SERJEANT SHARP OF LINCOLN'S INN
 
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Ahem! ahem! how d'you do?
Gentlemen and ladies too,
There's not a doubt that known to you
Is Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.
Everybody knows my name,
Everyone has heard the fame,
In town or circuit it's the same,
Of Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

SPOKEN... Yes, gentlemen (if I may be allowed the expression) when I look around me and see so many bright intelligent faces, when I behold the beautiful and bright flashing bloom of Bass and Allsopp radiating in a glorious halo around your Grecian straits and Roman bumps, I say, gentlemen (if I may be allowed the expression), that when I observe those unmistakable marks of intelligence, I have no doubt, I cannot doubt but that you have all heard of...

Chorus: Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn,
Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn,
There's none can pitch the blarney in,
Like Sergeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

I think at once I'd better state,
Perhaps before it is too late,
There's nothing at all like six and eight,
About Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.
That figure ne'er woukd do for me,
I never less than guineas see,
From five to fifty is the fee,
For Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

SPOKEN... Yes, gentlemen, my posishun in the profession is far too high for a gem so low as 6s. 8d.; and, gentlemen, if every member of my most honourable profeshun would make it a rule never to answer a single question under five guineas, silly people would not be so eager to rush into law upon every frivolous pretence, as they do now, gentlemen, if I may be allowed the expression; but of course, gentlemen, that is only the private opinion of...

Chorus: Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn,
Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn,
There's none can pitch the blarney in,
Like Sergeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

My clients they all understand,
When once I take their case in hand,
That none a verdict can command,
Like Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.
I'll wager wig and bands and gown,
Although opposing councel frown,
With damages they must come down
To Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

SPOKEN... If there is one word in the English language more beautiful than another it is that expressive word, 'damages'; damages, gentlemen, is the word, par exellence; damages, in short gentlemen, damages.

Chorus: Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn,
Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn,
There's none can pitch the blarney in,
Like Sergeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

I have a famous cause next week,
The case is Brass versus Cheek,
And for the plaintiff I shall speak,
Through the brass I'll get the tin.
My client is a maiden fair,
With turn-up nose and scarlet hair,;
A diappointed love affair,
The sort of case I always win.

SPOKEN... Yes, gentlemen, if there is one time more than another when I feel my eloquence almost too much for me, it is when I am pleading the cause of a lovely woman. I have here a portrait of my fair young client, who has reached the sweet and interesting age of fifty and who has brought her troubles into a court of justice, simply because her friends insist upon it, not for herself of course; and, I believe, gentlemen, there never was a case of this description that ever was brought into a court but through the pressure brought to bear upon the unhappy victims by their friends. This, gentlemen, is the portrait of my wretched client (shows hideous picture of old hag). I have here some poetry, written by the defendant to my fair young friend, which I will read to you...

'Lovely Sarah, what more fairer
Than that lovely form of thine;
If I could press it, how I would bless it,
Say, oh say, that you'll be mine.'

to which my client responded with all the pathos of a sweet confiding heart, in the following expressive lines...

'Dear old Billy, don't be silly,
But go at once and buy the ring;
And come from Shrpsey, to your Popsey,
For, Oh you are a dear old thing.'

Sich is the beautiful language that was breathed to the gay youth, the defendant, who has, I believe, reached the mature age of seventy; and, gentlemen, I leave my case in your hands with the utmost confidence of the result. And, gentlemen, if Sir Roger tichbourn had only placed his case in my hands, whether he was the real Roger, or not, I would soon have placed him in full possession of all his extensive estates at Wapping. But, gentlemen, as my learned friend, the Solicitor General, would say, 'I want you to pay particular attention to what I am about to ask you, ahem! Would it surprise you to know that the real Sir Roger has not been found yet? And would you be surprised to hear that the celebrated Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn is especially retained for the real Sir Roger? And, gentlemen, would it surprise you to hear that the real Sir Roger Tichbourn is no other than the 'Great Vance?'

Chorus: Serjeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn,
Lincoln's Inn, Lincoln's Inn,
There's none can pitch the blarney in,
Like Sergeant Sharp of Lincoln's Inn.

 
Trivia1

The Industrial Revolution led to the development of the middle classes and to more people entering the professions. Music Hall songs specialised in parodying those who were social climbers. Here Alfred 'The Great' Vance caricatures a lawyer, wearing his recognisable robes and wig. Every barrister in London belongs to one of a number of ancient societies. Lincoln's Inn in Holborn is one of the most prestigious, the square in which it stands was designed by Inigo Jones and during the 18th and 19th Centuries it was the most fashionable square in which to be seen.

Trivia3
 
Written and composed by Walter Greenaway & Alfred Lee - 1872
Performed by Alfred Vance (1838-1888)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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