THEY CAN’T GET THE BETTER OF ME
 
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I'm called artful 'Arry wherever I go
For I always let everyone see
That I know exactly what I'm about
And they can't get the better of me
Last week I went into the station
To go to Southend was my aim
The chap that’s served tickets kept smiling
He seemed bent on some little game, but

Chorus: I know what I'm about
He served me and cried 'Change at Leigh'
I answered 'No, thank you, I'll have my change now'
They can't get the better of me


Last Summer I went for a week by the sea
To a place called Supermare
But I didn't see any mares, and the food
It was soup all the time I was there
Each morn when I used to go bathing
The boys gathered round and made fun
I've heard about clothes being stolen
So I used to score off each one, for

Chorus: I know what I'm about
Whenever I dived in the sea
They'd all look so wild, 'cos I kept on my clothes
They can't get the better of me


I don't very often do anything rash
But I went to the baths yesterday
I put down my sixpence when I got inside
The cashier he said 'By the way
Now why don't you purchase twelve tickets?
You've only to pay five-and-six
You'll find it a splendid investment'
I winked and said, 'None of your tricks'

Chorus: I know what I'm about
To take twelve a fool I should be
Supposing I die before twelve years are up
You can't get the better of me


Last night as I passed by a large public house
A fellow assaulted his wife
He struck her with something he had in his hand
Next morning in court there was strife
The judge called me up as a witness
And tried to tie me in a knot
Said he 'On your oath you are standing'
Said I, 'It's my feet! don't talk rot, for

Chorus: I know what I'm about
'Did he used drastic measures?' said he
I said, 'No he didn't, he used a quart pot
You can't get the better of me'


We have to pay more for our food now a days
For everything seems to be dear
The tea and tobacco's gone up in the pound
And they mean to charge more for the beer
I've struck on a beautiful wrinkle
I've purchased a cow, on my soul
I feed her on hops night and morning
And people say I'm up the pole, but

Chorus: I know what I'm about
I feed her on hops don't you see
Each morn with a pail I get gallons of ale
They can't get the better of me
 
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Written and composed by Frank Wood
Performed by Will Bentley (b. 1873)
 
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