POLLY PERKINS OF PADDINGTON GREEN
(0r Broken Hearted Milkman)
 
Polly Perkins
 
I'm a broken hearted milkman in grief I'm arrayed
Through keeping the company of a young servant maid
Who lived on board and wages the house to keep clean
In a gentleman's family, in Paddington Green.

Chorus: For she was as beautiful as a butterfly and proud as a queen
Was pretty little Polly Perkins of Paddington Green.

When I'd rattle in the morning and cry “Milk below”
At the sound of my milk cans her face she did show
With a smile upon her countenance and a laugh in her eye
If I'd thought that she loved me I'd have laid down to die.

Chorus:

Her eyes were as black as the pips of a pear
No rose in the garden her cheeks could compare.
Her hair hung in ringlets so beautiful and long
I thought that she loved me but found I was wrong.

Chorus:

When I asked her to marry me she said “Oh what stuff”
And told me to drop it, for she'd had quite enough
Of my nonsense. At the same time I'd been very kind
But to marry a milkman she didn't feel inclined.

Chorus:

“The man that has me must have silver and gold
A chariot to ride in and be handsome and bold
His hair must be curly as any watch spring
And his whiskers as big as a brush for clothing.

Chorus:

The words that she uttered went straight through my heart
I sobbed and I sighed and I straight did depart
With a tear on my eyelid as big as a bean
I bid farewell to Polly and Paddington Green.

Chorus:

In six months she married, that hardhearted girl
But it was not a mi-lord and it was not an Earl
It was not a baronet but a shade or two wuss
It was a bow-legged conductor of a twopenny bus.

Chorus:
 
Trivia1

Music Hall songs were not written for the critic, the intellectual or scholar, they were for the people in the 'pit', the audience. Audiences were not afraid to shout their disapproval and even when enjoying the performance heckling was common. Simple humour and tragedy were the most popular topics, songs about the 'mother in law' and 'unrequited love', were popular, as is the case here. Choruses had to be simple and catchy so that everyone could join in, and the characters satirised by the performers had to be familiar so that anyone could sympathise with them.

Trivia3
 
Written and performed by Harry Clifton (1824-1872)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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