I've got a terrible tale to relate.
My ma-ln-law who lives with us,
Fell on the fire last Saturday week,
The wife cried and made such a fuss;

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
I said, "What's the matter Maria?"
Said she, "Mother's burning! Oh! what shall I do?"
I said, "Put some more coals on the fire."

ln India's jungle I went hunting game,
And while for a rest I did pause,
A man-eating tiger seized me in his grip,
And got my head right in his jaws.

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
That monster I grabbed with a shriek,
I ripped him in two, when my wife cried, "You fool,
That's the fourth blanket you've torn this week."

In Africa once I'd a terrible fright,
I sat 'neath the shade of a palm,
A big yellow snake curled itself round my waist,
And several more crept up my arm.

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
I seized a big prong from the hedge,
I fought with those snakes for seven hours and a half,
The next morning I signed the pledge."

At night for my supper I'd half a mince pie,
My dream was a nightmare indeed,
I saw Venus rise up half-way from the foam,
Just dressed in a piece of sea-weed.

Chorus: Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
It really was most impolite,
I saw half of Venus through half a mince pie,
I'm having a whole pie to-night!"

I always get blamed for whatever occurs,
At the battle of Timbuctoo - three;
A shot from the enemy passed through my arm,
And killed the poor chap behind me;

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
His widow blamed me for the lot,
She said, as the bullet passed through my arm first
It was through me her husband was shot.

My brother Jim had a cold in his chest,
And his tonsils both started to swell,
So he took a spoonful of cod liver oil,
But swallowed the teaspoon as well.

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
It gave poor old Jim quite the spur,
He feels a lot worse, for he told me last night,
Since he swallowed that 'Spoon' he can't 'stir'.

My wife thinks of nothing but what she shall wear,
She thinks about dress the clock round,
Wherever she is and wherever she's not,
She's thinking of dress I'll be bound.

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
When she even goes bathing, alack,
She's simply got nothing but 'Clothes' on her mind,
I wish she'd put more on her 'back'.

In lodgings my brother Jim used to be,
He lived in a little back room,
His landlady, she was a widow, who used
To walk in her sleep in the gloom:

Chorus: "Oh! Oh! It's a terrible tale,
She walked into Jim's room, I vow,
He got such a fright that he left the next night,
That's the reason I'm lodging there now."

Written and composed by Worton David and Sam Mayo - 1908
Performed by Sam Mayo (1875-1938)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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