HALF PAST TWELVE
 
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I sing a song of London and the people it contains
From simpletons with empty skulls to sharpers full of brains
I'll mention first the 'moucher' who imbibes with one and all
And not until it's 'closing time' for any drink will call.

Chorus: Why does he want a little bit more, about half past twelve?
Why is he ready with money galore, about half past twelve?
Simply because it's too late to pay out then in his pocket he'll delve
Men such as he are so eager to pay, about half past twelve.

One night at Euston Station I observed a man rush in
As though some heavy wager he'd made up his mind to win
His train, the last as off it puffs, he through the wicket sees
Then starts on his devotions with a string of big big D's.

Chorus: Why does he stamp on the platform and swear, about half past twelve?
Why like a maniac does he tear his hair, about half past twelve?
Simply because the twelve-thirty he's missed and into strange diggings must delve
He went out and swore at a coffee house door at about half past twelve.

The 'Blue Bells of Scotland' have been honoured by the bard
Let me now sing and praise the big 'Blue Swells ' of Scotland Yard
Our helmeted protector is a watchful as a lynx
But where he puzzles me is this - he scarcely ever drinks.

Chorus: Why is the bobby so close to the pub, about half past twelve?
Why is his bull's eye so close to the tub, about half past twelve?
Simply because he's no more than a man and thirst cannot manage to shelve
He bundles us out and he then may go in, about half past twelve.

A gas-lit London pictuire next I'll paint in modest tints
'Tis that of a young lady who, with luring looks and hints
Upon your homeward road you meet when midnight's hour is past
And wonder when she walks so slow how folks can call her 'fast'

Chorus: Why does she give you her sunniest smile, about half past twelve?
Why does she murmur of 'waiting awhile', about half past twelve?
Simply that you may develop your mind and in moral philosophy delve
Girls of her stamp are excessively kind, about half past twelve.

 
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Performed by G.H. MacDermott (1845-1901)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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