WINKLE ON SEA
 
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Sometime ago when I reached home at night,
The wife greeted me, her face full of delight.
To the drawing room led me, sat me on a chair,
Picked up a paper and murmured, 'Read there'.
I then understood why her smile was so bland,
For an advert referred to the sale of some land.
On this very subject we'd chatted of late,
And had ideas of buying a little estate.
I, the advert then read, and in bold type it said,

'Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
The great sale takes place there next Thursday at three.
The air it is grand and the prospect gigantic,
It's faced on three sides by the rolling Atlantic.
Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
The tickets for railway and luncheon are free.
Don't hesitate, or 'twill then be too late.
The chance of a lifetime is Winkle-on-sea.'

Thursday soon came, and I went to that sale,
The train put us down at a place known as Kale.
Then a drive of some miles through the country so free,
In a couple of hours we had reached the marquee.
We sat down to luncheon, 'twas very well served,
A man sitting next to me quietly observed,
'The place is a goldmine, it's certain to go,
Buy as much as you can, old man, I'm in the know.'
Advice such as this, I thought too good to miss.

Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
That auctioneer he kept looking at me.
I thought that he knew me, and kept nodding back,
Then down went the hammer each time with a whack.
Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
Everyone crowded round to congratulate me
That auctioneer dude had my nods misconstrued.
I had bought the whole bally lot - Winkle-on-sea.

Yes, bought it all and didn’t know it. Mind you, it was a fine lunch - a splendid lunch but the thought of it makes me heave - Not the lunch, but the thought that at the finish the money for it really came out of my pocket.
No wonder the man sitting next to me said - "Have some more Game Pie, old man. just a little more Game Pie."
Game Pie indeed - They had a fine game with me - I was the Pie. Winkle-on-Sea - Why the very name has a shellfish sound about it. It fairly swarmed with Winkles. ln fact it cost me a small fortune to keep the wife in pin-money.
Then look at the way they advertised the place. ‘Plots laid out to suit the convenience of buyers.”
A nice plot they laid out for me to suit their own convenience. "Land laid out for Golf Links.” We didn’t call them Links, we called them Winks. “Good site for Hotel" Why you couldn’t get a sight of one for miles.
At any rate we went down there to live, and l had a sort of Bungalow built. lt wasn’t exactly a Bungalow, it was a kind of Bungalette. ln fact it was more like an Ark, only we couldn’t go in two by two, because when the tide was up the only way we could get in was down the chimney.
We called the house Sea View. lt’s a fact - l wouldn’t desea-view for worlds. The sea being our nearest neighbour called upon us as soon as we took possession. You know - a kind of "take you just as you are” sort of call. And it didn’t forget to take the garden fence with it when it left.
After that we got quite chummy and the sea used to pop in at the door every morning, as much as to say "Ah, there you are, old chap - Coming to have a “wet.” ln fact the sea became such a frequent caller that it wore out its welcome, to say nothing of the door mat. We never had to trouble about watering the garden. The sea did that and without the aid of a can. It became a perfect nuisance. Fancy having to put on a diving-suit to fetch up a scuttle of coals. Our servant got very dissatisfied and gave us notice. We were very sorry to lose her. She was a good hard-working soul. In fact you might have called her a filletted soul, for she hadn’t a lazy bone in her body.
She said to the wife "I’m very sorry to have to go, Mum, but you see Mum, l’m a cook, not a blessed mermaid.”
After that it was very funny to see the wife cooking the breakfast, with a couple of life-belts on, doing the side-stroke after a kipper which was floating out of the kitchen window.
Of course when in town we always dress for dinner, but down there we had to undress.
Just imagine me in a bathing singlet, with a knife in one hand and a fork in the other, carving a joint of beef and treading water at the same time. Why, Father Neptune wasn’t in it.
Then after dinner we would sometimes have a musical evening. Fancy me singing 'The Sailor’s Grave' with real waves dashing through the window. l sang nearly all my songs in C (sea). Of course the wife’s mother came down to see us. Bless her heart. l met her at the station, and while l was waiting the tide came up, and I had to row her home in a. float-bottomed bat - l mean a flat-bottomed boat.
Sometimes to liven up the evenings we had a game called 'Higher and Higher,' yes, 'Higher and Higher.' It was like this. When the tide came in, we used to race it upstairs, and the one that fell in first, before it reached the roof won the game. The Wife’s mother won several times. I saw to that. It was only my duty to her as a guest.
While we were waiting for the tide to turn, we’d sit on the chimney-pots and watch the lamp change colour in the lighthouse.
When the tide went down, the house was surrounded by nice soft, friendly yielding sort of mud. Then we had another game called 'Lower and Lower.' We used to all stand in a row in the mud and gradually sink down, and the one that went under first won the game. The wife’s mother had all the luck again - she won. We couldn’t get her out. First I had a pull then the wife, but it was no use. The mud knew it had got hold of a good thing and meant to stick to it. I could see things were getting serious, for the old lady had stopped laughing.
At last I got a rope, tied it round her neck, and then slipped it through a ring in the wall of the Bungalow. Then we gave a mighty pull. And something was giving this time. But we didn’t pull her up, we pulled the Bungalow down.

Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
The sales may take place every Thursday at three.
The air may be grand and the prospect gigantic,
Faced on fours sides by the rolling Atlantic.
Winkle-on-sea, Winkle-on-sea,
The next sale they hold they must do without me,
Beneath the star's twinkle, 'midst home of the winkle,
Ah! I learnt a wrinkle at Winkle-on-sea.

 
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Written and composed by Alfred Soar - 1909
Performed by Will Edwards (d. 1940)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
 
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