Sunday, 24 May 2009

The Hole in the Ark

Stanley Holloway Monologue

by Marriott Edgar (1937)

with additional verses by Eddie Bluelights (2009)
One evening at dusk as Noah stood on 'is Ark,
Putting green oil in starboard side lamp,
His wife came along and said, "Noah, summat's wrong:
Our cabin is getting quite damp."

Said Noah, "Is that so ?" Then he went down below
And he found it were right what she'd said;
For there on the floor quite a puddle he saw
It were slopping around under the bed.

Said he, "There's an hole in the bottom somewhere,
We must find it before we retire."
Then he talked for a bit, and said, "Aye, that's it,
A blood hound is what we require."

So he went and fetched bloodhound from place where it lay -
'Tween the skunk and the polecat it were -
And as things down below were a trifle so-so,
It were glad of a breath of fresh air.

They followed the hound as it went sniffing round,
Until at last they located the leak;
'Twas a round 'ole in the side, about two inches wide,
Where a sword-fish had poked in its beak.

Ba gum! how the wet squirted in through that hole;
Well young Shem, who at sums was expert,
Worked it out on his slate that it came in at the rate
Of per gallon, per second, per squirt.
(addition by Eddie Bluelights)

This equation caused Noah consternation
'Cause 'e wondered how long they could float.
So he summoned the others, who included Shem's brothers,
Ham and Japheth, from deep within boat.

"Is Shem right with this 'ere calculation ?"
Asked their father, beginning to worry.
"We're not very good when it comes to our tables!
Let alone advanced maths, we are sorry!"

Piped in Shem, "There's good reason you thicko's can't do it,
'Cause at school you've been wasting your years,
You're no good at Maths, Science or Hebrew;
‘Cause you've not much between those four ears."

"Your descendants may shine on occasions,
And conquer a nation or two
And think of the odd useful invention
But nothing that my lot will do!"

Said Noah, "Let's not talk of these 'ere equations,
We've got to make t'Ark safe and sound;
So boys go and play, and from me stay away,
And Missus please get me blood-hound."

The blood hound tried hard to keep water in check
By lapping it up with his tongue.
But as that were no go he went up to the hole
And shoved in his nose for a bung.

But the poor faithful hound, 'e were very near drowned,
And they dragged him away none too soon.
For the fountain as rose worked his way up his nose
And blew him out like a balloon.

And then Missus Noah shoved her elbow in t'hole,
And said, "Ee it's stopped, I believe."
But they found very soon as she altered her tune,
'Cause the water had gone up her sleeve.

Then finding her elbow wasn't doing much good,
She said to Noah, "I've an idea.
You sit on the leak and by t'end of the week
There's no knowing weather may clear.

Noah didn't think much to this idea at all,
But reckoned 'e'd give it a try.
On the 'ole down 'e plopped and the leaking all stopped,
And all except 'im were quite dry.

They took him his breakfast and dinner and tea
As day after day there 'e sat,
'Til the storm had all passed and they landed at last
On the top side of Mount Ararat.

That's how old Noah got them all safe ashore.
But ever since then strange to tell.
Them that helped save the Ark all carried a mark
Aye and all their descendants as well.

That's why a dog 'as a cold nose, and a lady cold elbows
You'll also find if you enquire,
That that's why a man takes his coat-tails in hand,
And stands with his back to the fire.

Three Half' Pence a Foot

Stanley Holloway Monologues

by Marriott Edgar (1932)
I'll tell you an old-fashioned story
That grandfather used to relate,
Of a joiner and building contractor;
'Is name, it were Sam Ogglethwaite.

In a shop on the banks of the Irwell,
Old Sam used to follow 'is trade,
In a place you'll 'ave 'eard of, called Bury;
You know, where black puddings is made.

One day, Sam were filling a knot 'ole
Wi' putty, when in thro' the door
Came an old 'feller', fair wreathed i'whiskers;
T'old chap said, "Good morning, I'm Noah."

Sam asked Noah what was 'is business,
And t'old chap went on to remark,
That not liking the look of the weather,
'E were thinking of building an Ark.

'E'd gotten the wood for the bulwarks,
And all t'other ship building junk,
And wanted some nice Bird's Eye Maple
To panel the sides of 'is bunk.

Now Maple was Sam's 'Mon-o-poly';
That means it were all 'is to cut,
And nobody else 'adn't got none;
So 'e asked Noah three ha'pence a foot.

"A ha'penny too much," replied Noah,
"A penny a foot's more the mark;
A penny a foot, and when rain comes,
I'll give you a ride in me Ark."

But neither would budge in the bargain;
The whole daft thing were kind of a jam,
So Sam put 'is tongue out at Noah,
And Noah made 'Long Bacon' at Sam.

