CALLED TO THE BAR
 
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Poets say when fortune's taken at the flood, to fame it leads
Mark the youth of modern culture, where he fails and where succeeds
All parental love can offer is spent freely for his sake
Father's mother's self denial, their boy's name to make
Nothing spared on education, cleverly each prize he gains
Will he realise the promise, and reward them for their pains?

Refrain: Now his student days are past
And he dons the silk at last
Wig and gown, and thoughtful face
Pleads with telling speech the case
Nothing his success can mar
Now that he's called to the Bar.


In his chambers, midnight orgies, passes he with chosen friends
Gambling - Bacarat they teach him, anything to gain their ends
He, who never drank too deeply, now with drink his eyes aflame
'Fifty pounds! The eight wants beating! Say a hundred on the game'
Lost again! cursed my luck is! You'll have to take my I.O.U.
No more! I'm off to meet my fairy, at the Horse Shoe I am due.

Refrain: Ha, sweet girl, dear Flo' How do?
A green Chartreuse to pull me through
This flower? 'Twas bought for you my pet
I've had those diamond ear-rings set
Flossie's his attractive star
Since he's been called to that bar!


In a moment of temptation, pressed for reckless gambling debts
He, his father's good name forges, all their past love he forgets
Mixed with felons at the sessions, chaffed by many a hardened wretch
'What's the 'toff' done, bit o' writing? he's all right for seven 'stretch'
'Me! I've got a champion lawyer, pals got up a friendly lead.'
He stands there all undefended who for others used to plead

Refrain: Eyes cast down in deep disgrace
Lest they meet his father's face
'Are you guilty? Speak the word'
Hear him whisper, 'Yes, my Lord'
He's from hope of rescue far
Since he's been called to that Bar!


Hear the iron throated midnight peal across the misty gloom
Sits he with conscience only, all else silent as the tomb
'She too_whom I loved must sell me when the money ceased to flow
Would I live the same life over if I had my freedom? No!
Hark! the jailor with a letter_ thanks, ah! all have not forgot
Will the news be good or evil? shall I open it or not?'

Refrain: 'Poor old father, slain by me!
This small phial shall set me free!
To the great unknown I'll leap (drinks)
'Now then prisoner, still asleep? (noise of keys and bolts)
Passed from earthly justice far
He's called to the last great Bar.
 
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Performed by Arthur Combes (1855-1941)
 
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