IN THE PALE MOONLIGHT
 
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In the pale moonlight, in the Isle of Wight;
A gay young spark met Flossie;
He was neatly dressed in his Sunday best,
And his hat was new and glossy.
Said he, 'My pet, I'm a baronet;
My income's very great, dear.'
I've just come down from my house in town,
To buy a new estate, dear.'
Said she, 'My Pa is a millionaire;
We've a beatiful mansion in Grosvenor Square.'

Chorus: And they walked and talked together in the pale moonlight;
Each told the other such a fairy tale.
He was but a tailor's fitter, and the girl a stocking knitter.
Can you wonder that the moon looked pale?

In the pale moonlight, on a frosty night;
In a house two burglars creeping.
They had brought a bag to contain the swag,
Said one, 'I fink they're sleeping.'
Then a safe they saw, with an iron door,
They started operating;
With all their might they worked that night,
But Oh, 'twas aggravating!
They heard a noise, in a chest they hid,
But what did they see when they raised the lid?

Chorus: An old man passed close by them in the pale moonlight,
Undid the safe with fingers thin and frail.
What a bitter disappointment, it was full of pills and ointment,
Can you wonder that the moon looked pale?

In the pale moonlight, on a starry night,
Augustus James Fitz-Noodle,
Through a forest strayed with a pretty maid,
To enjoy a nice canoodle.
Said Gus to her, 'I'm an officer,'
And then he told a story,
How he'd faced the foe in war, you know,
How he'd fought for England's glory.
Said he, 'I've medals about a score,
And I've scars I received in the Soudan war.'

Chorus: And she thought he was a hero in the pale moonlight,
She trembled as she listened to the tale.
Next day she met the dear, dressed as a volunteer,
And Gussie, like the the moon, looked pale.

It was Derby day and the world looked gay,
'Twas crowded on the race-course.
And amidst the crowd with their voices loud,
The bookies lay'd each race-horse.
Now Johnny Brown came up from town,
To do his bit of bettin',
But strange to say, throughout the day,
Each time he had been let in,
He puts his last shilling on 'Do-Be-Quick'
And finds, like his money, it's 'down the nick',

Chorus: See him tramping back to London in the pale moonlight,
Not a penny left to buy a glass of ale.
Then the rain falls helter-skelter, he is five miles from a shelter,
And his language makes the moon look pale!

In the pale moonlight, rather late at night,
A troubadour was straying.
And he sang, 'My Queen.' while his mandoline,
Some other tune was playing.
Then he yelled, 'My Dove, my lady love!'
To the window of the mansion
Till his throat grew dry and he heaved a sigh,
When the strings broke through expansion.
He shrieked, 'Come into the garden, Maud.'
But the 'Natural A' broke his vocal chord.

Chorus: Then a bobby came alongside in the pale moonlight,
And said, 'Your beastly singing won't avail,
Those girls, you can't beguile 'em!
That's a deaf and dumb asylum!'
Do you wonder that the moon turned pale?

In the pale moonlight, it was Christmas night,
Upon a doorstep sleeping,
A tiny mite, so thin and white,
Lay secure in dreamland's keeping.
He dreamt of health and glorious wealth,
With everything to cheer him,
He thought he saw his dad once more,
With mother standing near him.
He plainly heard the sweet words she spoke,
He thought that she kissed him, and then awoke!

Chorus: A policeman stood beside him in the pale moonlight,
'Move on or else I'll cart you off to jail!'
Of mother he'd been dreaming, Tears down his cheeks were streaming,
Do you wonder that the moon looked pale?

In the pale moonlight, 'twas an awful sight,
Upon a field of battle.
Lay boys in red who'd fought and bled,
Amidst the din and rattle.
Now the fight was done the victory wone,
And on that field so gory,
Were the boys who fought as Britons ought,
For country, home and glory.
It's British courage, it's deeds like these
Makes England the mistress of land and seas,

Chorus: It was sad to see the wounded in the pale moonlight,
Enough to make the boldest spirit quail,
A drummer-boy lay dying, 'Rule Britannia!' he was crying,
Died for England in the moonlight pale.

 
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Written and composed by Nat. Clifford - 1898
Performed by Vesta Tilley (1864-1952)
Performed by Harriett Vernon (1852-1923)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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