Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
You ask me about this medal,
The story to you may sound queer, 
I'll tell you the tale if you like, sir,
If you care to remain while you're here.

Take a seat, sir, if you can find one, 
You might as well know the worst,
This medal was pinned with a safety pin
I believe in safety first.

I've had this medal for years, sir,
I've worn it all my life, 
Excepting when I've been asleep, sir,
I'm afraid of it scratching the wife.

I don't want to brag how I won it,
Still it's mine, so why should I care, 
I'll keep it as long as I've got it
And wear it as long as it's there.

There's a history attached to this medal, 
I've lost the ribbon of blue,
I missed it while sparring with Dempsey 
In the Cloak Room at Waterloo. 

I won this medal, for swimming
The Channel in '93.
I've only to swim it twice more, sir,
And the Channel belongs to me.

This medal could tell a tale, sir,
When things were merry and ripe.
Father gambled his money in horse-hair,
Cockles, confetti, and tripe.

Things went from bad to worse, sir, 
And from worse they went to bad,
And as things grew less and less and less 
We had less than ever we had.

Papa was forced to leave us,
He died, so the neighbours said
He went to live in Scunthorpe,
So he might as well have been dead.

There were only three of us left, sir,
Mother and me and Jim, 
Jim, sir, was the tortoise
We couldn't part with him.

He had to have his milk, sir,
Nestles was all he'd take,
I wanted to keep things going
If only for Jimmie's sake.

I suddenly thought of the medal,
Though I hated to part with it. 
Mother had pawned her Russian boots
And I wanted to do my bit.

Off to Uncle Isaac's
I toddled down The Strand, 
Came out without my medal
And fourpence in my hand.

I gave poor Jim his ration,
And he wasn't half glad of it, 
Mother and I just managed
With a roasted chestnut split.

The medal was missing all Winter,
It was absent from my breast, 
'Till I caught a chill on the spot, sir,
Where the medal used to rest.

I was ordered to bed by my chauffeur,
With not a bite to sup ;
I was fast running down, and the interest
On the medal was fast running up.

I lay in bed twelve years, sir,
Calmly awaiting my doom ;
I got so low, I hadn't the strength
To pay for my little back room.

But I soon pulled round again, sir, 
Thanks to Redfern's Rubber Heels
And a word of praise to Panshine, 
Cherry Blossom and jellied eels.

I got my medal back, sir,
'John Bull' took up my case; 
He spoke to 'Uncle' about it,
Thank heaven its back in its place.

And I mean to keep it there, sir,
Good luck has come my way
I've started on football pools, sir,
I got two out of twelve right to-day. 
The end