee Missus Ramsbottom," said Queen, "that is sad,
But thee got compensation, my dear ?"
"Not us," said the Ramsbottom's very irate,
"So we shan't go to Blackpool this year."

Well after they'd all had a drop of old ale
To give the proceedings a bite,
While Missus Ramsbottom retired with the Queen,
The Sergeant got up to recite.

"Friends, Romans and countrymen, lend me thy lug-holes."
He slowly and weightily said.
The 'e stuck for a bit, and knocked over 'is glass,
So they leant 'im some old ale instead.

The Duke then arose to deliver a speech,
The glass in 'is hand non too stable.
But what with lumbago, and what with old ale
He'd to grip pretty tight to the table.

"Why Sam, where's thy medal ? he suddenly cried,
And set his glass down with a slam.
"Thee won the V.C. King had medal for thee."
"I know he'd a medal," snapped Sam.

The Queen glanced at King, who had opened his mouth
Intending a moral to teach.
"Nay, nay, Georgy luv, shut thy face," said the Queen,
"And let Arthur get on with 'is speech."

They all clapped their 'ands and then sung out aloud,
Demanding a speech from their host.
And Sam, very bashful, said, "Well, I don't mind.
Fill t'glasses, I'll give thee a toast."

"Well friends, here's a health to all those that I love,
And a health to all those that love me.
A health to all those that love those that I love
And to those that love those that love me."

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

One Each APiece All Round

by Stanley Holloway (1931)

Number two four six eight
Private Samuel Small
Were up before his Captain
To explain away a brawl.

The Captain said, "Now state yer case,
But please be short and brief,
Tell everything that happened
To the best of your belief."

"Well now," said Sam, "it's like this 'ere
Me and some other chaps
Had a little celebration
And a drink or two perhaps.

"It happened to be me birthday,
And on counting out I found
I'd got enough out of me pay
To have one each apiece all round.

"We drank 'em up, no heeltaps,
And then the same again,
'Here's a health unto his Majesty,'
We sang, 'Long may he reign.'

"With chorus after chorus
We made the walls resound,
And then to keep things going
We had one each apiece all round.

"It were nearly time for lights out
And getting rather late,
We had no money left for drinks
So we put 'em on the slate.

"Suddenly out went the lights
Without the slightest warning,
We all trooped out but not without
A bottle for the morning.

"Across the barrack square we went
As bold as any gentry.
It was a lark when in the dark
We come across a Sentry.

" 'Alt, who goes there ?' the Sentry cried,
We firmly stood our ground.
'It's only Sam,' I cried, 'and we've had
One each apiece all round,

" 'We've been drinking .... drinking .... drinking.'
We got into the barrack room and started to undress,
Just then the Sergeant came along,
Straight from the Sergeants' Mess.

"We shut the door, sat on the floor,
We never made a sound
And to finish up me birthday,
We had one each apiece all round."

"Well Private Small," said Captain,
"I shall have to punish thee;

For this grave misdemeanour,
You will get ten days C.B."

"Ten days C.B.," said Samuel,
"That's heavy I'll be bound."
Said Captain, "Split among your pals,
It's one each apiece all round."

Monday, 22 June 2009


Back to Sam Small - here a drummer boy at Waterloo

It seems as though Stanley Holloway with his monologues is getting a bit of a following - very pleased about that. He deserves one!!

(Sam, Sam, Beat the Retreat)
by R.P. Weston and Bert Lee (1931)

I'm hundred and two today, by goom!
Eh, today, I'm a hundred and two,
And at ten years of age, I wor soldiering, a
I wor drummer boy at Waterloo.

And when Wellington said, "Sam, my lad, get
thy drum,"
I wor so mighty anxious to start
That I dashed in front and got captured by
And were taken afore 'Boneyparte'.

And 'Boneyparte', scratching his-self under t'arm,
Like you see him in pictures today
Said, "Voila! so you are a drummer boy, oui ?
Then show me how well you can play."

"Sam, Sam! beat the Retreat! Beat the Retreat on thy drum,"
I said, "Beat the what ? - He said, "Beat the Retreat."
I said, "Nay, that's one thing as I'll never beat;

I'll beat ye the Charge, or I'll beat the Tattoo,
But I'm British and Yorkshire, ba goom!
And though you're Napoleon, I'll see thee blowed
If I'll beat the Retreat on my drum!"

Then scratching his-self under t'arm once again,
In the way 'Boneyparte' always did,
He said, "Sacre bloo!" which is French for "Ba goom",
"Eh, thou hast got a source for a kid."

Then he called Josephine (Josephine wor his Queen),
And he said, "Tell this lad, Josephine,
If he don't beat Retreat on his drum,
He'll be shot - aye and put under 'Guil-li-o-tine'."

So she put her arm round me, and stroking me 'air,
She whispered, "Hush, hush now - coom, coom!
Be a good lad - do as 'Boneyparte' tells thee,
And beat the Retreat on thy drum!"

I said, "Missus, nay!" - then she started to cry,
And she murmured, "Oh, lad, you are too sweet to die;
And hast thou a mother who loves thee ?" she sobbed.
I said, "Aye, and she's Yorkshire, ba goom!
And she'd beat the Retreat on me trousers
If I beat the Retreat on me drum!"

Then 'Boneyparte' scrarching his-self once again
Said, "My lad, I've a mother like her."
And taking his medals off with his two hands
And unpinning his gold Croix de Guerre

He put them on me, kissed me on both cheeks,
Then pulled me outside of the tent,
And leading me up to his Army,
And scratching his-elf under t'arm as he went,

"Soldiers of France," he cried,
"This is Sam Small, he's a hero though only a kid,
E-coutez, mes braves, et com-prenez toute suite!
What do you think this lad did ?"

"Beat the Retreat on thy drum! said I,
Beat the Retreat on thy drum!
And this lad refused, though I said he should die;
Why did he refuse ?" - I said, "I'll tell 'em why:

For two reasons I wouldn't beat the Retreat
Though I knew that it meant Kingdom come;
One reason was someone pinched both me sticks,
And the other, I'd busted me drum!"

