TA-RA-RA-BOOM–DE-AY
 
Ta Ra Ra
 
A smart and stylish girl you see
Belle of good society
Not too strict, but rather free
Yet as right as right can be
Never forward, never bold
Not too hot, not too cold
But the very thing, I'm told
That in your arms you'd like to hold.

Chorus: Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay


I'm not extravagantly shy
And when a nice young man is nigh
For his heart I have a try
And faint away with tearful cry
When the good young man, in haste,
Will support me round the waist
I don't come to, while thus embraced
Till of my lips he steals a taste.

Chorus:

I'm a timid flower of innocence
Pa says that I have no sense
I'm one eternal big expense
But men say that I'm just immense
Ere my verses I conclude
I'd like it known and understood
Though free as air, I'm never rude
I'm not too bad and not too good.

Chorus:

You should see me out with Pa
Prim, and most particular
The young men say, 'Ah there you are'
And Pa says ‘That’s peculiar'
'It's like their cheek' I say, and so
Off again with Pa I go
He's quite satisfied - although
When his back is turned - well you know.

Chorus:

When with swells I'm out to dine
All my hunger I resign
Taste the food, and sip the wine
No such daintiness as mine
But when I am all alone
For shortcomings I atone
No old frumps to stare like stone
Chops and chicken on my own.

Chorus:

Sometimes Pa says, with a frown
'Soon you'll have to settle down
Have to wear your wedding gown
Be the strictest wife in town
Well, it must come by and by
When wed, to keep quiet I'll try
But till then I shall not sigh
I shall still go in for my.

Chorus:
 
PDF Sheet Music
 
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Performed by Lottie Collins (1866-1910)
 

There are many different versions of the words and three claimants to the tune: the American Henry Sayers, the Englishman Alfred Moor King and the Frenchman E. Deransart. Richard Morton who wrote the words for this Lottie Collins version, believed the tune was a Balkan folk song taken to America by emigrants.
The song caused a sensation when Lottie sang it in 'Dick Whittington' at 'The Grand Theatre, Islington. With the chorus she did an extremely energetic dance in the French 'can-can' style. This consisted of a series of dramatic high kicks, not easy in long skirt, tight stays and a large, feathered hat. She was encored again and again, sometimes fainting in the wings from sheer exhaustion. It is said that the regular, punishing routine led to her ill health in later years and probably contributed to her early death at the age of 44.

 
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