A MERE DETAIL
 
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When I argue politics, it begins with snacks and snicks
But doesn't always finish in that way
Folks start fighting, kicking, biting
Playful recreations I must say
Week last Monday I met Sloggins
A pugilistic pal I know
Argued strong and lost his temper
Then spared up, What ho!

Chorus: He called me a worm, I did not squirm
Then he called me a rat
Then I replied 'Now stop it or I'll smack you on the hat'
He then made a few remarks which I dare not retail
Then tried to dislocate my ear, but that's a mere detail


In my giddy gushing days when my fascinating ways
Would set each little girlie's heart on fire
This dear Bertie first met Gertie
Swore his heart was breaking - lovely liar
Popped the question - style dramatic
And when the happy day came round
Went to church - but very shortly
I with pleasure found.

Chorus: Her golden hair, hung on a chair - wooden arm unscrewed
And then some other joints came off (Bertie don't be rude)
Married to a timber yard - wholesale Yes and retail
She also had a dozen kids - but that's a mere detail.


I delight in home sweet home - from it never care to roam
I bath the kids and train the beans and peas
Cook the dinner - back a winner
Kill the fowls - and gorgonzola cheese
I've a lodger - tells the tale well
And causes me a lot of strife
Turns his nose up - doesn't like me
He prefers my wife.

Chorus: He breaks my chairs, throws me downstairs, wears my Sunday clothes
Smokes my pipe - and borrows bobs - pulls my blooming nose
Makes my wife sit on his knee - while he tells a sweet tale
He sends me out to buy the beer - but that's a mere detail.


Oft I stay late at my club - that's of course the corner pub
Frequently indulge in wine - and beer
Gush and giggle - rush and wriggle
Kiss the chucker out - and call him dear
Tuesday midnight - wafted homewards
Found the keyhole right
Didn't want to wake the missus
Dare not strike a light.

Chorus: I crawled upstairs - dodged all the chairs - while she slept soundly
Then like a mouse - without a sound into bed I crept
Woke up in the morning and - prepared to tell a neat tale
Then I found t'was not my house at all - but that's a mere detail.
 
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Published 1915
Written & Performed by Harry Clifton (1832-1872)
Performed by George Robey (1869-1954)
 
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Harry Clifton (1824-1872) wrote popular lyrics that always had a moral while being sentimental but not too "mushy;" he became known as the writer of Motto Songs. Born in London and orphaned at a young age, Clifton showed talent for music as a child and began to perform and write music as soon as he was able. While he wrote lyrics for over 500 songs, Clifton often borrowed well-known music to accompany them. Music for "A Motto for Every Man" was borrowed from the "Corn Flower Waltz."
 
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