THE WORKHOUSE MAN
(Musical Monologue)
 
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There's a refuge for all as is broke to the world,
Where one looks like another perhaps at first sight,
Where the dresses ain't smart, an' the hair isn't curled,
Where the heart's mostly heavy, an' diet is light.
It's the workhouse I mean, as me an' the wife
'Ad to face in old age, but she sez to me, "Joe,
We're seeking a shelter from sorrow and strife,
An' we mustn't forget, it's together we go."

They're kind as they can be to paupers like us,
So long as we makes neither bother nor fuss;
We don't put on flesh, 'tain't good form to grow fat,
But we do see each other! There's something in that.
When you're used to the life, 'tain't a bad sort of life,
If you look at it just as a bit of a change,
For there's lodging and food for yourself an' the wife,
Tho' when nearin' the end to be parted seems strange.

I'm close upon eighty, the missus won't own
As she'll never see seventy-seven again,
The children is gone and we're 'ere all alone,
But they let us talk over the past now and then.
At Christmas there's singing, the singers is fine,
But there's sure to be one as sings "Auld Lang Syne."
The missus she cries, an' I looks for my 'at,
But we listen together, there's something in that!

Then on Sundays we all goes to church for a while,
Where we 'ears the old story told over agin,
And sometimes the missus looks up with a smile
As she 'ears of a crown that the patient may win.
Ain't it strange they should part us in church in the place
Where, when life was before us, we two was made one.
It's the thought of that time brings a smile to 'er face,
For the dream ain't forgot, tho' the dreaming is done.

When we meet it's outside, an' there's tears in her eyes,
But I know 'tain't for sorrow the old woman cries,
Sez she when we've finished our bit of a chat
"It's 'omeward together dear! Something in that."
 
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Written and composed by Albert Chevalier & Alfred Henry West
Performed by Albert Chevalier (1861-1923)
 
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