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by Marriott Edgar |

Gunner Joe

 I'll tell you a seafaring story, 
Of a lad who won honour and fame 
Wi' 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 o' basket 
And shove 'em down front end o' gun. 

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

They looked to were 'Ardy were pointing, 
And saw lots o' ships in a row. 
Joe says abrupt like but respectful, 
"'Oratio lad, yon's the foe." 

'What say we attack 'em?' says Nelson, 
Says Joe 'Nay lad, not today.' 
And 'Ardy says, 'Aye, well let's toss up.'
'Oratio 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 'ead side uppards, 
They was in for a do it were plain, 
And Joe murmered 'Shiver me timbers.' 
And Nelson kissed 'Ardy again. 

And then, taking flags out o' locker,
'E 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 'adn't been fired all the summer, 
And touch-holes were bunged up wi' fluff. 

Joe's cannon, it weren't 'alf a corker, 
The cannon balls went three foot round. 
They wasn't no toy balloons either, 
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 in thro' the porthole, 
And a gunpowder barrel got struck. 

By gum! there weren't 'alf an explosion,
The gun crew were filled with alarm. 
As out of the porthole went Joseph, 
Wi' a cannon ball under each arm. 

At that moment up came the 'Boat-swine'
He says 'Where's Joe?' Gunner replied... 
'E's taken two cannon balls with 'im, 
And gone for a breather outside.' 

'Do y' think he'll be long?' said the 'Boat-swine' 
The gunner replied, 'If as 'ow,
'E comes back as quick as 'e left us,
'E should be 'ere any time now. 

And all this time Joe, treading water, 
Was trying 'is 'ardest to float.
'E shouted thro' turmoil of battle, 
'Tell someone to lower a boat.' 

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

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

'T were Nelson at finish who saved him, 
And 'e said Joe deserved the V.C. 
But finding 'e 'adn't one 'andy, 
'E gave Joe an egg for 'is 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.


by Marriott Edgar |

Goalkeeper Joe

 Joe Dunn were a bobby for football 
He gave all his time to that sport, 
He played for the West Wigan Whippets, 
On days when they turned out one short. 

He’d been member of club for three seasons 
And had grumbled again and again, 
Cos he found only time that they’d used him, 
Were when it were pouring with rain! 

He felt as his talents were wasted 
When each week his job seemed to be 
No but minding the clothes for the others 
And chucking clods at referee! 

So next time selection committee 
Came round to ask him for his sub 
He told them if they didn’t play him, 
He’d transfer to some other club. 

Committee they coaxed and cudgelled him 
But found he’d have none of their shifts 
So they promised to play him next weekend 
In match against Todmorden Swifts. 

This match were the plum of the season 
An annual fixture it stood, 
‘T were reckoned as good as a cup tie 
By them as liked plenty of blood! 

The day of the match dawned in splendour 
A beautiful morning it were 
With a fog drifting up from the brick fields 
And a drizzle of rain in the air. 

The Whippets made Joe their goalkeeper 
A thing as weren’t wanted at all 
For they knew once battle had started 
They’d have no time to mess with the ball! 

Joe stood by the goal posts and shivered 
While the fog round his legs seemed to creep 
'Til feeling neglected and lonely 
He leant back and went fast asleep. 

He dreamt he were playing at Wembley 
And t’roar of a thundering cheer 
He were kicking a goal for the Whippets 
When he woke with a clout in his ear! 

He found 'twere the ball that had struck him 
And inside the net there it lay 
But as no one had seen this ‘ere ‘appen 
He punted it back into play! 

'Twere the first ball he’d punted in anger 
His feelings he couldn’t restrain 
Forgetting as he were goalkeeper 
He ran out and kicked it again! 

Then after the ball like a rabbit 
He rushed down the field full of pride 
He reckoned if nobody stopped him 
Then ‘appen he’d score for his side. 

