Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
You've given three cheers for your dustmen
Your sailors and soldiers too
What about three for your fishermen
Who fish for the likes of you

I've stood in this market place forty years
And believe me, folks, when I say
Tomorrow is pancake Friday
And I've caught no kippers today

So give three cheers for your fishermen
Give three cheers, please do
What good are loaves without fishes
If you can't give three cheers just give two

My grandfather he was a fisherman
My father took after him
Mother took after Father
That's how I came to be in the swim

Father was born in Giggleswick
Mother was born midst the heather
I was born in Fallee, it seems funny to me
How the devil we all got together

At twenty one I started fishing
For the Missus on Blackpool shore
Between us we've thirteen tiddlers
That's bad luck, so we're fishing for more

It runs in the blood does fishing
There's an art in holding the rod
If a mackeral marries a swordfish
It's bound to come out in the cod

Take our merry little family
When our tiddlers grow up who can tell
How many tiddlers will they have?
And their tiddlers tiddlers as well

I go in for all kinds of fishing
Cork-soles rubber-eels and cod steak
Hake conger-eel and fresh herring
Ear-ache and stomach-ache

Salmon's my favourite past-time
I'm a demon once I begin
There's only one thing against it
It's a darn nuisance opening the tin

When I fished for my wife, how she nibbled
For weeks I was well on her track
I'd thrown back two crabs and a couple of dabs
I wish it was her I'd thrown back

There's a tragedy in my life, sir
Once of her I could proudly boast
Till things turned fishy and finicky
There was dirty work round the coast

It's the old, old tale of the fisherwife
The tale the fisherman spurned
The tale of a mermaid who twisted
The tale of the worm that turned

He lodged with us did Cecil
As happy as oysters with weeds
Till he started coming out of his shell
With a flapper I'd fished from the seas

One night I went out fishing
At the lodge left the wife and Cec.
'Twas then the angling started
The rest you can easily guess

I left them playing Ludo
On the mangle a fortnight's rent
After years I returned and discovered
Every cent of the two shillings spent

I found a note on the table
From Cecil and Murial there
And her own dirty darling child guarding
The hole in the baby's chair

There was only one line they'd left me
One line and nothing more
'Twas my fishing line 'neath a motto
Bless our home and pull for the shore

I swore to have revenge then
So I went to her private chest
I bent her new packet of hairpins
And spilt ink on her silk undervest

As for him, the dirty scoundrel
I shaved with his Gillette to spite
I sharpened my pencil and hacked at my corns
And ruined the edge, serve him right

I've worn out his hat and his trousers
Determined to lead him a dance
I've just rent the rim of his bowler
And nasty knee marks on his pants

But you can't blame the woman always
It's the man who upsets the show
And can't blame a fellow for forgetting himself
I've done it myself, so I know

But I'll take her back if she wants to come back
I've thrown open Lillian Gish
Life's too short to quarrel besides
I've got no one to fillet my fish

I'll wire to Nelly to come home
If she'll come back the same as she went
She can bring him as well if he'll promise
To get his hand down for the rent

So give three cheers for your fishermen
And remember, by the way
Tomorrow will be Friday
And I've caught no whelks today.

That's a fishy story, isn't it? 
The end