Not long ago I visited Japan;
That's where I became a married man;
Took a little walk, met a little girl,
Had a little talk, brain in a whirl.
Went to her house, had a cup of tea,
In came her father, looked at me,
Faithfully promised to take my life
If I didn't make his girl my wife.
A nice old trouble I'm in, you see,
With japanese life, I don't agree;
A nice old mug they've made of me,
I'm a mixed up, half and half, poor japanese.

Chorus: My japanese wife gives me nothing else but ching chang,
But I only sling slang,
Then she gives me bing bang.
All day long upon the tom-tom you should hear her ting tang,
Sing-a-song-a-ding-a-dong of Japan.

In Japan, as everyone knows,
Everything by contrary goes;
Whatever you do in this island tight,
We, in Japan, do the opposite.
You call me a friend and ring at the bell,
We pull the knob, it's just as well;
You take a cab or you take a 'bus,
We let a bus or a cab take us.
The food they eat, oh, dear! oh, my!
Dead pussy cat and cobweb pie.
The ladies have such tiny feet,
They always ride when they walk in the street.


In Japan, as everyone knows,
Everything by contrary goes;
You go and swim in water but we
Swim in the river, lake or the sea;
You write a letter, you start at the top,
From left to right till you have to stop;
We commence at bottom of the page,
To do things backwards is the rage;
When there's a funeral, you wear black,
We put white things on our back.
And other strange things explain if I can,
In that far off, upside-down Japan.

Spoken: You know, I'm not a Japanese; I'm only half-and-half. I went out there as a tea merchant but the man I bought the plants off, he made a mistake and gave me rhubarb. Of course, I couldn't sell it. I tried to pass it off as a new kind of season shou-shou; but no good. I sold half-an-ounce to one man and he came back with a revolver. But there was a man who kept a ginger beer factory next door to my plantation and a very nice man he was. he used to throw all his broken bottles in my plantation. One morning I was watering the shou-shou, when I looked up and saw a ladies head peeping over the wall, at first I couldn't tell whether it was a ladies head or a small dog, because everything's so different in Japan. So I went on watering the shou-shou and the lady drew my attention with a piece of loose wall and when I turned round she winked at me; she winked with her ear, not her eye, they do everything opposite in Japan. So I walked over to her, I walked backwards to make people think I was coming away and she invited me into the house to have a cup of Japanese delight. I hadn't sat down two minutes before her father walked in. As soon as he saw me he pulled out a sword about two foot long and remarked, 'Young Man, sit down.' Well, I looked at him, then at the sword and from the look of the two of 'em, I thought, 'He don't want to kiss me, that's certain.' So I remarked, if it was all the same, I'd rather take a little walk. It was no good; he shut the door and pulled out his cheese cutter again. I sat down, it was no good arguing with a knife like he'd got. Then he said, 'Young man, you must marry Lung-Lung.' That was his daughter's name... but I called her One Lung for short and I told him that I was married already and I'd got a family and I couldn't marry her... but he took no notice and pulled out his cheese-taster again. That decided the queation, I married his daughter. But it was funny, everything's so different in Japan. Fancy walking to church on your hands and people tickling your feet all along the street; then when you're married, you have to turn round three times and kiss the bride; I turned round three times and fell in the spittoon. But everything is so different in Japan and the girls are so different to our girls. In Japan, they ask the men for presents... so different to our girls, they take 'em without asking, I notice.Then they have such little feet in Japan, so different to our girls and if you go for a walk in Japan, you have to ride. And here, our cats have tails; in Japan they have kittens. We cut a slice of bread and put the butter on the top; they don't, they cut the bread, put the butter underneath, and turn it over. You have relations in this country; the relations have us in Japan, everything's so different. But I wouldn't care if my wife could only change her Japan temper, for all day long...


Written and composed by Richard Morton & George Le Brunn - 1895
Performed by Dan Leno (1860-1904)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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