‘Alf way down he bumped into his captain 
Who weren’t going to let him go by 
But Joe, like Horatio Nelson 
Put a fist to the Captain’s blind eye! 

On he went 'til the goal lay before him 
Then stopping to get himself set 
He steadied the ball, and then kicked it 
And landed it right in the net! 

The fog seemed to lift at that moment 
And all eyes were turned on the lad 
The Whippets seemed kind of dumbfounded 
While the Swifts started cheering like mad! 

'Twere his own goal as he’d kicked the ball through 
He’d scored for his foes ‘gainst his friends
For he’d slept through the referee’s whistle 
And at half time he hadn’t changed ends! 

Joe was transferred from the West Wigan Whippets 
To the Todmorden Swifts, where you’ll see 
Still minding the clothes for the others 
And chucking clods at referee!


by Marriott Edgar |

George and the Dragon

 I'll tell you the tale of an old country pub 
As fancied itself up to date,
It had the word " Garage" wrote on t' stable door 
And a petrol pump outside the gate.

The " George and the Dragon" were t' name of the pub, 
And it stood in a spot wild and bleak,
Where nowt ever seemed to be passing that way
Except Carrier's cart once a week.

The Carrier's cart were a sturdy old Ford
And its driver were known as " Old Joe
He had passed pub each week but he'd never been in, 
It's name even he didn't know.

One cold winter night, about quarter to one, 
He were driving home over the moor,
And had just reached the pub, when his engine stopped dead 
A thing it had ne'er done before.

He lifted the bonnet and fiddled around
And gave her a bit of a crank;
When he looked at his petrol he found what were wrong, 
There wasn't a drop in the tank.

He had eight miles to go and 'twere starting to rain, 
And he thought he were there for the night,
Till he saw the word " Garage" wrote on t' stable door; 
Then he said, " Lizzie, Lass... we're all right."

He went up to t' pub and he hammered at door 
Till a voice up above said " Hello!"
It were t' Publican's Wife-she said,
"Now what's to do?", "I've run out of petrol," said Joe.

She said " Who are you? " He said " Carrier Joe." 
" Oh, so that's who it is," she replied
You've been passing this door now for close on ten years 
And never once set foot inside."

"A nice time of night to come knocking folks up, 
She continued. "Away with your truck,
" You'd best get your petrol where you buy your beer...
" You only come here when you re stuck."

Said Joe, "Aye, I'll go if you'll sell me some fuel, 
"I can't start my engine without.
"I'm willing to pay." but she told him to go 
Where he'd get his fuel for nowt.

"Coom, coom, Lass!" said Joe, conci-latory like,
"Let bygones be bygones, and when
I come round next time I'll look in." 
She said, "Oh, Well, your petrol can wait until then."

With these few remarks th' old girl took in her head 
And slammed winder to in his face;
He took a look round and for t' very first time 
He noticed the name of the place.

He picked up some pebbles he found in the road 
And tossed them against winder pane,
And before very long lattice opened above 
And out came the old girl again.

What d'ye want? " she enquired. And " Not you," Joe replied, 
For this treatment had fair raised his gorge
"I see George and t' Dragon's the name on the house, 
"And I'd just like a word now with George."


by Marriott Edgar |

Canute the Great

 I'll tell of Canute, King of England,
A native of Denmark was he,
His hobbies was roving and raiding
And paddling his feet in the sea. 

By trade he were what's called a Viking,
Every summer he'd visit our shore,
Help himself to whatever he wanted,
And come back in the autumn for more.

These trips always showed him a profit,
But what stumped him to know was this 'ere...
Where the English folk got all the money,
He came and took off them each year.

After duly considering the matter,
He concluded as how his best course,
Were to have an invasion of England,
And tap the supply at its source.

He got other Vikings to join him,
With a promise of plunder and spoil,
And raked up atrocity stories,
To bring all their blood to the boil.

They landed one morning at Weymouth,
And waited for fight to begin,
While their foe, Ethelred the Unready,
Found his army and got it fell in.