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Many Happy Returns

On my previous post Private Samuel Small got 5 days C.B. (confined to barracks) so he is not able to appear tonight, regrettably.
Instead, I'd like you to meet a real 'whacky' Head Teacher who asks the school to guess his age because it's his birthday. If they get it right they get the day off - the boys show they are not idiots! They want to maximise their reward. Come to think of it this chap reminds me a bit of my whacky old Head Master, many, many years ago! He used to "whack" us with the cane - ouch!

by Archie de Bear (1933)

Down at the school house at Runcorn,
The headmaster walked in one day,
Looking chirpy and 'appy and cheerful,
Which wasn't 'is habit, they say.

The boys were completely dumbfounded,
And they whispered, "Hello, what's to do ?"
But the headmaster still went on smiling,
And said, "Boys, I've some good news for you."

"It's like this. Today is my birthday,
So it's no time for classes and such -
You can go." But the boys were too staggered
To even say, "Thanks very much."

They could scarcely believe their own ear-holes
As they welcomed these tidings so bright;
But soon they all cheered to the echo,
And very nigh bust with delight.

Said headmaster, "Now there's no hurry,
Before very long you'll be free;
But seeing as how it's me birthday,
How old would you take me to be ?"

Well, the boys didn't like this delaying,
And one of the younger ones swore
At the silly old fool of a master,
And the satisfied smile that 'e wore.

He didn't swear any too loudly,
Or 'e'd 'ave been out on the mat
For calling the master a 'silly old beggar' -
Or something that sounded like that.

"I bet you won't guess it correctly,"
The headmaster went on with a wink,
"For I've got a sort of notion
I'm not quite as old as you think."

A new boy jumped up and guessed twenty,
In the hopes that 'e'd get off for a week;
While another one guessed ninety seven -
Although with 'is tongue in 'is cheek.

Said the headmaster, "Don't let's be funny,
Or you'll be here all day I can see;
So who'll give serious guess now,
Come on, just between you and me."

Then in walked the junior tutor,
In a very old mortar board hat.
He said, "I hear there's a game on,
Well I'd like a basin of that."

Said the headmaster, "Mind your own business,
And kindly do not interfere -
Or you'll lose half your rashion of bacon,
And all your allowance of beer."

The tutor said, "Don't be a cad, Sir,
I don't wish to make any noise;
But you might at least try to be sporting,
If only in front of the boys."

With that he swept out of the classroom,
Fearing the look that he saw -
For he knew that in less than two seconds,
He'd get such a sock on the jaw.

Then in came the language professor,
French teaching was one of his jobs,
So he bowed to the Head and said, "Bonjour",
And the Head said, "Bonjour, avec knobs.

"But if you've come here to give lessons,
You can take it from me - it's no bon,
Because today's a holiday, Savvy ?
So you might as well allez-vous en."

Then a small voice cried, "Sir, why it's easy,
Forty four is your age I should say."
Said the master, "Now what a remarkable thing,
You've guessed my right age to the day."
(New line by Eddie Bluelights)
"Now, tell me son, how did you do it?
" 'Ow did you answer, spot on?
The odds are against you just guessing
Which branch of maths was it, son?
Said the boy, "Well my brother is just twenty two."
Said the headmaster, "What's that to me?"
"Well, Sir, if 'e's twenty two, you must be forty four,
'Cause 'e's only half barmy - you see!"

Then the whole class joined in the school anthem,
Which nobody wanted to shirk:
"For he's a jolly good fellow,
So long as we don't have to work."

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Marksman Sam

Well I am very pleased to resume the Private Sam Small stories now the merriment is complete at Clouds and Silvery Linings - hope you all have collected your prizes.

(by Marriott Edgar (1934)

When Sam Small joined the regiment,
'E were no' but a raw recruit;
And they marched 'im away one wint'ry day
'Is musket course to shoot.

They woke 'im up at the crack o' dawn,
Wi' many a nudge and shake;
'E were dreaming that t'Sergeant 'ad broke 'is neck,
And 'e didn't want to wake.

Lieutenant Bird came on Parade,
And chided the lads for mooning.
'E talked in a voice like a pound o' plums,
'Is tonsils needed pruning.

"Move to the right by fours," 'e said,
Crisp-like, but most severe,
But Sam didn't know 'is right from 'is left,
So pretended 'e didn't 'ear.

Said Lieutenant, "Sergeant - take that man's name,"
The Sergeant took out 'is pencil,
'E were getting ashamed o' taking Sam's name,
And were thinking o' cutting a stencil.

Sam carried a musket, a knapsack and coat,
Spur boots that 'e'd managed to wangle,
A 'atchet, a spade - in fact as Sam said,
'E'd got everything bar t'kitchen mangle.

"March easy, men," Lieutenant cried,
As the musket range drew near,
"March easy me blushing Aunt Fanny," said Sam,
"What a chance, with all this 'ere."

When they told 'im to fire a five 'undred yards,
Sam nearly 'ad a fit,
For a six-foot wall, or the Albert 'All,
Were all 'e were likely to 'it.

'E 'ad fitted a cork in 'is musket end
To keep his powder dry;
And 'e didn't remember to tak' it out
The first time 'he let fly.

'Is gun went off with a kind of pop!
Where 'is bullet went no one knew,
But next day they spoke of a tinker's moke
Being killed by a cork near Crew.

At three 'undred yards, Sam shut 'is eyes
And took a careful aim;
'E failed to score, but the marker swore
And walked away quite lame.

At two 'undred yards, Sam fired so wild,
That the Sergeant feared for 'is skin,
And the lads all cleared int' t'neighbouring field
And started to dig 'emselves in.

"Ooh Sergeant! I hear a scraping noise,"
Said Sam, "What can it be ?"
The noise that 'e 'eard were Lieutenant Bird,
'Oo were climbing the nearest tree.

