THE COFFEE SHOP IN PIMLICO
 
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To my Brother Sam who live's up in Battersea
Once I was invited there to take a cup of tea
By the river I did go, just to have a blow
And there I met a lovely girl, down in Pimlico.

Chorus: She let me know, she let me know
That her mother kept a coffee shop down in Pimlico
She let me know, she let me know,
Hi ho, My lovely girl, down in Pimlico.


I said, 'Where are you going.' She looked at me so very keen
Her eyes they were the brightest and the loveliest I had ever seen
She answered, 'I wonder if you know, perhaps, sir, you can show
Me the way to Dean Street, Frith Street, Soho.'

Chorus:

I offered her my arm, she took it saying, 'Thank you sir.'
For quite some time I could not speak, but kept looking hard at her
Until I'm sure that you must know, we had left Pimlico
And were going through St James's Park to Dean Street, Soho.

Chorus:

The Park was rather dull so I thought I'd have a bit of fun
I gently pressed her arm and with these words I thus began
'Pray, miss, if I go with you to Soho
Will you take me to your coffee shop, down in Pimlico?'

Chorus:

The answer you may guess, when I tell you we went to the shop
Introduced to mother by the daughter I was asked to stop
To take a cup of tea or coffee, best Mocca chocolate
Or what I liked? So I preferred cocoa.

Chorus:

They let out lodgings to young men, so they prevailed upon me to stay
So I left my own appartment, to the coffee shop I went next day
With my box of clothes, some books, and boots also
I left in the second pair back at the shop in Pimlico.

Chorus:

For a week I lived in happiness, I had not a thought or care
Till one day I returned home, by jove, I found the brokers there
They had seized my box of clothes, all I said I found no go
They were sold to pay the rent for the shop in Pimlico.

Chorus:

So all young men take care, when you go to Battersea
Beware of dark-eyed girls, their mother, and their flattery
Remember me, my loss, for my clothes are gone you know
Through lodgings at a coffee shop down in Pimlico.
 
Trivia1

Comic songs were often performed as mock advice for gentlemen, warning them of the dangers of falling in love and trusting innocent looking girls. This song tells the tale of a young girl whose mother owned one of the fashionable coffee shops in Pimlico. After being introduced to her daughter's suitor, the girl's mother decides he can move into one of the rooms that they let out. However the bailiffs arrive and confiscate all his belongings leaving him penniless and homeless. Audiences would have been familiar with songs like this and would have laughed at his misfortune.

Trivia3
 
Written, composed and performed by Frank Bell (1830-1882)
 
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