When the battle were done, Crown of England,
Changed heads, so the history book states,
From Ethelred's seven-and-a-quarter,
To King Canutes six-and-five-eights.

The Vikings was cheered as the winners,
Ethelred, he went somewhere and died,
And Canute, to his lasting atonement...
Made the widow, Queen Emma, his bride.

She started to teach him his manners,
To drink without wetting his nose,
Put his hand to his mouth and say "Pardon!",
Every time the occasion arose.

She said his companions was vulgar,
His habits more easy than free,
Made him promise no more to disgrace her,
By paddling his feet in the sea.

At the time this 'ere promise meant nothing,
It were made in the cool of the spring,
But when summer came in with a heat wave,
T' were a totally different thing.

He moved his court down to the seaside,
Where they took off their shoes and their socks,
And rushed to the water and left him,
Alone on his throne on the rocks.

Said one, "Come on King, have a paddle,
I'll look after your sceptre and crown."
He replied, "Nay, I promised the missus,
And I can't let the old... lady down."

"No need to do that," said the Tempter,
"The tide's coming in, as you see;
You promised you wouldn't go to it,
But you can't stop it coming to thee!"

And that's how it happened... that later,
When Emma came over the sands,
She found Canute knee deep in water,
Trying to shush the sea back with his hands.

For not letting on that he'd seen her,
He was chiding each wave as it came,
Saying, "Thus far, my lad, and no further!"
'Til Emma said, "What is this game?"

He replied, These 'ere flatterers told me,
That the sea would obey me, and so,
I'm giving them this demonstration,
To show what a fat lot they know."

"You're doing quite right," shouted Emma,
"It's time someone made them look small!"
Then she took off her shoes and her stockings,
And started to paddle an' all.


by Marriott Edgar |

Balbus

 I'll tell you the story of Balbus, 
You know, him as builded a wall;
I'll tell you the reason he built it, 
And the place where it happened an' all.

This 'ere Balbus, though only a Tackler, 
Were the most enterprising of men;
He'd heard Chicken Farms were lucrative, 
So he went out and purchased a hen.

'Twere a White Wyandot he called Mabel, 
At laying she turned out a peach,
And her eggs being all double-yoked ones 
He reckoned they'd fetch twopence each.

When he took them along to the market 
And found that the eggs that sold best
Were them as came over from China 
He were vexed, but in no ways depressed.

For Balbus, though only a Tackler, 
In business were far from a dunce,
So he packed Mabel up in a basket 
And started for China at once.

When he got there he took a small holding, 
And selecting the sunniest part,
He lifted the lid of the basket
And said "Come on, lass... make a start!"

The 'en needed no second biddin', 
She sat down and started to lay;
She'd been saving up all the way over 
And laid sixteen eggs, straight away.

When the Chinamen heard what had happened
Their cheeks went the colour of mud, 
They said it were sheer mass production
As had to be nipped in the bud.

They formed themselves in a committee 
And tried to arrive at some course
Whereby they could limit the output 
Without doing harm to the source.

At the finish they came to t' conclusion 
That the easiest road they could take
Were to fill the 'en's nest up wi' scrap-iron 
So as fast as she laid eggs they'd break.

When Balbus went out the next morning 
To fetch the eggs Mabel had laid
He found nowt but shells and albumen
He were hipped, but in no ways dismayed.

For Balbus, though only a Tackler, 
He'd a brain that were fertile and quick
He bought all the scrap-iron in t' district 
To stop them repeating the trick.

But next day, to his great consternation 
He were met with another reverse,
For instead of old iron they'd used clinker 
And the eggs looked the same, or worse.

'Twere a bit of a set-back for Balbus, 
But he wasn't downhearted at all,
And when t' Chinamen came round next evening
They found he were building a wall.

"That won't keep us out of your 'en 'ouse"
Said one, with a smug kind of grin; 
It's not for that purpose," said Balbus, 
"When it's done, it will keep you lot in."

