Now I'm not what you'd call disbelieving
And at trifles I never should stick
But sometimes the yarns people tell me
Are really a little bit thick
For instance while dining last evening
At Lady de Gossip's you see
I was listening to old Major Braggard
Who was sitting alongside of me
He was gassing as usual of deeds he had done
I took 'em all in till he came to this one,

Chorus: 'In the war when three miles from my army
Fifty Boers were advancing on me
They came in line, straight as a die sir
I'd but one cartridge left, don't you see
But I aimed at the flank of their line, sir
It meant death should my sight be at fault
But the bullet went clean through the fifty at once.'
I said, 'Would you mind passing the salt?'

Then a captain who'd sailed the Atlantic
Said, 'Ah, that reminds me you know.'
And then in a manner pedantic
The hatchet he started to throw
'We were just thirty miles out from harbour
When a storm struck the vessel's 'midships
I didn't have any palaver, but down all the canvas I strips
Still nothing could save it, the vessel went down
I swam for three hours, and I thought I must drown.'

Chorus: 'But just near me I spotted a shark, sir
With its mouth open wide, don't you see
Then I knew I was in for a lark, sir
For shark-catching is fine sport to me
So I swam and got hold of his tail, sir
And on to his back did a vault
Then made reins of my braces, and steered him ashore.'
I said, 'Would you mind passing the salt?'

Then another chap at the table
A racy yarn started to spout
To tell a good yarn he was able
There isn't a shadow of doubt
He was riding a horse, so he told us
And for pots he had backed it to win
But he found that the gee was a stumer
So he looked well like dropping his tin
But he suddenly thought of a wonderful scheme
It came to him all, as it were, in a dream.

Chorus: 'Yes, the day of the race was a grand one
Ah, but few knew the issue at stake
If people discovered my secret
I'd be warned off the course, no mistake
I'd put a false nose on the nag - see?
For shortness of nose was his fault
And the nose came in first by an inch and a half.'
I said, 'Would you mind passing the salt?'

Then a grey-whiskered, red-nosed perverter
Said, 'When I was only a youth
Of a strange sight I was an observer
And what I shall tell you is truth
It was while I was living in Paris
A man guillotined I once saw
With details your minds I won't harass
He was killed just according to law
His hands they were tied to his back with a rope
They chopped off his head - he was dead without hope.

Chorus: 'But then came the wonderful part, sir
The chap wasn't dead - no, not he
For he sprang to his feet in a moment
Picked his head up again, don't you see
Stuck it on' I said, 'Hold on a minute
His hands were tied, so you're at fault.'
He said, 'Ah, but he picked his head up with his teeth.'
I said, 'For heaven's sake, pass me the salt.'
Written and composed by Lester Reekie & Henry Lawrance - 1906
Performed by George Brooks (1867-1947)
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