written by
Ashley Sterne
Sam Small were fishing in canal
'Twixt Manchester and Sale;
He hadn't had a bite all day
And nought to sup but ale.

Then all at once his fishing line 
Went rushing out like mad; 
'By gum,' cried Sam, 'I've got a bite,' 
So by gum he 'ad.

He tugged and tugged and better tugged 
His line it rose and sank;
Then fish gave one last dying gasp 
And dropped stone dead on t'bank.

Then a policeman bustled up
On feet both large and flat. 
He looked at Sam, he looked at fish 
And said,"Ee, who done that?'

"It's just a sort of fish," said Sam
"I'm taking home to tea."
"Tha's not", said policeman. "That tha's not, 
It don't belong to thee.

"It's what they call a Sturgeon, Sam, 
That fish belongs to King, 
So take it up the Palace, lad, 
As fast as anything."

Sam stooped and picked the Sturgeon up
Well knowing who was boss;
And ran to station where he bought
Two tickets for King's Cross,

When Sam reached London Town 
The crowd all raised a cheering cry; 
The traffic parted left and right 
To let that Sturgeon by.

The Palace sentry, haughty like, 
Said, "What might be your wish?" 
But when he saw what Sam had brought 
He cried, "Pass, Royal fish."

Sam knocked at door and servant girl 
Said, "Step inside the hall,
The King and Queen is out," says she, 
But not for thee, Sam Small."

And so with Sturgeon in his arms 
Sam tramped up corridor,
He trailed along some passages 
And knocked at parlour door.

"Come in," says King, So Sam went in 
With Royal fish and all.
"Why dash me buttons," cries the King 
"If it isn't old Sam Small."

"That's me," said Sam, "and 'ere's a fish
Our policeman said were thine;
A Sturgeon caught in Ship Canal
With rod and hook and line."

'Well, well,' said King, 'come sit thee down,
Tha' must be fair done up.
We just were going to have us teas, 
Tha'll stay and have a cup?"

"Thanks, King," said Sam and takes a seat 
With fish upon his knee.
"Nay, put that thing on sofa, Sam," 
Says King, "And have thy tea."

"Now what about this fish?" asks Sam, 
But King he whispers low, 
"I'm going to tell thee something, Sam, 
But don't let policeman know.

"I hate to show ingratitude 
And please don't think me mean, 
But I never did like Sturgeon, Sam, 
Nor, come to that, does Queen.

"To eat the stuff we hate so much
Well, Sam, we find it hard;
So we hand 'em to the Chamberlain
Who stacks them in back yard.

"Just thee look out that window, Sam, 
And see where t'Sturgeons go."
Sam looked at yard and saw 'e'm all 
In thousands in a row.

"It's champion seeing thee again, 
But Sam twixt me and thee 
I can't stand Sturgeons 
But I love a kipper to me tea."

"Now fancy that," says Sam, "by gum, 
Why them's my favourite fish." 
And then the Queen came smiling in, 
With kippers on the dish.

"Do you know Sam Small, my dear?" says King. 
Queen says 'Why, yes, yes, yes, 
Just touch the bell and tell our James 
To bring more watercress."

"Think on," says King when tea were done 
And Sam got up to go, 
"Kippers is what I like for tea 
But don't let policeman know."

So Sam went home to Lancashire 
And said a silent prayer, 
With blessings on the kippered fish 
"Long live the Royal Pair." 
The end