DICK TURPENTINE
by Bernard Newman The South wind blew so coldly, and made men's eyebrows freeze The Man in the Moon smiled grimly, with a face like a Cheshire cheese 'Twas Christmas day in the workhouse where Oliver asked for more And the highwayman came riding, riding, riding Dick Turpentine came riding, up to the old inn door. He'd a top hat on his forehead, a dress shirt on his chest With a pair of Oxford trousers, and a woollen undervest And he rode as fast as a motor - well as fast as a ford will do For he loved the Landlord's porter, the landlord's nut-brown porter Not to speak of the landlord's daughter, the lady who's known as Loo. He tapped with his fist on the shutters, but locked was the old inn door So he stood 'neath the window and whistled, 'It ain't gonna rain no more.' And then the window opened, and Loo's sweet face popped out And the landlord stood and listened, he shivered there as he listened Mute as a cat he listened, and he heard the robber shout, 'One drink, my bonny sweetheart, of porter as brown as your curls I'm after a fat dowager, who'd got a string of pearls But only two pubs I'm passing, and there the drink's not strong So I'll come back here for another, and another, and another For I daren't go home to mother, cos the p'lice'll have me before long.' He stood upright in the stirrups so that he could reach for the glass But he couldn't quite reach to the window, and it made him feel such an ass So he sat on his horse in the moonlight, sat with his mouth open wide While Loo, the landlord's daughter, took a hefty mug of porter And bending o'er his upturned mouth, she poured it safe inside. The Landlord used in the darkness such swear words as he could say For he hated her Highwayman lover such customers did not pay Dick Turpentine would not pay up, what ever might be said And the landlord feared his pistols, those nine point two three pistols So he fiercely vowed his vengeance... and then went off to bed. Next morn he was up with the milkman, and round by the barrack square And he told the fiery colonel about his daughter fair And Dick Turpentine, the highwayman, who robbed folks by the score Who came to her by moonlight, and drank his beer by moonlight And shot the moon in the moonlight, close by the old inn door. 'Hide twelve men in your cellar before he comes tonight Dick Turpentine shall never see another morning's light Yes, twelve men - and a sergeant shall come with you today And let Dick go on drinking, drinking, drinking And when he's drunk my soldiers will catch him without delay.' The soldiers went to the cellar, the landlord went to his bar And Loo went up to her window, to watch for her lover afar And the landlord prepared him a potion which would make him as drunken as pigs Porter and whisky and pale-ale, sherry and creme-de-menthe With a dash of strong sarsaparilla, and a splutter of syrup of figs. Tlot tlot! She heard in the distance his horse hoofs fast coming near Tlot, tlot! She heard his throat crackle as he stretched out his hand for his beer The landlord rushed to the cellar, and called to the soldiers there 'Come, here is the man from the highway, shoot him down in the highway Down like a dog in the highway, before he can say, 'It's a bear'.' 'Come, come at once,' he cried again, 'There is no time to wait Come, sergeant, call your men out, and bid them all shoot straight I've mixed him a pungent cocktail that's more than enough for two Dick Turpentine has drunk it, come on men, do you funk it?' The the landlord gasped, 'He'll bunk it,' for the soldiers were all drunk too. Yes, Dick had taken the potion straight from his lover's hand And his eyes assumed a brightness that nature never planned And he reeled in Irish fashion, after he had had ten sips And he fell down in the highway, fell all his length in the highway Down like a dog in the highway, with a smile of peace on his lips. And still, they say, on a Summer's night when the wind makes the eyebrows freeze And the Man in the Moon smiled grimly, with a face like a Cheshire cheese And it's Christmas day in the workhouse where Oliver asked for more A highwayman comes riding, riding, riding Dick Turpentine comes riding up to the old inn door. 'What does he seek?' ask the neighbours, as they stand with frightened stare 'Is it Loo, the landlord's daughter, that he hopes to discover there? Or the ghosts of thirteen soldiers, or the landlord who foully planned?' Dick Turpentine's still thirsting, thirsting, thirsting What he wants is the recipe of the cocktail that got him canned.
The end