"Ooh Sergeant!" said Sam, "I've hit the bull!
What price my shooting now ?"
Said the Sergeant, "A bull! Yer gormless fool,
Yon isn't a bull, it's a cow!"

At fifty yards 'is musket kicked,
And went off with a noise like a blizzard,
And down came crow looking fair surprised
With 'is ram-rod through its gizzard.

As 'e loaded 'is musket to fire again,
Said the Sergeant, "Don't waste shot!
Yer'd best fix bayonet and charge, my lad,
It's the only chance yer've got!"

Sam kept loading 'is gun while the Sergeant spoke
'Til the bullets peeped out at the muzzle,
When all of a sudden it went off, bang!
What made it go off were a puzzle.

The bullets flew out in a kind of spray,
And everything round got peppered.
When they counted 'is score,
'E'd got eight bulls-eyes, four magpies,
Two lambs and a shepherd.

And the Sergeant for this got a D.C.M.
And the Colonel an O.B.E.
Lieutenant Bird got a D.S.O.
and Sam got - five days C.B.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

No Sam Small today - sorry


Sorry, had no time to produce a Sam story tonight.

I've been working on a huge awards ceremony on Clouds and Silvery Linings.

Jackie, there is an award for you there.

Bernie, there is an award for you there

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Sam's Medal

Sadly, we have come to the end of the Albert Ramsbottom Monologues - but do not be too sad because there are lots of Sam Small stories to come, including this cracker which I can just about remember to recite, after a few drinks!!

by Mabel Constanduros and Michael Hogan (1933)

You've 'eard of Samuel Small per'aps ?
A lad of bull-dog breed,
'Oo saved 'is Sergeant Major's life;
A most unusual deed.

At Waterloo 'e fought and bled,
And when the war was won,
The King a medal struck for Sam,
Because of what 'e'd done.

So Sam came up to Palace Gates,
In famous London town.
A Sentry in a Busby 'at
Was walkin' up and down.

The Sentry stopped and looked at Sam,
"Excuse me, mate," said he,
"Might you be Private Samuel Small ?"
And Sam said, "Aye, that's me!"

"Well, go on in," said Sentry, "Quick!"
And gave the gate a slam,
"King's got a medal there for thee!"
"I know 'e 'as," said Sam.

Well, Sam pushed open Palace Door
And stood in 'oly 'ush;
He found himself inside a room,
All marble busts and plush.

Archbishop in a red cocked 'at,
And breeches white and blue,
Said, "Is your name Sam Small, me lad ?"
"It is," said Sam, " 'Ow do!"

"Don't loiter then," says Bishop, sharp,
"Like nursemaid wi' a pram.
The King's got medal there for thee."
"I know 'e 'as," said Sam.

Upstairs Sam met Prime Minister,
A top-'at on 'is 'ead.
'Is trousers they was velvetine;
One leg was blue - one red.

'E glanced at Sam all 'aughty-like
And asked 'im, "Might you be
A man called Private Samuel Small ?"
And Sam said, "Ay, that's me."

"Well don't keep King all night," 'e said,
"Surprised at thee, I am.
'E's got thy medal there 'as King."
"I KNOW 'e 'as," said Sam.

But when Sam came on King and Queen,
His awe he couldn't smother;
For there sat King - one hand held th'orb,
And scepter was in t'other.

Sam grasped the situation like
In less than half a jiff,
He gave a very smart salute
And knocked his 'at skew-whiff.

"Tha' must be Samuel Small," said King.
"That's reet," said Sam, "I am."
"Well, I've a medal 'ere for thee."
"I KNOW thou 'ast," said Sam.

"Don't be impatient, Sam," says King,
"Before 'tis 'anded you,
There's certain grave formalities
Which must be gotten through."

"The V.C.'s granted Samuel Small,"
The King began to read,
"For saving Sergeant-Major's life;
A most unusual deed.

"Dragged 'im to safety under fire,
When serving in the line.
Now tell me, Sam, how came you do
This deed, so brave and fine ?"

"Well now," said Sam, " 'twas like this 'ere,
That Sergeant-Major come
Towards our trenches, very drunk,
A-wavin' jar of rum.

"And just as we was lettin' forth
A loud triumphant shout,
A darned great gun - excuse me, Queen -
Went off and laid 'im out.

"I rushed and grabbed the precious jar;
'E seized me round the 'tum' -
Your pardon, Queen. So 'e got saved,
As well as jar of rum!"

"But if there'd been no rum," said King,
"Though death might sound his knell,
Thou would'st 'ave done this same brave deed ?"
"I would!" said Sam, "Like 'ell!"

"Did you 'ear that ?" said King to Queen.
She said, "Indeed I did!"
"Don't give 'im ruddy medal then!"
And nor they never did.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Albert Evacuated

This is war torn England in the blitz when it was safer for children to be evacuated into the country away from cities likely to be bombed by German aeroplanes. Little Albert was no exception - but it all goes wrong when mother misunderstands an Air Raids Precautions (ARP) warden.

by Stanley Holloway (1940)

Have you heard how young Albert Ramsbottom
Was evacuated from home,
With his Mother, clean socks and a toothbrush,
Some Syrup of Figs and a comb?

The stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle,
They decided that they'd leave behind,
To keep safe with the things they weren't wanting,
Like their gasmasks, and things of that kind.

Pa saw them off at the station,
And shed a few crocodile's tears;
As he waved them goodbye from the platform -
'Twas the best break he'd had in ten years.

Ma got corner seat for young Albert,
Who amused all the rest of the team
By breathing hot breaths on the window,
And writing some swear words in steam.

They arrived at last somewhere in England,
And straight to their billet were shown;
There was one room for Mother, but Albert
Was in a small room of his own.

The very first night in the blackout,
Young Albert performed quite a feat
By hanging head first from the window,
And shining his torch down the street.

