THE HARDWARE LINE
 
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Yes, my old dad was a money making notary
And, sipping his wine, has often told
That woman was a riddle aad marriage a lottery,
And wives at the Altar were bought and sold.
His reason for this I cannot divine,
For it was not the case with the wife of mine,
She'd a father and a mother and a sister and a brother.
And they all got a living in the Hardware line.

The words that he utter'd caused quite a panic
In my youthful mind, so I soon did decide
To cut broad cloth, and, in the garb of a mechanic,
From the unwash'd multitude seek a bride,
'Twas there I found this wife of mine,
When I laid my heart at Cupid's shrine,
She'd a father, and a mother, and a sister, and a brother
And they all got a living in the Hardware line.

Ev'ry town and village I did rummage 'em,
England, Ireland, and Scotland through,
Till at last I came to the good old town of Brummagem,
A second edition of the Wand'ring Jew ;
'Twas there I lost this heart of mine
To one of the gender feminine ;
She'd a father and a mother and a sister and a brother.
And they all got a living in the Hardware line.

Her brother was a gunsmith, her sister was a burnisher,
Her mother made buttons at three-pence a gross,
Her father he plated harness furniture,
She kept the books of profit and loss;
Three months for her did I waste and pine,
Before I asked her to resign ;
Her father and her mother, her sister and her brother
That all got a living in the Hardware linHer father, etc.

She's a first rate hand at a brewing or a baking,
She can knit silk purses, or make mince pies,
Her bonnets and her dresses are all her own making,
Her home-made bread takes all by surprise;
Champagne or Claret from the banks of the Rhine
Can't be compared to her Gooseberry wine,
Tho' she's a father and a mother and a sister and a brother,
And they all get a living in the Hardware line.

My days they pass in one round of pleasure,
I feel as if I should never grow old,
For a wife that is good is a priceless treasure,
And more to a man than silver and gold;
Far better than a useless lady-fine,
Is this busy, merry, cheerful little wife of mine,
Tho' she's a father and a mother and a sister and a brother,
And they all get a living in the Hardware line.

 
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Written and composed by Harry Clifton & Andrew Banks - 1865
Performed by Harry Clifton (1832-1872)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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