THE SHOOTING OF DAN McGREW
by
Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
A bunch of the boys were whooping it up
In the Malamute Saloon; 
An American guy from Peckham Rye 
Was playing a ragtime tune.

And back of the bar, in a poker game, 
Sits dangerous Dan McGrew;
Watching his luck is his lady love, 
The lady that's known as 'Loo'

Now Dangerous Dan was a dirty old man, 
And he worked underground all alone- 
Digging for dope, scrounging for soap, 
Pumping for Eau-de-Cologne.

He claimed to be Mother Seigel's son 
Vouch for that statement I can't,
But I think he was born on a liner 
Whilst travelling abroad with his aunt.

Now Dan was a gink that could mop any drink 
From laudanum to unsweetened gin;
You can tell he was tough, he'd eat salmon and stuff
Without even opening the tin.

Just picture a real tough son of a gun, 
A man that could fight any two,
With hair on his chest where the birds used to nest, 
And that's dangerous Dan McGrew.

Out in the snow it was fifty below 
And would give a brass monkey the croup,
When in came a stranger, dismounted, on foot, 
Disguised as a slice of pea soup.

He looked like a man with one foot in the grave, 
You could see at a glance he was queer,
For he made a rude noise with the back of his neck, 
And bubbles came out of his ear.

In a football shirt that was glazed with dirt 
He looked strange in his evening dress clothes;
Icicles hung from his eybrows, 
And bicycles hung from his nose.

'Who is this man?' said Dangerous Dan, 
And Loo with a voice like a crow
Said: 'I know the stiff, it's Buffalo Biff,
And he's running a Wild West show.'

At the cocoanut shies, Dan McGrew shut his eyes, 
He picked up a ball made of lead,
He let fly at a nut, but it bounced in a rut
And hit a bald man's nut instead.

The cannon ball bounced off the bald fellow's nut
And bang went a parrafin lamp,
Set fire to the bearded lady's moustache 
And up went the whole of the camp.

In less than a second, or longer than that, 
Pandemonium started to reign:
The skeleton slipped up the elephant's trunk, 
And the fat lady slipped down a drain. 

Dan McGrew fired a shot at a wild leopard's spot 
(I couldn't say which spot he chose): 
It bounced back on his chest, his braces went west 
And down came his how-do-you-do's.

The girl with tattoos had a fit of the blues, 
For they'd scorched all the paint off her chest; 
A man with a hose started pinching her clothes, 
Singing, 'Everything's done for the best.'

There were Esquimaux, half a mo's, Ikey mo's, too, 
Greek freaks and pip-squeaks as well; 
Chinese, and knock-knees, and buzza-bazooks,
That only a mother could tell. 

White men and black, with no shirts to their back, 
That morning looked tattered and torn; 
One poor little Hindu, he just made his skin do 
The same as the day he was born. 

With a heart like a rock, And a boot full of sock,
Buffalo Biff started off with his crew; 
Though the journey's a big'un, they all walked to Wigan 
Through the shooting of Dan McGrew.  
The end