THE BARKING CREEK BELL-RINGER'S DAUGHTER
The Barking Creek bell-ringer's bell it gets rung
When the fog lies thick on the water,
Though it's not of the Barking Creek bell my song's sung
But of the Barking Creek bell-ringer's daughter.
Now she was so lovely, so fair and so squat
That conductors fell off of their buses
As she walked down Cable Street bearing on top
Her bath full of live octopuses.
And all down her back from shoulder to thigh
Their tentacles hung down in tresses,
As sweetly she'd sing, "Won't you cough up and buy
My octopus, live octopuses?"
Now one day in August the sunshine was spread
On her wares that she proudly was bearing,
And the blowflies all glittered and buzzed round her head
Like the halos that angels are wearing.
As on the embankment her stock she laid out
In that far from salubrious quarter,
She aroused the wild passions of Algernon Stout
An unemployed Billingsgate porter.
Now Stout was a villain who wallowed in crime
Who lived under some derelict barges
And the day being hot, was laid out on the slime
Where the Barking Creek sewer discharges.
He crouched on the crust as the maiden drew nigh
Her petticoats all of a-splatter.
He licked his fat lips then, suddenly, like
A wild rhino-sore-arse, flew at her.
His head hit her first in a cloud of black dust
And the bath took off like a rocket
They crumpled and crashed til they broke through the crust
To the mud underneath which was clotted.
She pushed a large handful all slimy and green
Down his gob like a mouthful of jelly,
Then the bath full of octopus fell on the scene
Upside down on top of the melee.
Beneath it they struggled but Stout never knew
The danger to which he was liable
An octopus, slyly, did stealthily glue
Its sucker upon his left eyeball.
Now vainly Stout struggled to loosen its grip
And attempted the monster to throttle
When his eye came away with a pop and rip
With the sound like a cork from a bottle.
When Algernon spied he was only one-eyed
He was filled with distraught irritation
And grabbed the poor octopus by its inside
As a weapon of flag-e-olation.
The octopus turned inside out with a gulp
As Stout's actions got even distraughter
He sliced them all up and beat to a pulp
The Barking Creek bell-ringer's daughter.
Now there s some literati what's going to complain
That a moral should here be appended
Whilst others, as surely, will loudly maintain
That it's high time the bloody thing ended.
But all you bum critics take notice from me
If you're of the feminine gender,
That in Barking today, there's a vacancy
For a lady-like octopus vendor.