I'VE BEEN DOWN TO THE RACES
 
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I've been down to the races for the first time in my life,
A fellow in Soho said, 'You back so and so.'
I hadn't got the necessary £.s.d; but still,
I borrowed twenty quid, I did, from my old gov'nor's till.
To get the day, I went and told the boss,
With blushes, oh! so red, I wanted to get wed.
I reached the course and in about two shakes,
I put my ten quid on 'Butcher' for 'The Leg-of-Mutton stakes.'

Chorus: I've been down to the races to back the favourite horse,
Started off in a Pullman car, puffing away at a big cigar;
But I walked it home, as true as I'm alive,
The gee-gee started at 'twenty to one', but didn't get home till five.

I bought a card for sixpence and I saw the numbers up,
And when the bet was done, 'twas twenty pounds to one;
I went into the guinea ring and like a lord I sat,
A big cigar stuck in my mouth and two dolls in my hat.
The bell went, 'Dong' we shouted, 'Now they're off!'
My heart was in a thrill, as they tore down the hill;
When suddenly my gee-gee gave me fits,
It stopped dead halfway up the course and tried to do the splits.

Chorus:

The people cheered my gee-gee as the jockey walked him home.
Two policemen, oh! so kind, were shoving up behind;
I called the horse a naughty name and shed a silent tear,
Then sold my pair of glasses for some glasses full of beer.
I called indoors as I went home that night,
And there I found a card from,'Snooks of Scotland Yard.'
And that means 'time' my heart is full of aches,
And I can see myself in Portland on the 'Bread-and-water stakes.

Chorus:

 
PDF Sheet Music
 
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Written and composed by A.J. Mills & F.W. Carter - 1899
Performed by Leonard Barry
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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