The Channel Swimmer
written by Marriott Edgar
performed by
Arthur Askey
Would you hear a wild tale of adventure?
Of a hero who tackled the sea?
Of a superman swimming the ocean?
Then hark... while I talk about me.

From invasion forts over the channel,
The Nazis had sworn to attack.
And no volunteers from this side had offered
To swim out and push 'em all back.

There was great consternation in England
Dart players neglected their beer,
And Alvar Lidell said to Belfrage
"This ain't 'arf a muck-up, this 'ere."

Then up spoke the brave workhouse master,
I was spending the summer with him.
He said, "I'd give two christmas puddings,
To anyone here who can swim."

Now in swimming baths all round the country,
I was noted for daring and strength,
I frequently dived in the deep end,
And thought nothing of swimming a length.

So up, I arose in a moment,
I said, "I can swim I believe,
Though it isn't your puddings I'm after,
As I told you last Christmas Eve.

If the Hun should come over the channel,
From Griz-nez to Dover, that is,
For the honour and glory of England,
I'll swim from Dover to Griz... nez".

As soon as my words were made public,
The newspapers gathered around,
And offered to pay me a pension,
If I lost both me legs and got drowned.

I borrowed a tug from the navy,
To swim in the shelter alea,
And the BBC lent me a wavelength,
And Evelyn Lane lent me the sea.

I entered the water at daybreak,
And stood there admiring the dawn.
With the wavelets caressing my anklets,
Like the lady in 'September Morn'.

My girl tied a mascot around me,
And the tears to my eyes gently stole,
'Twas some guinness corks she had collected,
And stitched to an old camisole.

At last, I was in, I was swimming,
With a powerful overarm stroke.
When the men on the tug saw, with horror,
That the rope I was tied to, was broke.

Then down came the fog, thick as treacle,
Alone on that desolate sea.
A voice shouted, "Help, I am drowning!"
I listened and found it was me.

They circled around 'til they found me,
Hauled me aboard like a sack.
Tied a new tow-rope around me...
Smacked me and then threw me back.

'Twas at daybreak or just a bit later,
That I realised that all wasn't right.
For the tow-rope was trailing behind me,
And the noose round my waist getting tight.

One hasty glance over my shoulder,
I saw in a flash what was wrong,
The Captain had switched off his engine,
I was towing the tugboat along!

On and on through the darkness I paddled,
'Til I knew I was very near in.
By the way I kept bumping the bottom,
And hitting the stones with my chin.

Was it Griz-nez I'd reached:... no it wasn't,
The treacherous tide in it's track.
Had carried me up to Kew Gardens,
And I had to walk all the way back!
The end