Last night I went out with some pals, for we'd heard
That booze they were giving away,
But where this free distribution took place
They couldn't with certainty say.
We toddled down Regent street, spotted a place,
It's quiet and cosy, said I,
We entered but nobody noticed one thing
That was that the place was the Cri.

Spoken... When they brought the bill it was as long as a lawyer's. Then the waiters all chanted the chorus of 'Do Not Forget Me' and after paying two men at the door, one for telling us it was a fine night and the other for having to tell him we didn't want a cab, Jenkins said we'd better 'hedge' this is the wrong shop for us.

Chorus: Come where the booze is cheaper!
Come where the pots hold more!
Come where the boss is a bit of a joss!
Come to the pub next door!

Then Tomkins suggested, as we were still dry,
We'd leave the gay part of the West,
And he's show us where we could get a cheap drink,
Said we, 'Very well, you know best.'
We entered and certainly, just for a bob
In liquor we nearly got drowned,
But when for our watches and trinkets we felt,
Not one of the things could be found.

Spoken... Hello! said I, Is this a den of thieves? That did it! Round came the landlord, barmen and potmen and their toes were raised and our back premises removed before you could say 'knife'. As one looked at a battered hat, another at a black-eye and I found my trousers would never be fit for 'lumbering' again, we came to the conclusion that booze was not cheap there, so off we started for pastures new, singing rather hazily...


When we got thrown out it was just on closing time
And not a drop more could we get.
Then tomkins laid odds that he'd knock off the hat
Of the very first bobby we met.
We all took his bet and the bobbies took us,
And charged us next day with assault,
And then the Judge charged us a very stiff price
For taking a drop too much malt.

Spoken... The old chappie asked us what we had to say to the charge. 'Well,' said I to the beak,'what do you charge here for booze?' 'Forty shillings a-piece!' said he. 'Why,' said I, 'that's more than the bun shops charge.' 'Well,' said he, 'if you object to paying, you can work it out on the Wheel of Life.' But as we were not in training for gymnastics, we elected to pay, but never again will they have me with the 'Will-o'-the-Wisp' cry of...


Written and composed by E.W. Rogers & A.E. Durandeau - 1890
Performed by Charles Coborn (1852-1945)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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