WHILE LONDON'S FAST ASLEEP
 
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The greatest city of the world is London
At least, that's what the wealthy people say
It's very nice for some, who always get the plum
I only get what people throw away
It's very nice for starving boys in winter
It's very nice to camp it out at nights
A doorstep for a bed, another for your head
Because you haven't sold your blooming lights.

Chorus: While London sleeps, and all the lamps are gleaming
Millions of its people, now lie sweetly dreaming
Some have no homes, and o'er their sorrows weep
Others laugh and play the game while London's fast asleep.


There's a lot of wealth and happiness in London
There's lots of starving misery as well
There's people good and true who can't get work to do
Who've stolen bread, and found the prison cell
There's some of ‘em can't stand it any longer
So, when they cannot earn an honest meal
They seek the riverside and jump into the tide
Because they're far too proud to beg or steal.

Chorus:

Now, have you noticed some of ‘em by daylight?
The good young man who leads the army band
Your heart he wants to save, although he needs a shave
And the “tide-mark” round his neck looks very grand
But see him on the Q.T. of an evening
A-strolling round with someone else's wife
It takes a kid like me their little games to see
For I'm a chap what's seen a bit of life,

Chorus:

The coppers get a name for being bad ‘uns
I don't mean “Browns” I mean the men in blue
They're called a shady lot, but some of them are not
Although I've caught it hot from one or two
There's one of ‘em has been a pal to this child
One night he found me dossing in the street
He didn't use his club, but let me share his grub
And with his lamp he let me warm my feet,

Chorus:

One night, when it was freezing hard and snowing
I sees a woman trudging through it all
So thin and poorly dressed, the baby at her breast
Was only covered by a ragged shawl
I followed her - I felt as how I had to
When suddenly she pulls the shawl aside
Then screams “My God, No, no” and sinks into the snow
From cold and want her little one had died.

Chorus:
 
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Written and composed by Harry Dacre
Performed by Marie Tyler (1875-1905)
 
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