WHEN RICHARD THE FIRST SAT ON THE THRONE
 
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Long years ago, when I was not
And you were hardly quite;
A man could keep what he had got
Provided he could fight;
When an armoured knight went forth to fight,
His family never knew
What fate might be in store for him;
He might return home taut and trim,
Or possibly torn in two.
Those were the glorious days of old,
When a man could have what he could hold,
When ev'ry citizen kept an axe
For the man who call'd for the income tax;
For passive resistance wasn't known
When Richard the First sat on the throne.

Chorus: When every knight went forth to fight
With his helmet on his head,
When many a knight stayed out all night,
When he ought to have stayed in bed.
In those merry days we read about in rhymes,
Marry come up! Gadzooks! Ods bodikins!
Those were stirring times!


Those golden days of long ago
Were merry, merry days;
Men didn't live for golf, you know,
And ‘bridge' was not the craze.
The automobile hadn't arrived
To spread its perfume rare,
There was no Twopenny Tube or tram
But nobody cared a twopenny - !!
They travelled on Shanks's mare.
Those were the days, you'll understand,
When Richard the First rule o'er the land,
No halfpenny papers were for sale,
No ‘Cricket News' nor ‘Daily Mail,'
The Fiscal Policy wasn't known
When Richard the First sat on the throne.

Chorus:

The women didn't rule the men
In those glad days of yore,
A wife was but a woman then
And she was nothing more.
In those brave days no matinees
Attracted her to town;
She didn't squander five-pound notes
On marvellous hats and curious coats
Reduced from half-a-crown.
Those were the days when women wore
The clothes they had worn the year before,
They didn't go cracked on fashions new,
Whatever they had they ‘made them do,'
And bargain sales were quite unknown
When Richard the First sat on the throne.

Chorus: When every knight went forth to fight
With his helmet on his head,
When many a knight stayed out all night
And painted the district red.
In those merry days
We read about in rhymes,
Marry come up! Gadzooks! Ods bodikins!
(Spoken) Zounds! and ‘By my halidome!'
Those were stirring times!


When men wore armour-plated shirts
And waistcoats made of steel,
They didn't care for wounds and hurts
Because they couldn't feel,
A man in mail could scarcely fail
To parry all attacks,
The only way to get ‘one in'
Was to arm yourself with a bonnet-pin
And tickle him through the cracks.
Those were the days when helmets were
A source of annoyance to the fair,
For Mary couldn't make love to Fred
With a thing like a saucepan on his head,
So kissing, of course, was quite unknown
When Richard the First sat on the throne.

Chorus: When every knight went forth to fight
With his helmet on his head,
When many a knight stayed out all night
And sometimes came home dead.
In those merry days
We read about in rhymes,
Marry come up! Gadzooks! Ods bodikins!
(Spoken) Ods fishes! and ‘By my halibut!'
Those were stirring times!
 
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Written and composed by Robert Manning - 1908
Performed by Nelson Jackson (b. 1879)
 
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