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!


  1. Good one Eddie, I found myself reading 3 times and found a different chuckle every time. I love the English humor and poetry....:-) Hugs

  2. I would REALLY hate to starch and iron a chainmail! Thanks for the smiles, Eddie.


Welcome, pull up a chair and enjoy


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