Of course you've 'eard th' poem wot that Mister Kipling wrote
'The Absent-Minded Beggar's' all the go
I'll give yer just a tip now if yer wonderin' who 'e meant
'Cos it 'its off to a T a bloke I know
Bill Bounder was the name of that same absent-minded cove
Wot's gone - or sez 'e's gone - acrost th' sea
And the very biggest bounder, too, as ever bounced a gal
Was the sodger bloke wot came acourtin' me.

Chorus: Oh! the beggar, the absent-minded beggar
It's true wot Mister Kipling 'as to say
For there's not the slightest doubt
Whenever he took me out
The absent-minded beggar let me pay.

'E sez 'e wos a Lancer in the Second Forty-Forf
I've never met a beggar 'alf so mean
Not once wen 'e 'as walked me out 'e wore 'is uniform
'Cos 'e sez 'e liked to keep 'is tunic clean
I dunno wot indooced me for to lend 'im forty bob
'E'd the finest voice an' figure 'eard or seen
An' I fancies as th' fust thing as wot 'elped to turn me 'ead
Wos the way 'e sung 'The Soldiers Of The King'


'E took me bloomin' last bob - but 'e never took the King's
An' I popped for 'im me boots, an' shawl, at 'at
An' as I'm the sort of gal wot keeps 'er troubles to 'erself
'Ow it got into the papers knocks me flat
I fink them poets didn't ought to giv' th' show away
An' poke their nose in other people's biz
'Cos in that 'ere poem Mister Kipling 'as the cheek to say
As perhaps there was a 'kid' - well, p'raps there isn't.

Performed by Kate Carney (1868-1950)
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