In wrath and ill-feeling they parted,
Not knowing when they'd meet again,
And Sam had forgot all about it,
'Til one day it started to rain.

It rained and it rained for a fortnight,
And flooded the 'ole countryside.
It rained and it still kept on raining,
‘Til t'Irwell were fifty miles wide.

The 'ouses were soon under water,
As the folks to the roof 'ad to climb.
They said, " 'Twas the rottenest summer
That Bury 'ad 'ad for some time."

The rain showed no sign of abating,
And water rose hour by hour,
‘Til the only dry land were at Blackpool,
And that were on top of the tower.

So Sam stared swimming to Blackpool;
It took 'im best part of a week.
'Is clothes was wet through when 'e got there,
And 'is boots were beginning to leak.

'E stood to 'is watch-chain in t'water,
On Tower top, just before dark,
When who should come sailing towards 'im
But old Noah, steering 'is Ark.

They stared at each other in silence,
'Til Ark were alongside, all but,
Then Noah said, "What price 'yer' Maple ?"
Sam answered, "Three ha'pence a foot."

Noah said, "Nay, I'll make thee an offer,
Same as I did t'other day.
A Penny a foot and a free ride.
Now come on lad, what does tha' say ?"

"Three ha'pence a foot", came the answer.
So Noah 'is sail 'ad to hoist,
And sailed off again in a dudgeon,
While Sam stood determined, but moist.

Noah cruised around, flying 'is pigeons,
‘Til fortieth day of the wet,
And on 'is way back, passing Blackpool,
'E saw old Sam standing there yet.

'Is chin just stood out of the water;
A comical figure 'e cut.
Noah said, "Now what's the price of yer Maple ?"
Sam answered, "Three ha'pence a foot."

Said Noah, "You'd best take me offer;
It's last time I'll be here about.
And if water comes half an inch higher,
I'll happen get Maple for nowt."

"Three ha'pence a foot it'll cost yer.
And as for me," Sam said, "don't fret:
The sky's took a turn since this morning.
I think it'll brighten up yet."

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Gunner Joe

Stanley Holloway Monologues

Gunner Joe

by Marriott Edgar (1933)

I'll tell you a seafaring story,
Of a lad who won honour and fame
With Nelson at Battle, ' Trafalgar -
Joe Moggeridge, that were his name

He were one of the crew of the Victory,
His job when a battle begun
Was to take cannon balls out of basket
And shove 'em down front end of gun.

One day him and Nelson were boxing -
The compass, like sailor lads do,
When Hardy comes up with a spyglass
And pointing, says "'Ere, take a screw!"

They looked to where Hardy were pointing
And saw lots of ships in a row.
Joe says abrupt-like but respectful,
"Horatio lad, yon's the foe."

"What say we attack 'em? says Nelson
Says Joe "Nay lad not, today."
And Hardy says, "Aye! well let's toss up."
Horatio answers, "Okay."

They tossed - it were heads for attacking
And tails for t'other way 'bout.
Joe lent them his two-headed penny,
So the answer was never in doubt.

When penny came down 'eadside uppards,
They were in for a do it were plain,
And Joe murmured, "Shiver my timbers,"
And Nelson kissed Hardy again.

And then, taking flags out of locker,
He strung out a message on high;
'T were all about England and duty -
Crew thought they was 'ung out to dry.

They got the guns ready for action,
And that gave 'em trouble enough,
They hadn't been fired all the Summer
And touch holes were bunged up with fluff.

Joe's cannon weren't half a corker,
The canon balls went three foot round,
They weren't no toy balloons neither,
They weighed close on sixty five pound.

Joe, selecting two of the largest,
Was going to load double for luck -
When a hot shot came through the porthole
And a gunpowder barrell got struck.

By gum! there weren't half an explosion,
The gun crew was filled with alarm
As out of the porthole went Joseph
With a canon ball under each arm.

At that moment up came the 'Boat-swine',
He looked round and asked crew, "Where's Joe?"
Gunner relied, " He's taken two canon balls with him
And gone for a breather outside."

"Do you think he'll be long?, said the 'Boat-swine'.
The gunner replied "If as how
'E comes back as quick as 'e left us,
'E should be here anytime now."

And all this time Joe, treading water,
Was trying his hardest to float,
'E shouted through turmoil of battle -
"Tell someone to lowere a boat."

'E'd come to the top for assistance,
Then down to the bottom 'ed go;
This up and down kind of existence
Made everyone laugh, except Joe.

At last he could stand it no longer,
And next time he came to the top
'E said, "If you don't come and save me
I'll let these here canon balls drop."

It were Nelson at finish who saved him
And he said Joe deserved a V.C.
But seeing he hadn't one handy
'E gave Joe an egg for his tea.

And after the battle was over,
And vessel was safely in dock,
The sailors all saved up their coupons
And bought Joe a nice marble clock.


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