It flashed on an A.R.P. warden
Patrolling with leisurely gait;
"Good Heavens," said he, "it's Tarzan,
I better go investigate."

So reading his book of instructions
To make himself doubly sure,
Then in an official like manner
Proceeded to knock at the door.

It was opened by Missus Ramsbottom.
"Now then," said she, "what's to do ?"
And in stern air-warden manner, 'e said,
"I'm going to interrogate you!"

This fair upset Missus Ransbottom,
Her face was a picture to see;
"I'll have you know you'll do nowt of the sort,
I'm a respectable woman," said she.

"Has your son been evacuated ?"
Said the A.R.P. man at the door.
"He'd all them things done as a baby," said Mother
"He's not being done any more."

"Be off, now," said Missus Ramsbottom,
As she bustled him out of the porch;
And the A.R.P. man patted Albert,
And then confiscated his torch.

Now that were unlucky for Albert,
He 'ad no torch to see 'im to bed;
But being a bright little fellow,
He switched on the hall light instead.

"Put out that light," a voice shouted,
"Where's the men of our A.R.P.?"
"I've told them already," the warden replied,
"They take no ruddy notice of me."

Soon Missus Ramsbottom and Albert
Were feeling quite homesick and sad;
So they thanked the landlady most kindly,
And prepared to go back home to Dad.

When at last they reached home to Father
They were fed up and had quite enough;
But in the front parlour they found six young women
And Father were doing his stuff.

"Hello, Mother," said Mister Ramsbottom,
"Come right on in, don't be afraid,
When you went away I joined Ambulance Corps -
I'm instructing the girls in first aid."

"First Aid," said Missus Ramsbottom
With a horrible look on her brow.
"If ever you wanted first aid in your life,
By gum, you'll be wanting it now."
Watch out, father, "Hell thath no fury like a woman's scorn!"
Perhaps he feels, "Meethinks the lady doth protest too much!"

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Albert's Jubilee Day Sovereign

"It had picture of Queen on the on side, and her dragon fight on the reverse"

This is one of Stanley's monologues I remember still from my youth and I am pleased to say I recited it recently to a 90 year old male patient to whom I was attending as we travelled in an ambulance - we are great friends. He laughed so much I had him 'in stitches', not the sort of thing you should do to a patient. I ended up reciting two more and promised him I would put them on CD for him and he now has it. He is delighted! I am particularly fond of this man because he is highly educated and has written 14 books; three on theology. Also he is a Baptist Minister and we have had very many interesting discussions. Sadly he is blind. When I post my ambulance stories on my other blog, Clouds and Silvery Linings, there is an interesting story about him.

Nice to do something like that for the elderly when we can - we try to brighten their lives every day. Anyway, here goes - enjoy.
by Marriott Edgar (1937)

On Jubilee Day the Ramsbottoms
Asked all their relations to tea,
Including young Albert's Grandmother -
An awkward old 'party' were she.

She'd seen Queen Victoria's Jubilee
And her wedding to 'Albert the Good'
But got quite upset when young Albert
Asked her how she'd got on in the Flood.

She cast quite a damper on t'party,
But she cheered up a bit after tea
And gave Albert a real golden sov'rin
She'd saved up since last Jubilee.

It had picture of t'Queen on the one side
And her dragon fight on the reverse;
And tasted of camphor and cobwebs
Through being so long in her purse.

Albert cuddled the coin and he kissed it,
And felt the rough edge with his tongue,
For he knew by the look of his father
It wouldn't be his very long.

"Shall I get your money-box, Albert ?"
Said mother, so coaxing and sweet.
But Albert let drop an expression
He must have picked up in the street.

"I'll show you a trick with that sov'rin,"
Said Pa, who were hovering near;
Then he took and pretended to eat it
Then brought it back out of his ear.

This magic filled Albert with wonder,
And before you could say, 'Uncle Dick'
He'd got the coin back from his father
And performed the first part of the trick.

When they saw as he'd swallowed his sov'rin
With excitement his relatives burned,
And each one suggested some process
For getting the money returned.

Some were for fishing with tweezers,
While some were for shaking it out;
If they only got back a few shillings
They said 't would be better than nowt!

They tried holding Albert head downwards,
And giving his back a good thump;
Then 'is uncle who worked for a chemist,
Said, "There's nowt for it but 'stommick' pump."

They hadn't a stomach pump 'andy,
But Pa did the best that he could
With a bicycle pump that he'd borrowed.
But that weren't ha'porth of good'.

At last they took him to a Doctor.
Who looked down his throat through a glass,
And said, "This will need operation,
I fear that he'll 'ave to 'ave gas!"

"How much is this 'ere going to cost us ?"
Said Father, beginning to squirm;
Said the Doctor, "It comes out expensive,
The best gas is eight pence a therm."

"There's my time - four shillings an hour,
You can't do these things in two ticks;
By rights I should charge you a guinea,
But I'll do it for eighteen and six."

"What eighteen and six to get sov'rin ?"
Said Father, "That doesn't sound sense.
I'll tell you what, you best keep Albert,
And give me the odd eighteen pence."

The Doctor concurred this arrangement,
But to this day remains in some doubt
As to whether he's in eighteen shillings,
Or whether he's eighteen pence out.

Albert And The Headsman

by Marriott Edgar (1937)

On young Albert Ramsbottom's birthday
His parents asked what he'd like most;
He said, "To see Tower of London,
And gaze upon Anne Boleyn's Ghost."

They felt this request were unusual,
And at first to refuse were inclined,
‘Til Pa said, "A trip to t'metrollopse
Might broaden the little lad's mind."

They took 'charrybank' up to London,
And got there at quarter to 'fower',
Then seeing that pubs wasn't open
They went straightaway to the Tower.

They didn't think much to the building,
‘Tweren't what they'd been led to suppose,
And the 'Bad Word' Tower didn't impress ‘em,
They said Blackpool 'ad got one of those.

