I've often heard of people doing very noble deeds
And how their courage oft has been displayed
And so I thought I'd do the same, I'd be a volunteer
A fireman in the amateur brigade
I got on very nicely for about a week or two
But while asleep in bed the other night
A message from the station was sent to me to say
I was wanted, as a tripe-shop was alight.

Chorus: I went up the ladder steady, and I got the squirter ready
I called someone to hold it for I'm blessed if I could see
I played marbles round a turning, while the jolly house was burning
And now I want to sell the clothes for the game's too hot for me.

The Captain found me playing and said he, 'This will not do'.
And then he took my marbles all away
He stuck me on a ladder and he hollared to the men
And on the fire they commenced to play
The smoke was somethiong awful, and I began to cough
I shut my eyes because I couldn't see
Just then some stupid fellow turned the squirter on again
It missed the fire, but nearly smothered me.


The people laughed and jeered at me, so at last I did a guy
For I couldn't stand their punches, kicks and shoves
And standing in the water drew the soles right off my boots
And I lost my cigarette case and my gloves
It may sound very nice to talk of noble deeds you've done
But fires I find are things that do not pay
The game for me's a bit too warm, so now I am resolved
To turn it up and give the clothes away.


Written and composed by Harry Boden & T.W. Barrett - 1886
Performed by T. W. Barrett (1851-1935)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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