ALBERT THE STOWAWAY
Young Albert Ramsbottom, 'is Ma and 'is Pa,
Was in Liverpool, near Bootle Beach.
They stopped wi' an Aunt, who were all Lah-de-Dah,
And kept tryin' to correct Albert's speech.
She were on at 'im constant from mornin' till night,
Till t' youngster were well nigh in tears.
"Sound your consonants, boy!" she would say, - "Get it right!"
And to stress it she'd clip both 'is ears!
'Is tongue were all tied, and 'is lug-'oles reet sore,
When this just went on day after day,
Till Albert resolved 'e'd abide it no more,
And decided that 'e'd run away.
The little lad knew it were 'right thing to do
To avoid 'is Great Aunt's 'eavy 'and.
'E determined that day, that 'e must stow away
On a boat for some far distant land.
So, long after dark, when t' telly were 'ushed,
And t' grown-ups was snorin' in bed,
'E collected 'is stick, and with just one small click,
Opened t' window, climbed through it, and fled!
Though Liverpool weren't a town 'e knew well
'E knew where he wanted to be;
'E just 'ad to follow 'is nose, and the smell
Of the Mersey led 'im to the sea!
'E arrived at Pier'ead in the very small hours.
It were pitch dark, and no-one about.
The cold clammy breeze made 'im tremble at knees,
And 'is willy 'ad shrunk down to nowt!
At that moment 'e saw through the gloom, the dark shape
Of a big ship moored fast to the quay.
The gangway was down, per'aps crew were in town,
So 'e crept up with no-one to see.
'E 'ad a look round on the deck, till 'e found
A lifeboat slung 'igh on two poles,
Wi' a tarpaulin cover tight fastened all round
Wi' rope threaded neat trough the 'oles.
To get lacin' undone with 'is 'ands, cold and numb,
Weren't easy to do, but 'e did –
'E loosened enough to get in with 'is stuff,
To wait til t'boat sailed….. 'E were 'id!
Right knackered from all 'is adventures that night,
'E just fell fast asleep where 'e lay,
In t' bottom of t' boat….. When 'e woke it were light,
And t' ship seemed to be under way.
"I've done it!" 'e shouted, "I've run off to sea.
Me Great Aunt can go boil 'er face!"
And so, with 'is 'eart fair burstin' wi' glee
'E emerged from 'is dark 'idin' place.
But just at that moment a sailor in blue
Spotted t' lad climbin' out with 'is gear,
And sized Albert's collar as 'e clambered through,
Sayin' "Bugger me, who've we got 'ere?"
And up before t' Captain on t' Bridge 'e were dragged,
Who asked, in a manner most stern,
Why t' lad were aboard. Albert told 'im, bein' nagged,
'E'd run off, 'is passage to earn!
"Work yer passage?" said Captain, "What's this, then, some trick?"
Then 'is face went all smilin' and merry.
"In that case, young feller, you'll 'ave to be quick, ---
Bein' as this is the Wallasey Ferry?"