At last Albert found a Beefeater,
And filled the old chap with alarm
By asking for t'Ghost of Anne Boleyn,
As carried 'er 'ead 'neath 'er arm.

Said Beefeater, "You ought to come Fridays,
If it's Ghost of Anne Boleyn you seek,
Her union now limits her output,
And she only gets one walk a week."

"But", he said, "if it's ghosts that you're after,
There's Lady Jane Grey's to be seen,
She runs around chased by the 'Eadsman
At midnight on th'old Tower Green."

They waited on t'green 'til near midnight,
Then thinking they'd time for a 'sup',
They took out what food they'd brought with them
And waited for t'ghost to turn up.

On first stroke of twelve, up jumped Albert,
His mouth full of cold dripping toast,
With his stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle
He pointed and said, " 'Ere's the Ghost!"

They felt their skins going all goosey
As Lady Jane's Spectre drew near,
And Albert fair swallowed his tonsils
When the 'Eadsman an' all did appear.

The 'Eadsman chased Jane round the grass patch,
They saw his axe flash in the moon,
And seeing as poor lass were 'eadless
They wondered what next he would prune.

He suddenly caught sight of Albert,
As midnight was on its last chime;
As he lifted his axe Father murmurred,
"We'll get the insurance this time."

At that mother rose, taking umbridge;
She said, "Put that cleaver away.
You're not cutting our Albert's 'ead off,
Yon collar were clean on today."

The brave little lad stood undaunted,
'Til the Ghost were within half a pace,
Then taking the toast he were eating,
Slapped it, dripping side down, in Ghost's face.

'Twere a proper set back for the 'Eadsman;
He let out one howl of depair,
Then taking his lady friend with him
He disappeared - just like that there.

When Pa saw the way as they vanished,
He trembled with fear and looked blue,
'Til Ma went and patted his shoulder
And said, "It's alright love, we saw it too."

Some say 'twere the dripping that done it,
From a roast leg of mutton it came,
And as th' 'Eadsman 'ad been a Beefeater,
They reckoned he vanished from shame.

And the round Tower Green from that moment,
They've ne'er seen a sign of a ghost,
But when t'Beefeaters go on night duty
They take slices of cold dripping toast.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Runcorn Ferry (Tuppence Per Person Per Trip)

Now this monologue is revelant to my youth. I was born in Widnes, Cheshire, and this story is about crossing the River Mersey from Runcorn to Widnes. Apparently 'no-one wanted to go to either place and trade wasn't any too good!' Hmm! - I can understand that sentiment! I remember the Transporter Bridge (now demolished and replaced with a a spanking new bridge) but I am not that ancient to remember Old Ted the Boatman who, in this delightful story, wants to maximise his profits. However, he meets his match in Mr Ramsbottom who likes a bargain and schemes to get one! I used to recite this monologue often.

(Tuppence Per Person Per Trip)
by Marriott Edgar (1933)

On the banks of the Mersey, over on Cheshire side,
Lies Runcorn that's best known to fame
By Transporter Bridge as takes folks over it's stream,
Or else brings 'em back across same.

In days afore Transporter Bridge were put up
A Ferry Boat lay in the slip,
And old Ted the Boatman would row folks across
At per tuppence per person per trip.

Now Runcorn lay over on one side of stream
And Widnes on t'other side stood,
And as nobody wanted to go either place -
Well, the trade wasn't any too good.

One ev'ning to Ted's superlative surprise
Three customers came into view -
A Mister and Missus Ramsbottom it were,
And Albert, their little son too.

"How much for the three ?" Mister Ramsbottom asked,
As 'is 'and to his pocket did dip.
Ted said, "Same for three as it would be for one:
Per tuppence per person per trip."

"You're not charging tuppence for that little lad ?"
Said Mother, her eyes flashing wild.
"Per tuppence per person per trip," answered Ted,
"Per woman, per man or per child."

"Five pence for three, that's the most that I'll pay,"
Says Father, "Don't waste time in t'talk."
"Per tuppence per person per trip," answered Ted,
"And them as can't pay 'as to walk."

"We can walk an' all," said Father, "come, Mother,
It's none so deep, t'weather's quite mild."
So into the water the three of them stepped
- The father, the mother, the child.

The further they paddled the deeper it got,
But they wouldn't give in, once begun;
In the sprit that's made Lancashire what she is
They'd sooner be 'drownded' than done.

Very soon the old people were up to their necks
And the little lad clean out of sight.
Said Father, "Where's Albert ?" and Mother replied,
"I've got 'old of 'is 'and, 'e's alright."

'Twere just at that moment Pa got an idea,
And floundering back to old Ted,
'E said, "We walked that way, come take us the rest
For half price, that's a penny a head."

But Ted wasn't standing for none of that there,
And making an obstinate lip,
"Per tuppence per person per trip," Ted replied,
"Per trip or per part of per trip."

"Alright then," said Father, "Let me take the boat,
And I'll pick up the others half-way,
I'll row them across and I'll bring the boat back.
And thruppence in t'bargain I'll pay."

'Twere money for nothing. Ted answered, "Right-o,"
And Father got 'old of the sculls.
With the sharp end of boat t'wards middle of stream
‘E were there in a couple of pulls.

'E got Mother out, it were rather a job -
With the water she weighed 'alf-a-ton;
Then pushing the oar down the side of the boat
Started fishing around for his son.

When poor little Albert came up to the top
'Is collar was soggy and limp,
And with 'olding his breath at the bottom so long
'Is face were as red as as a shrimp.

Pa took them across and 'e brought the boat back,
And 'e said to old Ted on the slip,
"Wilt row me across by myself ?"
Ted said, "Aye! at per tuppence per person per trip".

