Warren Hastings and Herbert Jordan
It was just such a night as this, Sir, if you’ll pardon me sayin’ so
It seems like yesterday, sir, but it must ‘a been years ago
I was standin’ on this very corner, with me taxi-cab by me side
A-dreaming of beer and ‘ome, sir, I reckon I nearly cried
The night was as black as ink, sir, and cold as a publican’s ‘eart
Sudden I sees a sight, sir, what gives me an ‘orrid start
It turned out to be a gent, sir, he stood about nine feet high
They calls me ‘Truthful Bill’, sir, I’ve never been known to lie
He stood about ten feet ‘igh, sir, he must ‘ave weighed forty stone
And I ‘ad a sort of feeling, that I’d rather ‘a been alone
Says ‘e in an ‘usky voice, sir, like the sound of a gurglin’ sink
“Take me to Billingsgate Gardens” afore I had time to think
“A couple of quid if you hurry, a matter of life and death.”
The shock nearly laid me out, sir, but bravely I fought for breath
Like a rocket I opens the door, sir, quick as a lightning flash
I lost me ‘abitual calmness when I thinks of two quid in cash
Like an avalanche ‘e jumps, sir, and sticks in the door-way fast
By a super-in-human effort, I shoves him inside at last
Away we goes with a jerk, sir, and flies like a blinking lark
So fast that the lamp post looked, sir, like the railings around Hyde Park
In just under thirty seconds we done thirteen miles or more
And out of the seat I jumps, sir, to open the taxi-cab door
But s’truth what a shock I get,sir, the sight nearly drops me dead
And me eyes, they sticks right out, sir, like ‘at-pegs, from me ‘ead
The weight of that Baby Lockhart, must ‘a busted the floor away
And he’d run all them thirteen miles, sir, inside the cab that way
Well I drags him out thro’ the door, sir, and s’welp me upon my soul
The gent what was forty stone, sir, was as thin as a barber’s pole
His clothes hung in folds around him, like a scarecrow on a farm
‘Twas runnin’ them thirteen miles, sir, had worked like a blinkin’ charm
Says he as ‘e grasps me ‘and, sir, “Put it right there, old mate,
Every drug on the market I’ve taken to try and reduce my weight
The powders and pills I’ve swallered would start up a chemists shop
And I’ve lived like a canary on caraway seeds and sop.”
Well he hands me a ten pound note, sir, A ‘tenner’ it was, and no kid
And the bill for repairing me taxi-cab floor,
It come, sir, to just fifteen quid.
The end