The Chinamen all burst out laffing, 
They thowt as he'd gone proper daft
But Balbus got on wi' his building
And said "He laffed last who last laffed."

Day by day Balbus stuck to his building, 
And his efforts he never did cease
Till he'd builded the Great Wall of China 
So as Mabel could lay eggs in peace.


by Marriott Edgar |

Asparagus

 Mr. Ramsbottom went to the races, 
A thing as he'd ne'er done before,
And as luck always follers beginners, 
Won five pounds, no-less and no-more.

He felt himself suddenly tempted
To indulge in some reckless orgee, 
So he went to a caffy-a-teerer 
And had a dressed crab with his tea.

He were crunching the claws at the finish
And wondering what next he would do, 
Then his thoughts turned to home and to Mother,
And what she would say when she knew. 

For Mother were dead against racing 
And said as she thought 'twere a sin 
For people to gamble their money 
Unless they were certain to win.

These homely domestic reflections 
Seemed to cast quite a gloom on Pa's day
He thought he'd best take home a present 
And square up the matter that way.

' Twere a bit ofa job to decide on 
What best to select for this 'ere,
So he started to look in shop winders 
In hopes as he'd get some idea.

He saw some strange stuff in a fruit shop 
Like leeks with their nobby ends gone,
It were done up in bundles like firewood- 
Said Pa to the Shopman, "What's yon?"

"That's Ass-paragus-what the Toffs eat" 
Were the answer; said Pa "That 'll suit,
I'd best take a couple of bundles, 
For Mother's a bobby for fruit."

He started off home with his purchase 
And pictured Ma all the next week
Eating sparagus fried with her bacon 
Or mashed up in bubble-and-squeak.

He knew when she heard he'd been racing 
She'd very nigh talk him to death,
So he thought as he'd call in the ' Local' 
To strengthen his nerve and his breath.

He had hardly got up to the counter 
When a friend of his walked in the bar,
He said "What ye got in the bundle?" 
"A present for Mother," said Pa.

It's 'sparagus stuff what the Toffs eat " 
His friend said "It's a rum-looking plant,
Can I have the green ends for my rabbits?" 
said Pa "Aye, cut off what you want.

He cut all the tips off one bundle,
Then some more friends arrived one by one, 
And all of them seemed to keep rabbits 
Pa had no green ends left when they'd done.

When he got home the 'ouse were in dark ness,
So he slipped in as sly as a fox, 
Laid the 'sparagus on kitchen table 
And crept up to bed in his socks.

He got in without waking Mother, 
A truly remarkable feat,
And pictured her telling the neighbours 
As 'twere 'sparagus-what the toffs eat.

But when he woke up in the morning 
It were nigh on a quarter to ten,
There were no signs of Mother, or breakfast
Said Pa, "What's she done with her-sen?"

He shouted "What's up theer in t' kitchen?"
She replied, "You do well to enquire,
Them bundles of chips as you brought home 
Is so damp... I can't light the fire."


by Marriott Edgar |

Alberts Return

 You've `eard `ow young Albert Ramsbottom 
At 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 yer uncle" 
E'd upped and `e'd swallowed the child. 

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

`E could feel the lad movin' inside `im 
As `e lay on `is bed of dried ferns; 
And it might `ave been little lad's birthday-
E wished `im such `appy returns. 

But Albert kept kickin' and fightin'- 
And Wallace got up, feelin' bad.
Decided 'twere time that `e started 
To stage a comeback for the lad. 

Then puttin' `ead down in one corner, 
On `is front paws `e started to walk; 
And `e coughed, and `e sneezed, and `e gargled 
`Till Albert shot out - like a cork! 

Now 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 Mr. and Mrs. Ramsbottom 
`Ad gone back to their tea, feelin' blue.
Ma said, "I feel down in the mouth, like.
" Pa said, "Aye, I bet Albert does, too." 

