I like a game of billiards, upon the cloth so green,
I don't object to a game of draughts but at that I'm not o'er keen;
But if you should ask the game I love, without a doubt I'd say,
It is to play in a cricket-match upon a lovely day.

Chorus: Cricket, cricket, that's the game to play,
For this fine old English game give a good hurray!
To lose a game's no sin but we're pretty sure to win
If we go in with a will at cricket.

The men all take their places in a dress so light and gay,
The captain he looks anxious as the umpire calls out, 'Play!'
Each fieldman eagerly watches the ball as it speeds fast on it's way,
And should the batsman hit it for six, his comrades shout, 'Hurray!'


You often get a nasty knock upon your tender shin,
And as you cannot rub it out, you'd better rub it in;
For cricket would not be worth a rap for an Englishman to play,
If into the game no little mishap could possibly find it's way.


The best exponent of the game, I'm sure you'll all agree,
Is Gloucester's genial captain, the famous W.G.
And while we have such men as he to strike for England's fame,
We shall always hold the premier place in the English National game.


Sports become very popular in the Victorian period, and cricket although it had been played since the 1600's, was given rules for the first time. Cricket was seen as character building and encouraged leadership qualities and thus was a popular sport with employers to encourage their workforce. England and Australia played their first cricket Test Match in England in 1880. Personalities such as W G Grace created more interest in cricket and drew large crowds. For the first time watching as well as playing sport became a hobby.

Written and composed by H.G.L. Mills & Edmund Forman - 1889
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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