When they got t'other side Father laughed fit to bust,
‘E'd got best of bargain, you see,
'E'd worked it all out, and 'e'd got 'is own way
And 'e'd paid nobbut fivepence for three.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Albert's Reuinion with The Lion

This monologue is not well known and I doubt whether it was recorded by Stanley Holloway - but it makes up the trilogy.

by Stanley Holloway (1978)

You've heard of Albert Ramsbottom,
And Missus Ramsbottom and Dad,
And the trouble the poor Lion went to
Trying to stomach the lad.

Now after the Lion disgorged him,
Quite many a day had gone by;
But the Lion just sat there and brooded
With a far away look in his eye.

The Keepers could 'nowt' do with Lion
He seemed to be suffering pain,
He seemed to be fretting for summat,
And the curl went out of his mane.

He looked at his food and ignored it,
Just gazed far away into space;
When Keepers tried forcible feeding
They got it all back in their face.

And at Mister and Missus Ramsbottom's
The same kind of thing had begun -
And though they tried all sorts of measures,
They couldn't rouse Albert, their son.

Now Mister Ramsbottom got fed up
With trying to please him in vain,
And said, "If you don't start to buck up
I'll take you to Lion again."

Now instead of the lad getting frightened
And starting to quake at the knees,
He seemed to be highly delighted
And shouted, "Oh, Dad, if you please."

His Father thought he had gone potty,
His Mother went nearly insane,
But Albert just stood there and bellowed,
"I want to see Lion again."

Now Mister and Missus Ramsbottom
Decided the best thing to do,
Was to give way to Albert
And take him staight'way back to Zoo.

The moment the Lion saw Albert,
'Twere the first time for weeks it had stirred:
It moved the left side of its whiskers,
Then lay on its back and just purred.

And before anybody could stop him,
Young Albert were stroking its paws;
And whilst the crowd screamed for the Keepers
The little lad opened its jaws.

The crowd by this time were dumbfounded,
His mother was out to the wide,
But they knew by the lumps and the bulges
That Albert were once more inside.

Then all of a sudden the Lion
Stood up and let out a roar;
And Albert, all smiling and happy,
Came out with a thud on the floor.

The crowd by this time were all cheering,
And Albert stood there looking grand
With his stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle
Clutched in his young chubby hand.

The Lion grew so fond of Albert
He couldn't be parted from lad;
And so the Zoological Keepers
Sent round a note to his Dad.

"We regret to say Lion is worried
And pining for your little man,
So sending you Lion tomorrow,
Arriving in plain covered van."

And if you call round any evening,
I'll tell you just what you will see -
Albert is reading to Lion in bed.
And what is he reading ?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Albert Comes Back (or The Return of Albert)

(Albert Comes Back)
by Marriott Edgar (1934)

You've 'eard 'ow young Albert Ramsbottom,
In the Zoo up at Blackpool one year,
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
Gave a Lion a poke in the ear.

The name of the Lion was Wallace,
The poke in the ear made 'im wild;
And before you could say, "Bob's your Uncle."
'E'd up and 'e'd swallowed the child.

'E were sorry the moment 'e'd done it,
With children 'e'd always been chums,
And besides, 'e'd no teeth in his noddle,
And 'e couldn't chew Albert on t'gums.

'E could feel the lad moving inside 'im,
As 'e lay on 'is bed of dried ferns,
And it might 'ave been little lad's birthday,
'E wished 'im such happy returns.

But Albert kept kicking and fighting,
'Til Wallace arose feeling bad,
And felt it were time that 'e started
To stage a come-back for the lad.

So with 'is 'ead down in a corner,
On 'is front paws 'e started to walk,
And 'e coughed and 'e sneezed and 'e gargled,
'Til Albert shot out like a cork.

Old Wallace felt better directly,
And 'is figure once more became lean,
But the only difference with Albert
Was 'is face and 'is 'ands were quite clean.

Meanwhile Mister and Missus Ramsbottom
'Ad gone 'ome to tea feeling blue;
Ma says, "I feel down in the mouth like".
Pa says, "Aye! I bet Albert does too."

Said Ma, "It just goes for to show you
That the future is never revealed,
If I thought we was going to lose 'im
I'd have not 'ad 'is boots soled and 'eeled."

"Let's look on the bright side," said Father,
"What can't be 'elped must be endured,
Every cloud 'as a silvery lining,
And we did 'ave young Albert insured."

A knock at the door came that moment,
As Father these kind words did speak,
'Twas the man from t'Prudential,
'E'd called for their 'tuppence per person per week'.

When Father saw who 'ad been knocking,
'E laughed and 'e kept laughing so,
That the young man said, "What's there to laugh at ?"
Pa said, "You'll laugh an' all when you know."

"Excuse 'im for laughing," said Mother,
"But really things 'appen so strange,
Our Albert's been 'ate' by a Lion,
You've got to pay us for a change."

Said the young 'feller' from the Prudential,
"Now, come come, let's understand this,
You don't mean to say that you've lost 'im ?"
Ma says, "Oh no! we know where 'e is."

When the young man 'ad 'eard all the details,
A bag from 'is pocket he drew,
And 'e paid them with int'rest and bonus,
The sum of nine pounds four and two.

Pa 'ad scarce got 'is 'ands on the money,
When a face at the window they see,
And Mother says, "Eeh! look, it's Albert."
And Father says, "Aye, it would be."

Young Albert came in all excited,
And started 'is story to give,
And Pa said, "I'll never trust Lions
Again, not as long as I live."

The young 'feller' from the Prudential
To pick up the money began,
And Father says, "Eeh! just a moment,
Don't be in a hurry young man."

Then giving young Albert a shilling,
He said, "Pop off, back to the Zoo.
'Ere's yer stick with the 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
Go and see what the Tigers can do!"

