A TATTOO TRAGEDY
by
Greatrex Newman, Clifford Grey
& Fred Cecil (1933)
Her name was Ermyntrude, 
In a circus she tattooed - 
A girl who had designs on ev'ry man; 
Until she traced a heart 
On the arm of Joseph Smart, 
She won him - and they furnished her plain van. 
Of course she left the show 
The day she married Joe, 
The tattoo needle she would `need' no more, 
But Joseph, foolish youth, 
Soon learned the dreadful truth. 
The `Bearded Lady' was his ma-in-law! 
All day about the place 
He could see that hairy face, 
He couldn't dodge it even in the street. 
It made him use an oath 
To see that stringy growth, 
That harvest festival of shredded wheat! 
Each day he longed to get 
A present from Gillette, 
And hand it to the mother of his bride. 
'Twas obvious of course 
She'd swallowed some poor horse, 
And left the tail to dangle just outside. 
Joe's bearded ma-in-law 
Out-whiskered Bernard Shaw,
And sometimes drove poor Joseph on the `binge'; 
He staggered home one night 
At four a.m. - quite `tight' - 
So Ermyntrude, his wife, planned her revinge. 
Up to his side she crept 
And while he soundly slept 
Undid his coat and shirt in manner weird. 
Then when his chest was nude 
Upon it she tattooed 
Her Mother's face, the Lady avec Beard! 
Joe woke at half past nine 
And saw the dread design, 
It stared out through his little Aertex vest. 
A horrible surprise, 
Could he believe his eyes? 
The face he hated, grinning from his chest! 
He straightway signed the pledge 
And lived on fruit and veg', 
He thought that he was `seeing things', poor youth. 
But even when T.T. 
That fungus'd face he'd see,
Until at last there dawned the tattooed truth! 
He left his wife, of course, 
And sued for a divorce, 
And as the neighbours kept asking why? 
He roamed from' Shepherd's Bush 
To Ashby-de-la-Zush, 
From far-off Peckham Vale to Maida Rye.
In deep despair at last 
He bought a mustard plast', 
And plonked it on his chest without delay. 
That plaster burned and burned. 
To tear it off he yearned, 
But hoped it would singe the beard away. 
The mustard was so strong 
He left it on too long. 
And while he peeled it off, his chest was sore. 
So blistered was the skin, 
It made a double chin, 
The beard looked twice the size it was before! 
Poor Joe went raving mad, 
His end came swift and sad, 
That tattooed picture must remain he knew; 
Resigned, he softly sighed. 
Then whispered as he died: 
`Thank Heav'n it's not a talking picture too!
The end