In sailing along the river of life
Over it's waters wide
We all have to battle with trouble and strife
And wait for the time and the tide
Men of each other are prone to be jealous
Hopes are illusions and not what they seem
Life and its pleasures philosophers tell us
Go floating away like a leaf on the stream.

Chorus: Then try to be happy and gay my boys
Remenber the world is wide
And Rome wasn't built in a day, my boys
So wait for the turn of the tide.

Why people sit fretting their lives away
I can't for a moment surmise
If life is a lottery as they say
We cannot all turn up a prize
A folly it is to be sad and dejected
If 'fortune shows favours' she's fickle beside
And may knock at your door some fine day unexpected
If you patiently wait for the turn of the tide.


Man is sent into the world we're told
To do all the good that he can
Yet how many worship the chink of the gold
And never once think of the man
If you are poor from your friends keep a distance
Hold up your head, tho' your funds are but small
Once let the world know you need its assistance
Be sure then you never will get it at all.

Written and composed by Harry Clifton & Charles Coote Jnr.
Performed by Harry Clifton (1824-1872)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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