HERBERT TELLS THE TRUTH
by Paul Gerard Smith performed by Pat O'Malley Truth I've spoken of Mr. Pinwinkle And Mrs. Pinwinkle 'is bride, And I also 'ave mentioned young 'Erbert, their son, The thorn in the Pinwinkle side. From the day 'e was born they were baffled Their lives went from 'orrid to worse; Instead of the blessing that most children are Young 'Erb was the Pinwinkle curse. They 'ad left 'im in baskets on doorsteps, They 'ad lost 'im in crowds at the zoo, They 'ad walked 'im down railroad tracks, 'oping for trains, But some'ow young 'Erb would pull through. "We've done everything we can think of," Said Ma with a tear in 'er eye, 'Per'aps we could kill 'im with kindness; At least it is well worth a try." They smiled when 'e scratched the piano They said "Bravo" and patted 'is 'ead, But it took lots of will power to say "Cheerio" The night 'e put frogs in their bed. And by and by 'Erb got discouraged, A rather perplexed little lad, For there's no use in doing the dirty Unless you get somebody mad. 'E grew listless and somewhat dejected Which pleased old Pinwinkle, 'is sire, And Ma nearly fainted the day she found 'Erb Singing 'ymns in the Sunday School Choir. "Nah then," said 'is father," 'e's perfect." "Not quite," said 'is Ma with a sigh "Every statement 'e makes is ten miles from the truth, We must teach 'im it's wicket to lie." They reasoned with 'Erb, soft and gentle, Told 'im lying was rather uncouth, In the end 'Erb gave in and said, "So 'elp me John, From now on I'll tell nought but the truth." Then Mrs. Pinwinkle was 'appy To see 'er young 'Erb so refined But Pa scratched 'is 'ead and said under 'is breath. "There's a catch in it somewhere, you'll find." The next day 'Erb's mother brought 'ome a new 'at, All trimmed up with ribbons and fruit. "And 'ow does it look, Pa?" she asked with a smile, Pa answered quite bravely, "It's cute!" Then she turned to young 'Erb and she said, very sweet, "Let us see what our sonny boy thinks." "It's lovely to frighten the neighbors," said 'Erb, "But as millinery, it... it's awful." To say Ma was angry is putting it mild She wiggled 'er foot and said, "Well!" Said Father, "Now, don't blame it all on the child, It's the truth that we've taught 'im to tell." Then one day Ma asked Father, "Where 'ave you been?" In a voice that was tinged with suspicion; Pa cleared 'is throat, dropped 'is eyes and replied, "To tell you the truth, I've been fishin'." Then young 'Erbert laughed a most guttural laugh " 'E's been down at the Tavern, 'e means, 'E was dipping 'is beak when I passed by the door, And 'e 'asn't been drinking sardines." Father gave 'im a look that would curdle whipped cream And reached out 'is 'and for an axe. Mother said, "Put it down... and you should feel ashamed The boy's merely stating the facts." The minister came round to see them one night, And young 'Erbert answered the door "Glad to see me, young 'Erbert?" the minister asked And 'Erb merely answered, "What for? "Ma says you're a bother each time that you come, And Pa says you're dead on your feet, And the cook says the sermons you've been dishing out Ain't worth 'alf the beans that you eat." "Well that settles that," Father said with a groan, "Something's got to be done without fail. If 'Erb tells the truth about each thing 'e sees We'll be rode out of town on a rail." But Mother said, "Nonsense, the truth never 'urts, If they can't face the facts, let 'em squirm. I'd rather 'ave 'Erbert a truthful young lad Than a sly and deceitful young worm." The neighbors shied off from the Pinwinkle house And never dropped in for a chat, For 'Erbert told thin men that they were too thin And fat women they were too fat. One day the phone rang and Pa answered it quick And listened, and 'ung up when through; Then 'e said, "I think I shall run down to the club, That is, if it's all right with you." Mother said, "It's all right," and then 'Erbert walked in And said, "I listened in on, the phone, And it that was the club, then the club has a voice With a definite feminine tone." When Father recovered from Mother's left 'ook 'E said, "'Erbie, I'm proud of you, lad. We're going out in the back for an 'eart to 'eart talk Now where is that bed slat I 'ad?" When they got to the woodshed, old Pinwinkle said, "I'll teach you a new sort of game, Bend over and pick up that tupenny piece." 'Erb did, and was sorry 'e came. From that very moment young 'Erb's outlook changed, The neighborhood's back where it was And the neighbors drop in to the Pinwinkle 'ouse And everyone's 'appy because, They've no fear of 'Erbert... as Pinwinkle says, "The lad is as sharp as a tack. If I hold up a bedsheet and say is it white? I know 'Erbie will say that it's black."
The end