Now - something interesting! Look at the line . . . . . . . . . . . "Every cloud 'as a silvery lining"
That line inspired my main blog title, Clouds and Silvery Linings
I will post another Albert and the Lion story tomorrow - and I am pleased to say I have discovered two very recent ones, the last one is dated 2005. I shall post these as well.
There is a considerable present day following of these monologues I am pleased to say ~ Eddie

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Albert Ramsbottom's Recumbent Posture

Enough of Sam Small for a while and over to little Albert Ramsbottom, who today is unwell and has been advised to embark on a recumbent posture! Trouble is no-one seems to know what a recumbent posture is!! . . . . and mother hates Latin. I am please to say I have found a utube of Stanley Holloway reciting this monologue which I think is one of his greatest.

by Marriott Edgar (1939)

The day after Christmas, young Albert
Were what's called confined to 'is bed,
With a tight kind of pain in 'is 'stommick'
And a light feeling up in 'is 'ead.

His parents was all of a fluster
When they saw little lad was so sick;
They said, "Put out your tongue" - When they'd seen it,
They said, "Put it back again - quick !"

His Ma made a basin of gruel,
But that were a move for the worse;
Though the little lad tried 'ard to eat it,
At finish 'e did the reverse.

The pain showed no signs of abating,
So at last they got Doctor to call;
'E said it were in 'is 'ab-domain'
and not in 'is 'stommick' at all.

'E sent up a bottle of 'physick',
Wi' instructions on t'label to say,
'To be took in a recumbent posture,
One teaspoonful three times a day'.

As Ma stood there reading the label,
Pa started to fidget about;
'E said, "Get a teaspoon and dose 'im
Before 'e gets better without."

“I can manage the teaspoon", says Mother,
A look of distress on 'er face;
"It's this 'ere 'recumbulent' posture -
I haven't got one in the place."

Said Pa, "What about Missus Luckton ?
Next door 'ere - you'd better ask 'er;
A woman who's buried three 'usbands
Is sure to 'ave one of them there."

So they went round and asked Missus Luckton;
"Aye, I know what you mean," she replied,
"I 'ad got one on order for 'Orace,
But poor dear got impatient and died."

She said, "You'd best try the Co-op Shop,
They'll 'ave one in stock, I dare say;
'Fact I think I saw one in the 'winder'
Last time I were passing that way."

So round they went to the Co-op Shop,
And at the counter for household supplies;
Pa asked for a recumbent posture,
And the Shopman said, "Yes sir - what size ?"

Said Ma, "It's for our little Albert,
I don't know what size 'e would use;
I know 'e takes thirteens in collars,
And sixes, four fittings in shoes."

"If it's little lad's size that you're wanting,"
Said the Shopman, "I'm sorry to say
That we nobbut had one in the building,
And that one was sold yesterday."

'E sent them along to a Tin-Smith,
Who said, "Aye, I know what you've in mind;
If you'll draw me a plan I could make one."
But Pa 'ad left his pencil behind.

They searched every place in the district;
They walked for two hours by the clock,
But though most places reckoned to keep 'em,
They'd none of them got one in stock.

The last place they tried was a Chemist's,
Chap looked at 'em both with a frown,
And explained that a Recumbent Posture
Were Latin, and meant 'lying down'.

"lt means 'lying down' - put in Latin,"
Said Father, "That's just what I 'thowt.'
Then 'e picked up a side-glance from Mother
And pretended 'e 'adn't said nowt.

"They're not dosing my lad with Latin."
Said Mother, her face looking grim;
"Just plain Castor Oil's all 'e's getting,
And I'm leaving the posture to him."

The wording is slightly different in places

Monday, 8 June 2009

by Ashley Sterne (1935)
(reputed to be an anagram of Ernest Halsey)

Sam Small were fishing in canal
'Twixt Manchester and Sale;
He hadn't had a bite all day
And 'nowt' to sup but ale.

Then all at once his fishing line
Went rushing out like mad;
"By gum," cried Sam, "I've got a bite,"
And so by gum he 'ad.

He tugged and tugged and better tugged,
His line it rose and sank;
Then fish gave one last dying gasp,
And flopped stone dead on t'bank.

Just then a policeman bustled up
On feet both large and flat.
'E looked at Sam, 'e looked at fish
And said, "Eee, who done that ?"

"It's just a sort of fish," said Sam,
"I'm taking home to tea."
"Tha's not," said policeman, "that, tha's not,
It don't belong to thee.

"It's what they call a Sturgeon, Sam,
That fish belongs to King,
So take it up to Palace, lad,
As fast as anything."

Sam stooped and picked the Sturgeon up,
Well knowing who was boss;
Then ran to station where he bought
Two tickets for King's Cross.

When Samuel reached London Town
The crowd all raised a cheering cry;
The traffic parted left and right
To let that Sturgeon by.

The Palace Sentry, haughty like
Said, "What might be your wish ?"
But when he saw what Sam had brought
He cried, "Pass, Royal fish."

Sam knocked at door and servant girl
Said, "Step inside the hall,
The King and Queen is out," says she
"But not to thee, Sam Small."

And so with Sturgeon in his arms
Sam tramped up corridor,
He trailed along some passages
And knocked at parlour door.

"Come in," says King, so Sam
Went in with Royal fish and all.
"Why dash me buttons," cries the King,
"If it isn't old Sam Small."

"That's me," said Sam, "and 'ere's a fish
Our policeman said were thine;
A Sturgeon caught in Ship Canal
With rod and hook and line."

"Well, well," said King, "come sit thee down,
Tha' must be fair done up.
We just were going to have us teas,
Tha'll stay and have a sup ?"

"Thanks, King," said Sam, and takes a seat
With fish upon his knee.
"Nay, put that thing on t'sofa, Sam,"
Says King, "and have thy tea."

"Now what about this fish ?" asks Sam.
But King he whispers low,
"I'm going to tell thee something, Sam,
But don't let policeman know.

"I hate to show ingratitude
And please don't think me mean,
But I never did like Sturgeon, Sam,
Nor, come to that, does Queen.

"To eat the stuff we hate so much
Well, Sam, we find it hard;
So we hand 'em to the Chamberlain
Who stacks them in back yard.

"Just thee look out that window, Sam,
And see where t'Sturgeons go."
Sam looked in t'yard and saw 'em all
In thousands in a row.

