Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
I'm a lover of night-life in London
When I start I can go pretty fast
I've blotted me copy book I must admit
When I think of my future that's past
I've been a bad lad to my parents
I'm a rip and I just live for crime
The last thing I ripped was me nightie
Coming down the stairs two at a time.

I've bumped round some bends in my travels
And I was told I would come to no good
When I told them that day at the workhouse
What to do with their Christmas pud
My curse has been ladies and lime juice
In the West they call me the Big Noise
The fat of the land's what I live on
Greese dripping and pork saveloys.

Scotland Yard's got a photograph of me
In me gaiters and dolly dyed vest
But I'll tell of the raid I was in once
At the Cat Gut Club somewhere up West
I started at night with a gamble
Fourpence is nothing to me
With a couple of chinks, I stood tossing for drinks
Roast peanuts and saucers of tea.

That night I shall never forget, sir,
The band playing Home Sweet Home
I sat sucking a lemon and shouting good health
To the old crock who played the trombone
I lounged with a girl in the Palm Court
She had a low neck chest at the back
Her blouse it was cut to and from
And all but the tips of her fingers in black.

She'd come from a very big family
Who knows perhaps a publican's daughter
On Reggie's settee she got rather free
With the champagne I very near bought her
Later on we danced round and I noticed
She took size elevens in shoes
I said to myself, she's a 'copper'
When she asked me if I knew the blues.

Round went the Tic Tac, 'Police Boys'
So I smuggled my soda and milk
I grabbed a sea shell from the fire grate
And disguised myself there as a whelk
Just then someone switched off the lights
In the dark I got quite a shock
I was feeling my way and heard one girl say
"Will you stop your tickling Jock."

It was a case of Blind Man's Bluff then
"Strike a match." I heard someone holler
It was my rotten luck when the match had been struck
It set light to my celluloid collar
An officer pulled out his hand-cuffs
And whispered, "I must do my bit."
But he said, "it's no use I apologise."
When he found the darn things wouldn't fit.

So they took us all off for a joy ride
To the sergeant Everyman
I said, "Please put us in with the lino
And cart us there in a plain van."
Next morning we turned up at Bow Street
And stood looking solemn and sad
We had to stand there 'cos there was only one chair
That's the one that the magistrate had.

He fined us he did, for each one paid a quid
And the Judge said, "I'll soon stop your row."
But it's cured me of dancing with policemen
Only sailors and chorus boys now. 
The end