Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
Now, full of risks is a fireman's life
That's why there are not many riskers
You not only have to have nerves like iron
But you have to have waterproof whiskers.
The Fire-bell rang at the Station
The dog wasn't barking as well
But why was the Fire-bell ringing?
Why, someone had rung the bell.

The Fire broke out at the 'North Pole'
Just at opening time - on a Sunday
I remember so well, because Christmas Day
Fell on the Easter Monday.
And bravely the Fire was burning
Every man was at his post
And bravely the firemen were fighting
Over whose squirter's squirting the most.

When I reached the burning building
The crowd were surging and swaying
Well, I counted seven or eight myself
Besides what got in without paying.
The Landlord woke up from his afternoon nap
When he saw me he thought I was joking
'Til he started to choke with a mouthful of smoke
And said, 'Who's rotten fags are you smoking?'

The flames, in a sheet, were licking his seat
When he shouted out, 'What¹s the schemozzle?'
Then all unawares, slid right down the stairs
And sat on the end of my nozzle.
'There's a woman inside!' someone shouted
'Oh, firemen, do your best.'
So I dashed into her burning bedroom
And waited 'til she got dressed.

In a couple of hours she was outside
Surrounded by brothers and sisters
I thought of the medals that I should get
All I got was a couple of blisters.
Then a lady appeared at the window
A lady all dressed in white
She was usually out at a party or ball 
But she'd 'got nothing on' tonight.

'Run down the ladder.' I shouted
'That's the best thing that you can do.
But don't run down the Irish
For they're just as good as you.'
But she wouldn't be persuaded
She'd have jumped, if I hadn't ha' stopped her
But I ran up the ladder, right up to the top
Picked her up in my arms... then I dropped her.

A man in the crowd started laughing
I thought it was most inhuman
I said, 'Ain't you ashamed of it - laughing like that?'
He said, 'What for? - it's my Old Woman!'
We could hear the beer-barrels bursting
(and firemen dying of thirst)
So we all made a rush for the cellar
But some p'licemen had got there first.

It was awful to see the poor fellows
All lying about in a tangle
There was one with his nose in a bung-hole
And letting his braces dangle.
Nobly they'd done their duty
And the crowd gave three hearty cheers
As the water ran out of their trousers
And beer spurted out of their ears.

And nothing was left of the 'North Pole'
When back to the Station we hasted
But what with the firemen and what with the p'lice
Not a drop of the beer was wasted.
We 'passed the hat round' for the landlord
(When he threatened to have our lives)
For his three poor starving children
And his couple of starving wives.

Soon the man whose wife I'd not rescued
Came and gave me a large silver cup
Then I heard the Alarm Bell ringing again
And what did I do?... I woke up.
My wife said, 'Who'd marry a fireman?
I'd rather be burnt to a cinder
You've emptied the water jug over me twice
And then dropped me out of the 'winder'. 
The end