HE FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS IN THE BOOK
 
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We are most of us familiar with that class of literature,
Which seedy individuals deliver at the door:
Those little works which tell of thirty thousand things they cure,
If you follow the directions in the book.
Or you get one full of praises of a 'Substitute for eggs;'
Which also makes a polish for your chair or table legs;
Or a soothing draught for Baby when he's cutting toosy-pegs,
If you follow the directions in the book.
But be careful not to leap before you look;
Do not try on other folk the things you cook;
For a pudding made of batter
May become a hanging matter,
Though you've followed the directions in the book.

Sidney Sims, a newly married man, got one of these one day;
'Twas about a Baking Powder which made cooking 'simply play
So he purchased some, and made a pie while wifie was away;
And he followed the directions in the book.
Well, expecting her home early, and to make it quickly rise,
He put into it a packet of the very largest size;
And he placed it in the oven, not the handsomest of pies,
But he'd followed the directions in the book.
Through a hole up in the roof they vainly look
For Sidney, and the pie he went to cook;
And the neighbours have the notion
From the hole and the explosion,
That he followed the direction of the book.

Another husband, being left to put the twins to bed,
Picked up a little booklet, and, much interested, read,
A way to clean a pair of kids with benzoline and bread,
If you followed the directions in the book.
He got a cottage loaf and half a pint of benzoline,
But suspended operations when Mamma came on the scene,
To try if he could mend a broken head with seccotine,
If he followed the directions in the book.
Then he grabbed his hat and coat from off the hook
And for stuff to soothe his feelings went to look,
He came home in a condition
Which aroused a strong suspicion
That he'd swallowed the directions in the book.

Once I knew a nervous chappy, who the question wished to pop,
But the presence of the lady always made him fit to drop,
So at last he went and bought 'The Art of Courtship' at a shop,
And he studied the directions in the book.
He learnt his little speech, and sought an opportunity,
And offered her his hand and heart while kneeling on his knee;
'Twas a horrible fiasco as a feat of memory,
But he followed the directions in the book.
Well, she gave him just one shy and modest look;
Then she led him to a quiet shady nook,
And said, 'If you love me, Bertie,
Kiss me twice and call me Gertie!
Then go on with the directions in the book.'

 
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Written and composed by Nelson Jackson & Charles H. Taylor - 1912
Performed by Nelson Jackson (b. 1879)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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