IN MY FIRST ‘USBAND’S TIME
 
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When I've 'cleaned' myself and washed the kids
I go and fetch the beer
I like to have a friendly chat
And take in all I hear
'Oh lors a mussy me' I ses
To my neighbour, Mrs Brown
'How things is changing ev'ry day
The world seems upside down.'

Chorus: And when I think of the days that's gone for good
When a gal in my youth and prime
I can see as things is different now
Since my first husband's time.


We've only coffee taverns now
When publics used to be
And Music Halls you'll find will change
For beer they'll give us tea
The swells at the Theatres laugh
At naughty jokes they hear
But them same jokes is wicked
Where there's smoke and drinking beer.

Chorus: For whenever we went to a play, my dear
Or to see a Pantomime
The girls didn't throw their legs so high
Not in my first husband's time.


We all go in for Art, my dear
To do things wrong we're taught
For the gents all lets their hair grow long
While the ladies cut their's short
We sprawl upon the floor instead
Of sitting on our chairs
At sunflowers, dado's, chaney-pots,
We gaze with vacant stares.

Chorus: For we didn't think an old cracked pot 'intense'
Nor an old blue plate 'sublime'
For things as a rule were 'blue' enough
In my first husband's time.


The good old day's departed now
When England's name was feared
Those glories won by field and flood
For ever disappeared
We make our soldiers playthings now
All thirst for glory's vain
For we send them out to face the foe
And call them back again.

Chorus: For when our soldiers went to fight for us
In a far-off distant clime
They didn't come back without having a 'go'
Not in my first husband's time.


Religion now is all a farce
We're in a pretty plight
When pious rogues - converted thieves
Can teach us what is right
With shrieks and yells and blasphemies
And language most profane
We're told that in another world
We all shall meet again.

Chorus: For we didn't have a sermon preached in slang
Nor a hymn like a comic rhyme
And we didn't want to stand on our heads to pray
Not in my first husbands time.


In days gone by, good honest men
Would fight their country's cause
Not rob the poor in freedom's name
Nor live for mere applause
Afraid to strike the blow at first
To make these traitors quail
We wait until the mischief's done
Then clap them into jail.

Chorus: If a man really worked for his country's good
Up the ladder of fame he'd climb
But it wasn't by treason that the trick was done
Not in my first husband's time.
 
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Written and composed by Harry Nicholls - 1882
Performed by Herbert Campbell (1844-1904)
 
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