THE LOUNGER
by
Charles J. Winter
Billy Bennett
 I've 'ad a shock this last few years what's nearly turned me white. 
I mean the shutting up of pubs for 'arf the day and night.
Why wot's the use of leavin' bed to try an' earn a bob 
By leaning 'gainst a empty 'ouse, when workin' at my job? 

The pub is shut till 12, so there's no customers d'yer see, 
That makes my bloomin' spirits fall to thirty five U.P. 
I've been supportin' of this 'ouse for fifteen year or more, 
And as for drink, — I've 'ad enough to float a man o'war.

I'm such a reg'lar landmark, and I keep so still yer see, 
That people often come along and tie their 'orse to me! 
Now no one comes till 12, and then they walks, or conies by car; 
And I get all the smell outside while they taste at the bar.

I reely don't know 'ow I'd live by workin' of this pub. 
But the missis goes out charrin' just to git me a bit o' grub.
I've told 'er she must put in for a rise and get more tin, 
Or a hextra job as night nurse just to bring more money in. 

We've 'ad to give up something. Now we 'ave no Sunday's jint, 
For they've put the people's food up, yuss to fivepence 'arf a pint! 
And when you get it, wot's it like? It's bad, and it ain't cheap, 
With not sufficient biff in it to promote a 'ealthy sleep.

You git a chance to drink from six till ten I will agree, 
And if you can't get canned by then — well you ain't a-tryin' see! 
It's just the same with all our food, we works for every crust,
Yuss, works for it, and swallers it, but 'as to chew it fust! 

Then look at the unfairness — take the bloke wot sweeps the road
'E's gettin' nigh four quid a week to 'elp 'im with 'is load;
And take the case of bricklayers at about a quid a day, 
It's fair if they 'ave only twenty bricks an 'our to lay; 

I often 'as to nod my 'ead, and sometimes 'as to shout, 
And from my pocket take my 'and to point a buildin' out, 
Each day I'm workin' at my job for quite three hours or more, 
With only — p'raps six drinks, and yet they say we won the war!' 

And then there's Joe what works the pitch outside the private bar, 
I've chucked 'im, 'e's got uppish and 'e don't know where 'e are.
Today 'e finds some baccy, and 'e's gettin' such a dude, 
'E wouldn't put it in 'is pipe because it 'ad been chewed!

And then last week 'e washed 'is 'ands at the old road-mender's tank! 
I dropped 'im after that, what O! I cannot stand sich swank.
I never wash my 'ands and I am dirtier than 'im 
I told 'im so: and 'e says 'well, you're three year older, Jim!'

There's work agoin' up the street at very decent pay, 
But I ain't takin' none myself; I've done enough today.
I starts my job at ten o'clock as usual feelin' grand, 
I 'ad a drink inside, and fille'd my match-box at the stand, 

I gets a clay pipe while I stands to 'ave my mornin' sup.
(I likes a clay 'cause if it falls you needn't pick it up) 
And then I 'as a think about what job I'd tackle first. 
I drink much better when I think, it 'elps to bring a thirst. 

Some say that beer kills more smart men than bullets in a war,
If I'm to 'ave a skinful — I prefer the beer by far. 
Well, fust I 'eld a 'orse leastways I watched 'e didn't fall,
And twice I carried parcels when I seed that they was small,

I fetched the guv'nor's dog 'is meat and got a nasty sneer, 
The bloke says 'shall I wrap it up, or will you eat it ere!!' 
And then I minds some kiddies while their mother 'ad a drink, 
She'll git me on that job again for tuppence I don't think!

It's past two, the missis will be 'ome now with 'er pay,
So I'll be knockin' off too as it's early closin' day. 
'Old 'ard! they say there's work down there for them that want a bit, 
What an escape! I might 'a gone and run right into it! 
The end