Said Mother, "It just goes to show yer 
That the future is never revealed;
If I'd thowt we was goin' to lose `im,
I'd `ave not `ad `is boots soled and `eeled." 

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

A knock on the door came that moment 
As Father these kind words did speak. 
`Twas the man from Prudential - `e'd come for 
Their tuppence per person per week. 

When Father saw `oo `ad been knockin', 
`E laughed, and `e kept laughin` so -
The man said "`Ere, wot's there to laugh at?" 
Pa said "You'll laugh and all when you know!" 

"Excuse `im for laughing," said Mother, 
"But really, things `appen so strange - 
Our Albert's been et by a lion; 
You've got to pay us for a change!"

Said the young man from the Prudential:
"Now, come, come, let's understand this- 
You don't mean to say that you've lost `im?" 
Pa said "Oh, no, we know where `e is!" 

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

Pa `ad scarce got `is `and on the money 
When a face at the window they see-
And Mother cried "Eee, look, it's Albert!"
And Father said "Aye, it would be."

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 man from the Prudential 
To pick up the money began 
But Father said "`ere, wait a moment, 
Don't be in a `urry, young man." 

Then giving young Albert a shilling, 
`E said "`Ere, pop off back to the zoo; 
Get your stick with the `orse's `ead `andle-
Go and see wot the tigers can do!"


by Marriott Edgar |

Albert Down Under

 Albert were what you'd call “thwarted”. 
He had long had an ambition, which... 
Were to save up and go to Australia, 
The saving up that were the hitch. 

He'd a red money box on the pot shelf, 
A post office thing made of tin, 
But with him and his Dad and the bread knife, 
It never had anything in. 

He were properly held up for bobbins, 
As the folk in the mill used to say, 
Till he hit on a simple solution - 
He'd go as a young stowaway. 

He studied the sailing lists daily, 
And at last found a ship as would do. 
“S.S. Tosser:, a freighter from Fleetwood, 
Via Cape Horn to Wooloomooloo. 

He went off next evening to Fleetwood, 
And found her there loaded and coaled, 
Slipped over the side in the darkness, 
And downstairs and into the hold. 

The hold it were choked up with cargo, 
He groped with his hands in the gloom, 
Squeezed through bars of what felt like a grating, 
And found he had plenty of room. 

Some straw had been spilled in one corner,
He thankfully threw himself flat, 
He thought he could hear someone breathing,
But he were too tired to fret about that. 

When he woke they were out in mid-ocean, 
He turned and in light which were dim, 
Looked straight in the eyes of a lion, 
That were lying there looking at him. 

His heart came right up in his tonsils, 
As he gazed at that big yellow face. 
Then it smiled and they both said together, 
“Well, isn't the world a small place?” 

The lion were none other than Wallace, 
He were going to Sydney, too. 
To fulfil a short starring engagement 
In a cage at Taronga Park Zoo. 

As they talked they heard footsteps approaching, 
“Someone comes” whispered Wallace, “Quick, hide”. 
He opened his mouth to the fullest,
And Albert sprang nimbly inside. 

'Twere Captain on morning inspection, 
When he saw Wallace shamming to doze, 
He picked up a straw from his bedding, 
And started to tickle his nose. 

Now Wallace could never stand tickling, 
He let out a mumbling roar, 
And before he could do owt about it, 
He'd sneezed Albert out on the floor. 

The Captain went white to the wattles, 
He said, “I'm a son of a gun”. 
He had heard of beasts bringing up children, 
But were first time as he'd seen it done. 

He soon had the radio crackling, 
And flashing the tale far and wide, 
Of the lad who'd set out for Australia, 
Stowed away in a lion's inside. 

The quay it were jammed with reporters, 
When they docked on Australian soil. 
They didn't pretend to believe it, 
But 'twere too good a story to spoil. 

