I COULDN'T EXERT MYSELF
 
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I never could exert myself to any great extent
To shake hands with a friend I'm sure...
Would lay me up for a week or more.
Whilst golfing near my country seat and strolling in the grounds
I caught a poacher poaching eggs, he said, 'Let's have three rounds.'

Chorus: I couldn't exert myself to that extent
He could fight, I knew, his eyebrows both were bent
He said, 'Pull my nose, you fool.'
But he'd got no nose to pull
So I couldn't exert myself to that extent.

With burning passion once I loved a maiden for herself
My love gushed forth in potent flames
I called her 'Pet' and other names
Her form divine - just six foot two - I barely reached her waist
So when she said, 'Come kiss me, George' I didn't show much haste.

Chorus: I couldn't exert myself to that extent
I'd have to climb a chair, 'twas evident
So I kissed her hand - in wrath -
But her face was further North
So I couldn't exert myself to that extent.

Last night some beastly burglars broke into our butler's room
To steal our plate they had a shot
A tin plate, still it's all we 've got
I ran down in my night attire, and just observed the man
Run down the gravel path remarking, 'Catch me if you can.'

Chorus: I couldn't exert myself to that extent
So to watch his flight I had to be content
For my feet and head were bare
And someone might shout, 'There's hair.'
So I couldn't exert myself to that extent.

Last season up at Henley - I'd a house-boat - for an hour
It wasn't quite a house-boat - though
It came out of a boat-house, so
Whilst rowing round, a dear old pal of mine began to shout
'Help Help, I'm drowning - I can't swim.' I could have got him out but,

Chorus: I couldn't exert myself to that extent
If I saved his life the deed I might repent
'Twas a shame to let him drown
Still - I owed him half-a-crown
So I couldn't exert myself to that extent.

 
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Written and composed by C.G. Cotes & George Robey - 1902
Performed by George Robey (1869-1954)
From monologues.co.uk - Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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