"It's champion seeing thee again,
But Sam, twixt me and thee
I cannot stand Sturgeons
But I love a kipper to me tea."

"Now fancy that," says Sam, "by gum,
Why them's my favourite fish."
And then the Queen came smiling in,
With kippers on the dish.

"Do you know Sam Small, my dear ?" says King.
Queen says, "Why yes, yes, yes,
Just touch the Bell and tell our James
To bring more watercress."

"Think on," says King when tea were done
And Sam got up to go,
"Kippers is what I like for tea
But don't let policeman know."

So Sam went home to Lancashire
And said a silent prayer,
With blessings on the kippered fish
"Long live the Royal Pair."

Sunday, 7 June 2009

'Alt! Who Goes There?

by Stanley Holloway (1930)

Old Sam first came to London
When George the Fourth were King,
He'd been in th'Army, man and boy
For twenty years come Spring. .

The troops were lined up on Parade
And Sergeant said, "Eh, Sam,
T'neet tha' goes on sentry-go
At t'Palace, Buckingham."

So off goes Sam to Palace gates
His chest puffed out with pride;
His musket on his shoulder,
He walks up and down, outside.

A crowd soon thronged around him
And caused a fearful jam -
Some come to look at King and Queen,
Some come to look at Sam.

Sam stood there cold and haughty-like
With dignity sublime.
Some asks, "Were you at Waterloo ?"
And some asks, "What's the time ?"

When suddenly from out of crowd
A chap walked bold and straight,
He crosses right in front of Sam
And tries to open gate.

Old Sam says, " 'Alt! And who goes there ?
Who's thee does tha' suppose ?"
The stranger answers, "George the Fourth.
I live in 'ere tha' knows."

Old Sam says, "Does tha' think I'm daft ?
Don't try to tell me that.
If thou art King - then where's thee Crown ?
Tha'rt wearing bowler 'at."

"That's right," says King, "that's right enough,
It's strange to thee, no doubt,
But I put on bowler hat
‘Cos it were raining when I comes out."

"Oh well," said Sam, "I suppose you're right,
I didn't know 'twere thee."
The King says, "No offence, me lad,
Come in for a cup o' tea."

"I'd like a cup of tea," said Sam,
"I don't mind if I do."
The Queen pours cup of tea and says,
"How many lumps, Sam ?" - "Two"

They chatted there for 'alf an hour
When knock come at the door,
The King he goes and finds
The Duke of Wellington there, for sure.

"Good afternoon," says Duke of Wellington,
"Is Sam with thee ?"
"Aye, he is an' all," says King,
"He's having a cup o'tea."

"Well that's a pretty thing," says Duke,
"That's pretty, I declare."
He catches sight of Sam and says,
"Sam, what's tha' doing in there ?"

Sam comes to door all jumpy like
And red as anything.
"Ah'm doing nothing, Duke", he cries,
"But having tea with King."

"I thought that there was sommut up,"
The Duke coldy replied,
"Because I see thee musket
Leaning against rails outside.

"Some clumsy chap had knocked it down,
It gave me quite a scare,
So I stooped down and picked it up -
Seeing as thee weren't there."

"You stooped and picked me musket up ?"
Said Sam, "Well I declare,
And thee with thy lumbago too,
I bet it made thee swear."

"I'll not wait for second cup," said Sam,
"Ah'll come with thee.
So goodnight both your Majesties, and long
live both your Majesties,
And when tha's next in Lancashire, tha's
tea's with me."

Sam, Pick Oop Tha' Musket

by Stanley Holloway (1929)
It occurred on the evening before Waterloo
And troops were lined up on t'Parade,
And Sergeant inspecting 'em, he was a terror
Of whom every man was afraid -

All excepting one man, who was in the front rank,
A man by the name of Sam Small,
And 'im and the Sergeant were both 'daggers drawn';
They thought 'nowt' of each other at all.

As Sergeant walked past he was swinging ‘is arm,
And he happened to brush against Sam,
And knocking his musket clean out of his hand
It fell to the ground with a slam.

"Pick it oop," said Sergeant, abrupt like but cool,
But Sam with the shake of his head
Said, "Seeing as tha' knocked it out of me 'and,
P'raps tha'll pick the thing oop instead."

"Sam, Sam, pick oop tha' musket,"
The Sergeant exclaimed with a roar.
Sam said, "Tha' knocked it down, Reet! then tha'll pick it oop,
Or it stays where it is, on't floor."

The sound of high words
Very soon reached the ears of an Officer, Lieutenant Bird,
Who says to the Sergeant, "Now what's all this 'ere ?"
And the Sergeant told what had occurred.

"Sam, Sam, pick oop tha' musket,"
Lieutenant exclaimed with some heat.
Sam said, "He knocked it down, Reet! then he'll pick it oop,
Or it stays where it is, at me feet."

It caused quite a stir when the Captain arrived
To find out the cause of the trouble;
And every man there, all excepting Old Sam,
Was full of excitement and bubble.

"Sam, Sam, pick oop tha' musket,"
Said Captain, for strictness renowned.
Sam said, "He knocked it down, Reet! then he'll pick it oop,
Or it stays where it is on t'ground."

The same thing occurred when the Major and Colonel
Both tried to get Sam to see sense,
But when Old Duke o' Wellington came into view
Well, then the excitement was tense.

Up rode the Duke on a lovely white 'orse,
To find out the cause of the bother;
He looks at the musket and then at Old Sam
And he spoke to Old Sam like a brother,

"Sam, Sam, pick oop tha' musket,"
The Duke said, as quiet as could be,
"Sam, Sam, Sam, pick oop tha' musket,
Coom on lad - just to please me."

"Alright, Duke," said Old Sam, "just for thee I'll oblige,
And to show thee I meant no offence."
So Sam picked it up. "Gradely, lad," said the Duke,
"Right-o boys, let battle commence."


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