I never could even when a little boy,
Learn French with anything approaching joy,
I never yet could grasp the nasal sounds,
In which that awkward language so abounds;
I learned that 'Oui' was yes and 'Non' meant no,
Though why it should I really cannot show,
That 'chapeau' was a hat and 'plume' a pen,
All this I learned in Ahn's, page number ten.

But when I went to Paris, all had flown,
My knowledge of the tounge I had out-grown.
I often heard the servants call me 'fou'
In Scotch, that's 'drunk', the French can't mean that too.
Some time ago I ventured on a mild 'ma foi'
But the idiot I said it to exclaimed 'pourquoi',
I swore I'd never try experiments again,
I'd give it up and stick to Ahn's page ten!*

* Ahn's Practical and Easy Method of Learning the French Language - pre 1900'
by Franz Ahn
Written and composed by Albert Chevalier and Fred H. West
Performed by Albert Chevalier (1861-1923)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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