Respectability's a thing I cannot understand
I've got a brother what's a toff and likes to do the grand
Our family is disgusted with the way he puts on side
He's never done a dirty trick, or passed a coin what's snide.

Chorus: Oh, he will be respectable, will wear a collar and tie
Will go home quite sober, and won't black his old gal's eye
He's never killed a policeman, or played a swindling game
And we all agree he's a fraud, you see, and a blot on the family name

The family talent, somehow, doesn't run in him
He ought to take a lesson from my other brother Jim
Just look at how he defies the law, he's never out of 'stir'
A credit to the family, not like that stuck-up cur.


The joys of life that he has lost - he's never bit an ear
But oh, the greatest crime of all, don't know the taste of beer
He's never picked no oakum or yet been upon the mill
It breaks our 'earts to think of how he's never pinched a till.


But we would have forgiven him and took him to our 'earts
For he's got one good point, 'cos for the booze he allers parts
To tell the 'orrid crime he's done gives my 'eart-strings a jerk
'E's utterly disgraced 'isself - 'E's been and gone to work.

Written and composed by Charles Tracey & Norton Atkins - 1896)
Performed by Fred Cairns (1857 1896)
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