THE NIGHT I APPEARED AS MACBETH
 
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T'was through a Y.M.C.A concert
I craved a desire for the stage
In Flanders one night I was asked to recite
Gadzooks I was quickly the rage
They said I was better than Irving
And gave me some biscuits and tea
I know its not union wages
But that was the usual fee
Home I came - bought a dress
Appeared in your Theatre and what a success.

Chorus:
I acted so tragic the house rose like magic
The audience yelled "You're sublime"
They made me a present of Mornington Crescent
They threw it a brick at a time
Someone threw a fender which caught me a bender
I hoisted a white flag and tried to surrender
They jeered me, they queered me
And half of them stoned me to death
They threw nuts and sultanas, fried eggs and bananas
The night I appeared as Macbeth.

The play tho' ascribed to Bill Shakespeare
To me lacked both polish and tone
So I put bits in from Miss Elinor Glyn,
Nat Gould, and some bits of my own
The band played the Barber of Seville
And being too long they made cuts
When I entered somewhere in Scotland
And finished in Newington Butts
Oh, the flowers - what a feast
They threw it in bagfulls, self raising and yeast.

Chorus:
I acted so tragic the house rose like magic
I improved the part with a dance
The pit had a relapse, so R.A.M.C. chaps
Were wired for to come back from France
I withdrew my sabre and started to labour
Cried "Lay on MacDuff" to my neighbour
I hollared, "I'm collared
I must reach the bridge or its death"
But they altered my journey, I reached the infirm'ry
The night I appeared in Macbeth.

The advertised time for the curtain
Was six forty-five on the sheet
The hall keeper he having mislaid the key
We played the first act in the street
Then somebody called for the author
"He's dead " said the flute player's wife
The news caused an awful commotion
And gave me the shock of my life
Shakespeare dead - poor old Bill
Why I never knew the poor fellow was ill.

Chorus:
I acted so tragic the house rose like magic
They wished David Garrick could see
But he's in the Abbey, then someone quite shabby
Suggested that's where I should be
Lloyd George and Clemenceau, they both carried on
So the King of the Belgians rushed in with Alfonso
They pleaded - unheeded
And all of them cried in one breath
"There's another war coming if you don't stop humming"
The night I appeared in Macbeth.

Extra Chorus:
I acted so tragic the house rose like magic
I gave them such wonderful thrills
My tender emotion caused such a commotion
The dress circle made out their wills
The gallery boys straining, dropped tears uncomplaining
The pit put umbrellas up, thought it was raining
Some floated - some boated
And five of the band met their death
And the poor programme women
Sold programmes while swimming
The night I appeared as Macbeth.

 
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Written and composed by William Hargreaves - 1922
Performed by Billy Merson (1881-1947)
 
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