And Albert soon picked up the language, 
When he first saw the size of the fruit, 
There was no more “by gum” now or “Champion”,
It were “Whacko!”, “Too right!” and “You beaut!”. 

They gave him a wonderful fortnight, 
Then from a subscription they made, 
Sent him back as a “Parcel for Britain”, 
Carriage forward, and all ex's paid!


by Marriott Edgar |

Albert and the Lion

 There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun,
And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom
Went there with young Albert, their son.

A grand little lad was young Albert,
All dressed in his best; quite a swell
With a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle,
The finest that Woolworth's could sell.

They didn't think much of the Ocean:
The waves, they were fiddlin' and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact, nothing to laugh at at all.

So, seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the Zoo,
Where they'd Lions and Tigers and Camels,
And old ale and sandwiches too.

There were one great big Lion called Wallace;
His nose were all covered with scars -
He lay in a somnolent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.

Now Albert had heard about Lions,
How they was ferocious and wild -
To see Wallace lying so peaceful,
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.

So straightway the brave little feller,
Not showing a morsel of fear,
Took his stick with its 'orse's 'ead 'andle
And pushed it in Wallace's ear.

You could see that the Lion didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im,
And swallowed the little lad 'ole.

Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence, 
And didn't know what to do next,
Said 'Mother! Yon Lion's 'et Albert',
And Mother said 'Well, I am vexed!'

Then Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom -
Quite rightly, when all's said and done -
Complained to the Animal Keeper,
That the Lion had eaten their son.

The keeper was quite nice about it;
He said 'What a nasty mishap.
Are you sure that it's your boy he's eaten?'
Pa said "Am I sure? There's his cap!'

The manager had to be sent for.
He came and he said 'What's to do?'
Pa said 'Yon Lion's 'et Albert,
'And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too.'

Then Mother said, 'Right's right, young feller;
I think it's a shame and a sin,
For a lion to go and eat Albert,
And after we've paid to come in.'

The manager wanted no trouble,
He took out his purse right away,
Saying 'How much to settle the matter?'
And Pa said "What do you usually pay?'

But Mother had turned a bit awkward
When she thought where her Albert had gone.
She said 'No! someone's got to be summonsed' -
So that was decided upon.

Then off they went to the P'lice Station,
In front of the Magistrate chap;
They told 'im what happened to Albert,
And proved it by showing his cap.

The Magistrate gave his opinion
That no one was really to blame
And he said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms
Would have further sons to their name.

At that Mother got proper blazing,
'And thank you, sir, kindly,' said she.
'What waste all our lives raising children
To feed ruddy Lions? Not me!'


by Marriott Edgar |

Albert and the Eadsman

 On young Albert Ramsbottom's birthday
His parents asked what he'd like most;
He said to see t' Tower of London
And gaze upon Anne Boleyn's ghost.

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

They took charrybank up to London
And got there at quarter to fower,
Then seeing as pubs wasn't open
They went straight away to the tower.

They didn't think much to the buildin'
'T weren't what they'd been led to suppose,
And the 'Bad Word' Tower didn't impress them,
They said Blackpool had got one of those.

At last Albert found a Beefeater
And filled the old chap with alarm.
By asking for Ghost of Anne Boleyn
As carried her 'ead 'neath her 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 till 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 the first stroke of twelve, up jumped Albert,
His mouth full of cold, dripping toast,
With his stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle
He pointed, and said 'Here's the ghost!'

They felt their skins going all goosey
As Lady Jane's Spectre drew near
And Albert fair swallered 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 what next he would prune.

He suddenly caught sight of Albert
As midnight was on its last chime
As he lifted his axe, father murmered
'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 his face.

'T were a proper set-back for the 'Eadsman
He let out one 'owl of despair,
Then taking his ladyfriend 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
An' said, 'Sallright lad, we saw it too.'

Some say 'twere the drippin' as done it,
From a roast leg of mutton it came,
And as th' 'Eadsman had been a Beefeater
They reckon he vanished from shame.

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