Alan Lavercombe - 1986
Now tha' s 'eard about Albert an' t' lion
Wot' s ate 'im an' spat out 'is 'at.
Tha' d 'ave thought Albert would 'ave known better,
I mean, lions, they're buggers for that!

An' that Daniel, tha knows, 'im in t' Bible,
Dead lucky 'e were, there's no doubt.
Any bookmaker knows, when tha' s in t' lions den,
T' lion's backside's the only way out.

But the story I'm going to tell thee
Concerns a young lad named Androckles.
'E sounds Greek to me, but 'e were born in Rome,
Local lad and not one of them grockles.

This lad liked goin' out Sunday lunchtime,
Game o' darts an' a few pints of bevvy,
Then, come chuckin' out time, look of rapture on t' face,
Like tha gets pickin' up summat 'eavy.

Well, one Sunday, Androckles, on 'is way back from t' pub,
Were staggerin' 'ome a bit plastered,
When 'e' s met this 'ere lion wi' thorn in 'is paw
An' Androckles thought 'Ah, poor old lion.'

Then Androckles, wi' a special attachment
On 'is jack-knife ('e 'd been a Boy Scout)
Tells t' lion 'ow 'e 'd got a badge for first aid
An proceeded to take this thorn out.

Says t' lion 'I owes thee a favour
An' seein' as tha's not got a bike,
Next week, if me paw's a bit better,
I'll gi' thee a lift 'ome if yer like.'

As 'e watched t' lion limp into t' bushes,
'E thought 'That's my good deed for today.'
Then t'lion turns round an' says 'See thee next week.'
Says Androckles 'Next Sunday, O.K.?'

Just then 'e 'ears voice from be'ind 'im,
'That were fine selfless deed tha' s just done
In 'elpin' that dee-fenceless creature.
Tha must be a Christian, my son.'

'E says 'Nay, I'm a Lions' supporter.
I've lived all me life 'ere in Rome
An' in all the years I've bin supportin' the Lions,
They've never bin beaten at 'ome!'

'But tha's got it all wrong,' says this fella,
Them Christians, they don't stand a chance.
Now, when did tha last see a lion
Wi' skidmarks on 'is underpants?'

Now, Androckles weren't stroppy when 'e 'd 'ad a drink,
So 'e listened while this faeel spoke.
'E agreed an' says 'Aye, mate, it does make yer think.'
Not wishin' to upset this bloke.

Then this fella kept quotin' these scriptures
An' went on an' went on an' went on
An' went on an' went on an' went on an' went on
An' went on an' went on an' went on.

Androckles were dyin' to get 'ome for 'is dinner
An' spend t' afternoon up in bed,
But this fella went on an' went on an' went on,
Till Androckles believed all 'e said.

Well, ..... 'e' s got 'ome about 'appast Tuesday
An' 'is Sunday din looked a right mess.
As 'e ate it 'e' s tried to explain to 'is Mam
'E 'd become a ..... Jehovah's Witness.

As she listened to 'is explanation,
'Is mother, though not overjoyed,
Thought 'At least it'll give the lad summat to do,
'E' s bin three an' 'alf years unemployed!'

For t' next couple of weeks 'e goes knockin' on doors
An' pesterin' folks sat at 'ome,
Till, one night 'e knocks t' door of this ee-normous villa
In Aston (that's t' posh part of Rome).

'I'm sorry, young man,' says the butler,
'But the master is playing his lyre,
'Cos they haven't invented the violin yet.
He's on t' balcony, watching this fire.'

Says Androckles 'Look, I've got to see 'im.
I've a mesage, it's urgent, from God!'
Says the butler, 'I'll inform the master.'
But thought 'He's got no chance, poor sod!'

So the butler 'e gets up to t' balcony
As the donkey-drawn Fire Brigade came. (Hee-haw, hee-haw.)
They were just gettin' t' fire well under control,
When it started persistin' wi' rain.

'I'm bored.' Nero says, 'What dost tha want?'
'So sorry to trouble you sir, but,
There's a gentleman wishing to see you,
Some kind of a ree-ligious nut.'

'Ah! Bring 'im up 'ere.' Nero tells 'im,
'What a stroke of good fortune, bah gum.
We're at 'ome to the Christians this Sat'day,
But they've phoned up to say they can't come.'

Androckles comes up an' reads Nero some scriptures
An' went on an' went on an' went on
An' went on an' went on an' went on an' went on
An' went on an' went on an' went on.

Nero thanked 'im for showin' 'im where 'e' d gone wrong,
Then said 'Sorry, I've got to dash, mate.
I'm attending an orgy this evening
An' it looks bad if I turn up late.'

Then Androckles says ' 'Ere, I thought it were thee.
Tha's Nero, bless thy cotton socks!
It's thee ..... Colosseum ..... at ev'ry 'ome match,
Tha sits up in t' Directors' Box!'

'Can yer get me a ticket thi Sat'day,
See, I'm broke, in a bit of an 'ole.
There's no pay for this job as Jehovah's Witness,
But they've gone an' suspended me dole.'

'Try t' back door.' Nero says, 'Players' Entrance,
An' tell the bloke there tha knows me,
Then give 'im this letter I'm writing.
An' tha'll get in for nowt, lad, you'll see!'

Says Androckles, 'Could I ask one more favour?
It sounds daft, an' tha might think it strange.
D'yer think I could put me 'ead in t' lion's mouth?'
Nero says 'Well, ..... that could be arranged.'

So, next Sat'day, Androckles, 'e 's there at t' back door
Wi' 'is letter from Nero in t' 'and
An' gives it to t' doorman, who's welcomed 'im in,
Expectin' a seat in t' grandstand.

But, instead of a seat in the grandstand,
'E were in the arena, INSIDE,.
An' comin' straight at 'im, this thumpin' great lion,
Androckles thought, ''E' s MILES offside!'

'E 's looked round, but no flag from the linesman,
Then, convinced that 'is end were quite near,
As t' lion came at 'im 'e 's noticed,
It were limpin' to 'is nearside rear.

Then, suddenly, t' lion puts all 'is brakes on,
'Cos on t' tee-shirt upon this lad's chest,
'Androckles' it read, that name does ring a bell!
'Androckles - Jehovah's Witness'

They stared at each other a moment,
Rememb'rin' 'ow they'd met before.
'That's 'im right enough,' thought Androckles,
'There's me 'andkerchief tied round 'is paw!'

'Ee, am I glad it's thee!' says Androckles,
Amazed at this... strange twist of fate.
Then t' lion, (who'd 'ad nowt to eat for ten days)
Says, 'Not me. Tha's got t' wrong lion, mate!'
The end