A BIRD IN THE HAND
 
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I once heard my dear Mother say, 'Twas wicked to be poor,
And that possession was at least,
A good nine points in law.
So as the first young man I had,
Endeavours to deceive,
I exercised the practice which I'd been taught to believe.

Chorus: A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time,
A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time.
He bought me a diamond ring well, you can understand,
He had the bird in the bush and I had the ring on my hand.

When quite a mite my dad taught me
To say things off by heart ;
Amongst which was, when racing, see
You always get a start.
Right to his ev'ry letter I
Have acted my life through ;
Rememb'ring dad's advice when I
Took sweetheart number two.

Chorus: A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time,
A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time.
He bought me a sealskin coat, the “ tecs ” were on his track,
He had the bird in the hand, and I had the coat on my back.

As early birds catch early worms,
Ma said one afternoon,
'In case you may get caught, my darling,
Never rise too soon.'
The following day I rose at ten
And met a little Joss ;
Then hearing he was extra rich,
I caught his eye becos'

Chorus: A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time,
A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time.
He bought me a pony and trap, and when we had to Part,
He had the bird in the bush and I had the pony and cart.

I gave up courting for the time,
Then made another start,
With Mr. Jones, who played me for
His money or his heart ;
We played at cards, the idea was
That there should be no 'spoof'
If he Won I became his wife,
Thinks I, besidles his 'oof.'

Chorus: A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time,
A bird in the hand's worth two in the bush at any time ;
I won a terrible lot, well, more than you'd believe,
He had the jack and the king, and I had the ace up my sleeve
.

 
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Written and composed by Joseph Tabrar - 1894
Performed by Marie Lloyd (1870-1922)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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