THE BUSY BEE
or 'Which Bee Wright & Which Be Wrong'
 
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Behold a' agen female who's
Been almost brought to ruins,
All through a good kind hearted man
And his officious doin's
On Sundays I could sell my fruit
And no one seemed to mind,
But the busy bee flopped down on me
And three times I've been fined.

Chorus: How doth the Reverend Busy Bee,
Improve each shining hour,
By worritin' and harrassin' and finin' and embarrasin'
The hard, hard working poor.

Six days a week were not enough
As sure as my names Grundy,
I barely manage to exist
By selling of a Sunday,
Why cant 'e tackle them rich coves
Wot keeps their open shop,
And not be down on us poor folk
And our living try to stop.

Chorus:

It seems to me, of us poor folk
He wants to make a clearance,
But do you call it charity
This wretched interference.
Let Parliament decide the pint
By a Sunday Trading Bill,
And then I'll give in like a lamb
But till then I never will.

Chorus:

He may be right (Bee Wright.) he may be wrong
By causing all this riot,
But whether he be right or wrong,
I wish he would be quiet.
I don't think that 'e can be right
Or his error he would see;
I fancy he'd his humming stop
And become an humble bee.

Spoken after the 4th verse - Ah, its wery 'ard on the strugglin poor, you may laugh, but wots fun to you is death to us; - Three times I've been fined as sure as I'm a lady. -The first time I was found it was only a sixpence, but the third time it was five bob; Tho' I will say that his wasup, the magingstrate was loth to do it. Why does the busy Bee select them wot can least afford to be found? I assure you on the word of a lady that if it wasn't for dispogin' of my fruit and wegi-bubles on a Sunday that I couldn't live, I couldn't indeed.
I wish I was a M. P. that's all. l'd make a act to put sich people in the river, I would. Don't 'e say as 'ow 'e's a workin' to stop Sunday tradin'? and don't 'e go about on a Sunday a doin' of it? Then 'e's workin' on a Sunday and ought to be found too. - Is that what you call charity and religion? Wot, wi' the perlice a moving us on wi' our barrers on week days and the busy Bee a buzzin' round us on Sundays, I dont know what it'll end in, but I'm afraid it'll be the work'us.

Chorus:

 
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Written and composed by Arthur Lloyd - 1873
Performed by Arthur Lloyd (1840 - 1904)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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