THE NIGHT I PLAYED RICHARD THE THIRD
 
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I always had a fancy to come out upon the stage,
So I and half a dozen pals of mine,
One and all decided that as acting was the rage,
We'd come out in the heavy, tragic line.
We saved up all our money and bought some acting props,
And studied up a tragedy or two,
And made our first appearance but I'll make a level bet,
They won't forget the night of my debut.

Chorus: When I walked upon the stage and in a voice of thunder said,
Deliver up the treacle pot or off goes your head;
My acting was terrific and upon my word,
You couldn't tell whether the character was,
Dick Turpin or Richard the Third.

The audience were frantic with amusement and delight,
My acting fairly carried them away,
For when they saw me draw my sword and rave with all my might,
They all stood up and shouted out,'Hooray!'
Of course, I got excited when I heard so much applause,
And thought, ah, now's the time to make a hit,
And so I did, I stuck my sword in Tommy Jones's eye,
And threw poor Billy Spiffings in the pit.

Chorus:

We got on very nicely 'til the last act of the play,
When somehow or other we got mixed,
The actors all forgot their parts and scarce knew what to say,
We stood like a lot of dummies fixed.
The audience got the needle and began to stamp and swear,
Made noises like a baby with the croup!
And to make it worse, the scenery, all tumbled down and there
Was Spiffings, playing banker with the supe.

Chorus:
 
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Written and composed by Walter Gilbert - 1890
Performed by Fred Harvey (1856-1895)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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