THAT'S WORK
 
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How very hard some people work!
A policeman on night duty,
How many arear he'll search,
For England, Home and Beauty.
Directly sergeant's turned his back,
He seeks his favourite slavey,
And in the kitchen sits down, full
Of beef and beer and gravy.

Patter: Ah, cooky! Raw night tonight out, so I've come to cook it. What's on tonight? Fowl and ham pie? You're a darling! Fried sole? Oh, you angel! Bottled beer? Oh, you pet! Apple tart? Really, if you put so much on the table I shall love you to death. What's that? Fight on? Policeman wanted to stop it? Not me! I'll wait till they've killed each other and then I'll weigh in with the ambulance. Ta-ta, darling! I'll be round in the morning for another feed. What's this? Pub, shutting up? Come, you're after time, you know. What say?... Yus!... Scotch hot. Yus, I suppose my watch is a bit fast. Here's luck!

Chorus: That’s work! that’s work!
More fit for a nigger or a Turk,
A post girl’s life’s all woe and strife,
And work, work, work, work, work!

The overworked Post Office girl,
Is one of this world's drudges;
A heavy swell has just come in...
Each one her neighbour nudges.
"Ah, girls, how do? Well, 'pon my word!
Aw... would you mind my gamp, please?"
Just then, perhaps, you walk up and
Say humbly, "Penny stamp, please!"

Patter: The girl says, "Oh, Mr. de Tootle, how awfully jolly it was at the dance
last night, we all had a...",
"Penny stamp, please!"
"Yeas! Do you know, Miss Smith was quite wild because I kissed her
on the..."
"Penny stamp, please!"
" I saw you in the vestibule helping that Jones girl on with her..."
"Penny stamp, please!"
"Oh come, I say l couldn’t flirt with such a confounded..."
"Penny stamp, please!"
"And that Miss Spoopendyke... she actually hit young Sheepwash with her fan, right across the..."
"Penny stamp, please!"
"Wait!"
"I want a stamp! I’ve waited ten minutes and already lost one post."
"Well, lose another!"
"Give me a penny stamp or by Heavens I'll break the office up!"
"Here you are, then... oh, it’s on the floor! What an ill-tempered brute
of a man! What's for you, sir?"
"Well, I came in for something but it's so many hours ago that it's quite slipped my memory."
"How dare you waste the time of hard-working girls!"

Chorus: That’s work! that’s work!
More fit for a nigger or a Turk,
A post girl’s life’s all woe and strife,
And work, work, work, work, work!

A tramp’s life is a hard one, and
It wants a bit of doing,
From morn to night he works his jaws
In drinking or in chewing,
But take a good road-sweeper... my
Opinion, and I’ll risk it...
For doing nothing... gracefully,
The sweeper takes the biscuit.

Patter: (Conversation, varied by a very occasional push of the broom.)
"Bill, how's Salisbury going on with that French affair? Ain’t he settled
it yet? I reckon it's time they got rid of a lot o’ them lazy messers in Parliament and 'ad a few 'ard-working chaps like me and you in."
"Government! rot! I'd show 'em 'ow to govern, once I got afore the Queen.
A lot of bloomin’ cadgers... you ain't got a bit o' 'bacca, have you, Bill? I ain’t sat down to have a quiet smoke for over five minutes. Thanks, old chap." (Lights pipe.)
Talk about statesmen a-workin', they ought to come and see us poor white slaves a-sweatin’ our vitals out. What say? Over-seer’s a-comin'? What do I care for a hoverseer, or forty bloomin' hover-seers!
Why, here he is! My ’umble dooty to you, sir. Good-mornin’, sir! Thirsty day to-day, sir! (Bowing and scraping.)

Chorus: That’s work ! that’s work!
More fit for a nigger or a Turk,
A sweeper’s life’s all woe and strife,
And work, work, work, work, work!

The Gov’ment clerk’s a specimen
Of hard-worked human sweating,
What with his paper reading and
His cigarettes and betting.
At ten o'clock he strolls in with
An air of fearful languor,
And sits down in his armchair, more
In sorrow than in anger.

Patter: Clerk: "Well, what is it, Jones?"
Attendant: "Poor woman, sir, wants to know if you'll sign this dookyment."
Clerk: "What! I’ve not half read my paper yet."
Attendant: "But she’s been here two hours."
Clerk: "I can't help it! I've had to walk over a quarter of a mile to business this morning and I'm trembling all over... Go away!"
Clerk: (later on). "Well, Jones, what now?"
Attendant: "Poor woman still a-waiting, sir!"
Clerk: "Why, I gave you an answer only an hour ego."
Attendant: "Will you sign it. sir?"
Clerk: "No! there's only three-quarters of an hour before lunch, and it will take quite that time to curl my moustache. Tell the woman to come back at three."
(Three o'clock). Attendant: "Poor woman begs you'll sign her paper now, sir!"
Clerk: "Tell her to come back, tomorrow."
Attendant. "Says she lives ten miles away and has to walk it."
Clerk: "Why don't she move her house nearer, then?"
Attendant: "Do please sign it, sir!"
Attendant: "I will not, not to-day. I’ve been so worked to death reading papers and eating lunches that if I were to exert myself to sign that paper I know I should die of heart disease."

Chorus: That’s work! that’s work!
More fit for a nigger or a Turk,
That poor clerk’s life’s all woe and strife,
And work, work, work, work, work!

 
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Written and composed by E.W. Rogers - 1899
Performed by George Robey (1869 - 1954)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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