THE BOWERY
 
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I'm a native of Whitechapel
All my life I have loved it well
Till a covey said, 'Don't you talk
Go to the Bowery in New York
It licks Whitechapel of which you are fond.'
So I went over the Herring Pond
I gives my word and I gives my bond
I'll never go there any more.

Chorus: The Bowery, the Bowery
Whitechapel you see,
Is the place for me
Not the Bowery, the Bowery
I'll never go there any more.


I enquired of a chap the way
He looked knowing and answered 'Say
Guess you’re a stranger, and I reckon on you
Ought to have me just to see you through
He introduced me to friends of his
I stood a drink as the custom is
Stuck me a quidlet a time for 'fizz'
And I'll never go there any more.

Chorus: The Bowery, the Bowery,
Four-half can't be got
In that outlandish spot
Called the Bowery, the Bowery
So I'll never go there any more.


We walked on again very soon
Saw the lights of a gambling Saloon
Started poker; they told me I
Was sure to win if I'd only try
But soon of poker I'd had enough
My cash went fast and they grabbed it rough
I said 'Cull, this isn't poker it's bluff
And I ain't going to play any more.

Chorus: The Bowery, the Bowery,
A 'poker' red-hot
I discovered I'd got
In the Bowery, the Bowery
I'll never go there any more.


Four to one is an awkward twist
Though I knew how to use my fist
One man's face was a sight to see
But the others knocked spots off of me
I turned my back on the Bowery and
Made a straight track for my native land
I left New York and the Bowery band
And I'll never go back any more.

Chorus: The Bowery, the Bowery,
I'm once again
In my own Brick Lane
Not the Bowery, the Bowery
I'll never go there any more.

 
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Richard Morton's British version.
Performed by Ada Blanche (1862-1953)
 
The Bowery was a seedy, run-down district of New York. The original version of this song was written by Charles H. Hoyt (1849-1900) with music by Percy Gaunt, for the musical show, 'A Trip to Chinatown'. The show toured the country for several years before opening on broadway in 1891. The theme of the above song remains fairly true to the original but the visitor to The Bowery, is now from Whitechapel, London and the words more suited to a British audience.
 
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