THE LAY OF THE VERY LAST MINSTREL
 
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( The music for this song changes from one couplet to another )

Oh I am a tenore robusto,
And can sing every note on the stave
In a voice that comes straight from my chest, oh
Let the subject be merry or grave
I can warble in tones soft and dulcet,
In praise of my lady's bright eyes
Or can take the chest 'C' in a war song
With a shout that can bring down the skies

Top-notes by night, top-notes by day (tune: Bay of Biscay)
In a way that's risky, O

All declared that my voice was a wonder
That with such I had nothing to fear
I might throw up my berth in the office
Just a paltry three hundred a year
It would be such a loss to the public
Not to hear such a fine tenor voice
So I yielded, and hence my decision
To make the 'profession' my choice.

England expects a man with a voice (tune: Death of Nelson)
Shall not conceal it's beauty
Shall not conceal it's beauty

Tho' I advertised oft 'I am waiting'
No response came for ever so long
Till one morning there came an engagement
To sing at a concert one song
'Twas a chance not to lose, or be slighted
I rejoiced it had come in my way
'Twas to aid a new 'Refuge for Spinsters'
And for charity - therefore no pay.

They are the darlings of my heart (tune: Sally in our Alley)
Forth to their aid I'll sally.

They had Lloyd, also Sims Reeves, and Santley
With Nilsson, and Foli, the tall
Madame Patey, and Antoinette Sterling
With me, in the Royal Albert Hall
How I revelled, O how I would 'fetch them'
Thanked the gods for the gifts they did send
Till I happened to look at the programme
And found my song quite at the end.

Quite late you'll find me in the evening (tune: My Pretty Jane)
While the gloom is in mine eye.

Long before the last part of the concert
The people were leaving in streams
To catch the last train from the station
They vanished as ghosts do in dreams
And though I sang like an angel
And gave them my famous chest 'C'
Not a soul turned his head from the door-way
Or took the least notice of me.

Rude to a tenor! To comment I disdain (tune: Rule Britannia)
Here I'll never, never, never sing again.
 
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Written and composed by Charles J Rowe & Lovett King - 1890
 
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