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."

1 comment:

  1. Another really good one!!! I love Sam...he is quite a chap!!! At home with anyone!!! Great fun, Eddie! You bring smiles today!!!! ~Janine


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