THE LANGUAGE OF LONDON TOWN
 
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London language, what a mixture, you can hear from high and low
From the 'By Jove' of the masher, to the coster's loud 'What-'o.'
Hear the banter of the cabmen - 'Cab sir? Give yerself a treat
Goin' to walk? should think so, 'cos no cab 'ud hold your feet.'

Chorus: 'Hansom, Euston - be sharp' says a gent slim and tall
'Hurry up.' and the cab goes away at a crawl
'There, you scoundel! I've just missed my train, after all.'
With a grin see the cabman get down
'Half-a-crown - come back, Mister - not even a drink?
It's a bad 'un! Lor' lummy - he's off in a twink
Done me. May I be topped! - Strike me perishing pink!'
That's the language of London Town.


Up the West End an old gent saunters, ladies whisper, 'There you are'
And one saucy minx says, 'Look girls, Bless my soul! here's dear old Pa
Come on, Pa, and stand a tiddley - Maude and Flo, you come as well.'
'Where 'm I going?' says the old boy, 'To the Metropole Hotel.'

Chorus: Arm in arm with the girls he goes sailing away
While the busmen say, 'Girls, found another jay?'
At his hotel he stops, says, 'I wish you good day.'
And he hands each a tract with a frown.
'Stand the bottle you promised! You say you did not?
Why for two pins I'd goffer your hat - don't talk rot
You're a bally old fraud, and you ought to be shot.'
That's the language of London Town.


Hear the gods at the theatre, say the 'Surrey' or the 'Brit'
'What-'o, Bill! that ain't your missis you've got with you in the pit
Left her home and brought the slavey?' Thus goes the merry chaff
While the intervals they fill up with cold trotters and four-half.

Chorus: Hear the fellow who's seen the same play once before
'That's the saw-mills, the villain's a-goin to 'sore'
That poor chap right in halves' - 'You don't say so, good Lor'!'
'Yus but, don't yer see, he gits done brown
For a little kid pops through the floor from below
Saves the 'ero and ev'ry one else, don't you know
Shoots the villun - yus 'ere comes the kiddie - brayvo'
That's the language of London Town.


On the curb a poor old fellow tries to sing an old love-song
Vainly thinking to get halfpence from the passing, jeering throng
'Take that voice right home and boil it.' says a thoughtless, careless lad
But a strong mechanic strolls up saying, 'What's the matter, dad?'

Chorus: 'My poor wife home is dying for want of a crust
Forty years we've been wed - years of love, faith and trust
In the workhouse they'd part us - but, sir, we'd die fust.'
And big tears on his face trickle down
The mechanic his hat takes and puts in a 'bob'
To the crowd says, 'Brass up, you what's in a good job
Here you are! five-and-six dad - God bless yer old knob.'
That's the language of London Town.
 
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Written and composed by E.W. Rogers - 1898
Performed by Arthur Lennard (1867-1954)
 
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